Hello, thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
I have been caring for my daughter for a year now (since November 2020). The claim for CA is from June 2021 as we did not realise we could claim before that. We are also waiting for a tribunal hearing date for DLA higher rate mobility which is for November 2020! (but that’s another story…)
Unfortunately my daughters condition is so severe that she needs almost constant care and is unable to attend school anymore. There are multiple parts to her condition making it impractical to explain on here and extremely difficult to manage day to day. One part of her condition involves involuntary motor functions such as hitting which happen throughout the day and so it is almost impossible for me to do anything during the day until my partner comes home from work.
My contact with the DWP has been bizarre. After contacting them to see how the claim was going and if they need anything else I was advised my financial situation was not an issue and I just needed to fill out a form for the small amount of self employed income I earn a year.
A week later I received an unexpected phone call from the DWP. The person I spoke to was not happy with the conversation I had with the other adviser (rude to be honest) and asked me multiple questions in what felt more like an interegation. At the time I had taken my daughter out to try and occupy her, which reduces the hitting and gives us both a break from her condition. The place was noisy and difficult to hear the caller clearly. She did ask for dates and amounts but I could only guess as I was out and had nothing to hand. The caller suggested they were not happy with my investment income and that they were escalating the claim to someone higher up in their department (contradicting the advice already given). After asking again for the self employment income form they also said they would send that out by post.
We did receive a letter (dated the same day as that phonecall) but it was addressed to my partner stating I had made a claim and that if it was fraudulent my partner should contact the DWP, if not do nothing. The fact that the letter came 2 and a half months after the claim date and on the day of that phonecall suggests that they didn’t feel the need to send it until the phonecall from DWP questioning my income? All bizarre behaviour in my opinion, why not send it sooner.
To this date the self employed income form has still not arrived, again bizarre behaviour. I phoned the DWP again today, waiting 30 minutes on hold and after giving my N.I number was told the caller needed to “close down the call”, he suggested they had other callers to speak to, bizarre why make people wait on hold to end the call. When I said I didn’t understand I was told I don’t need to understand and he didn’t need to explain himself to me. That was it, final.
Waiting on hold in the small amount of time you get whilst caring for a child with a very severe condition is frustrating but unfortunately part of life. Being told its essentially not convenient to speak to you after being on hold for 30 minutes and being told I don’t need to know why is quite frankly unbelievable. If they do call back there’s a high chance I won’t be able to take the call and if I do take the call I will likely have only one arm free to restrain my daughter from punching me in the face, shouting out and swearing involuntarily and she will spend the entire phonecall desperately trying to press the end call button and be as disruptive as physically possible (all of which are impulses either voluntary or involuntary).
I guess as long as the timing of the phonecall is convenient for the DWP I suppose that’s the main thing after all right?
Anyone had this sort of behaviour from the DWP? Is this standard?