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#771349 - 23rd Feb 2013 3:47pm Customer Compliance Officer called
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1256
Loc: Wallasey Village
I was out with a friend in another part of UK on Friday and on return to his flat there was a card saying a "customer Compliance Officer" from DHSS had called - and would call again Monday. My friend is s**** himself as to wat it is all about.

Any experiences from Wiki folk?

My friend is disabled and lives on benefits. He is age 58, is diabetic and had a bad stroke 4-5 years ago that has left him with significant right-side mobility problems and pain - for which he takes daily Tramadol, Pregabalin and morphine enough to put out an elephant. He does not and cannot work in the normal sense. He does voluntary work for the Church and groups like Chrstians Against Poverty and gets a little to cover his expenses for printing / making poster displays etc. I have helped him out with a couple of "tide you over" loans when his electric bill (his only heating) was OTT. He lives alone (+ cat) in a 1 bedroom appartment.

Frankly I cannot see whey anyone from DHSS or the like should have any adverse sor of interest in a good Christian who through no fault of his own is significantly disabled but who still likes to try to help others.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#771350 - 23rd Feb 2013 3:55pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
turnip Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 15th Dec 2011
Posts: 1007
Loc: wirral
I'm not saying its a bad thing but they may say if he can volunteer he can work. My mum had a bad stroke in 2001 and has been left paralysed on the left hand side. Luckily she took out insurance that covered her in the event of things like strokes an heart attacks however if she volunteers and they find out she loses the insurance payment because they see it as she is able to work.

It's stupid because getting out and socialising would benefit her a lot but if she did shed end up losing out.

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#771352 - 23rd Feb 2013 4:02pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
Salmon Offline
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Registered: 8th Oct 2011
Posts: 1716
Loc: Wallasey
It's pretty standard these days.
They will just go through the details and check that your friend's situation hasn't changed.
They have not been reported for anything, if so then he would have been called into their offices for an interview, they wouldn't do him the favour of coming round.He will probably have to show bank account statements that get the benefits paid into it so they can see it's his bank account. Probably will check passport or other ID to prove who he is and then sign a declaration to say the situation is the same as it was since the last time he claimed and he is not cheating the system.So nothing to worry about.

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#771356 - 23rd Feb 2013 4:09pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

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Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1256
Loc: Wallasey Village
Turnip,
almost all his support work for CAP (Christians Against Poverty) is done on-line from his flat, similarly he does things there like create/ print leaflets for funerals/ weddings at the church. Except in very fine weather he gets taken the half mile to/ from church for his (daily) attendance at services.

Work in the accepted sense is just not "on" - he has significant pain attacks almost daily.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#771360 - 23rd Feb 2013 4:21pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
turnip Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 15th Dec 2011
Posts: 1007
Loc: wirral
Couldn't agree more mate. It's stupid. Volunteer work is nowhere near as demanding as a real job and if you're unavailable you an say no. If I tried that with my boss I'd be fired.

It's stupid how they group the two together just as 'work' however the rules may be different for dss and it could be nothing. Or someone's put in a complaint because unfortunately people seem to enjoy moaning so much in this country and they could just go see him pass the complaint off as bulls**t and move on.

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#771714 - 24th Feb 2013 8:48pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
fish5133 Online   content
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2810
Loc: Heswallish
I presume the Customer Compliance Officer knows nothing about how nice a person your friend is. Its a sad fact that there are many who abuse the benefit system and they need to weed them out. Wants to put a note on his door Monday saying he is out rock climbing

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#771950 - 25th Feb 2013 4:11pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1256
Loc: Wallasey Village
Turns out that what it was all about was a small (£15/ month) pension payment my friend receives from Scottish Wids based on contributions he made to them when he was a building site worker many years ago. The CC Officer indicated that they need to take that into account ie they will now dock £15/ month off his state benefits AND make him pay back the £15 x 22 months for which he has received the Scot Wids payments.

Wonderful. You make provisions for old age when you are fit & young but then because your mental processes are a bit slow after a stroke and forget about them because it was years ago. When the provider (kindly) tells you they are there just over a year ago seems good - and then the "system" takes it off you again by reducing your benefits. All this for an honest but sometimes metally befuddled guy living close to the bread line.

Does not seem fair to me in the context of the levels of benefits claimed by some folk.

My advice to him is to try to negotiate repayment of the £15 x 22 over as long a period as possible. Given one major stroke and several "transients" his chances of longevity are slim.

What do you think? Any other ideas?

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#772043 - 25th Feb 2013 7:36pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
ponytail Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 575
Loc: wirral
This is a small amount to them, but quite a lot of money for your friend to pay back but he could offer to pay £1 per week. They could make a counter-offer but then only agree upto £1.50 per week. It will then be paid to them within 5 years.
I would advise him to negotiate through Citizens Advice.

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#772079 - 25th Feb 2013 8:48pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1256
Loc: Wallasey Village
Ponytail, THAT is the plan. The immediate issue is however how long "they" will wait for repayment? £5/month over a corresponding 5 years could just be managed. If they want it all now or at around £25 a month and he is goosed. OK, in that case he is my best friend and I will bail him out no problem, just to stop the poor b***r worrying and maybe making himself more ill.

However, to me the unfair principle is that he HAS (way in the past) made some provision for his future - and then the DSS take it off him

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top
#772199 - 26th Feb 2013 11:17am Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Snodvan]
Moonstar Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 2nd Jul 2011
Posts: 1240
Loc: Wirral
I should imagine the powers that be have already spent more than the money due just chasing it. I would have thought they had bigger fish to fry.

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#772220 - 26th Feb 2013 1:34pm Re: Customer Compliance Officer called [Re: Moonstar]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1256
Loc: Wallasey Village
Moonstar, I am sure you are correct. Not only is there the time/ travel costs of the Officer concerned who has had to make two journeys, there will also have been the time & effort of the "background" people who raised the issue in the first place. There will NOW be lots of emails/ letters from my friend while he tries to negotiate a long repayment period. That again will take time from someone to answer.

I guess the issue is that he is "easy pickings" because he will always tell the truth. Also as a single person in a 1 bedroom flat and with a medical History that nobody can contest makes him inelligble for work he has to rely on State payments to exist. THEY have their hands on those and can decide to manipulate them as they want - leaving him to argue the case after the event. It is known as being grabbed by the short & curlies.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top

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