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Thread: Change in circumstances letter for ESA confusion

  1. #1
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    Angry Change in circumstances letter for ESA confusion

    Hi all
    I have been on incapacity benefit up until approx 3 years ago when I was told I needed to reapply for ESA. To cut a long story short and a lot of involvement from my MP I was award ESA support group and told that I may be reassessed in 12 months. Fast forward September 2016 and I received a form asking me to complete, I sent my form on 27th September 20016. Made contact with DWP on 6th October to confirm receipt of my form as the letter I had been told to send the form to and the address on the envelope that came with my form were totally different. DWP confirmed my form had been received but didn't know how long it would take to process. Last week I had a faster payments in my account the day before my benefit was due, I rang up to query why and apparently my payment had bounced back which sometimes happens due to the amount of payments being sent and they had done that so that my benefit was delayed. Fair point or so I thought.

    On Saturday I received a letter re: Your claim for Employment and Support Allowance confirming that due to recent change in my circumstances my claim has been looked at again and I've been awarded ESA and no changes will be made. They mentioned a payment has been sent separately to me to cover 26th Sept to 12th October (coincidence the day of the faster payments payment!) and my benefit will continue and my christmas bonus wil be paid 1st week of December. The only thing puzzling me was that payments were based from 14th April until 30th November 2016.

    I rang today to clarify this and was told that the letter I have received is due to me changing my bank details on 5th September 2016. I said that I hadn't done this change and all I had done is complete my form which strangely enough was dated 5th September 2016. The operator couldn't understand my letter and didn't have a copy of my letter as they didn't send the letter the jobcentre did so did not know what I was talking about. I asked to speak to a manager as I was now concerned as to why my bank details had been changed but was told I couldn't but a manager would call me back and her name was Janice.

    Half an hour after my call I had a call from a Miss Lee from Stratford support centre and she was calling me back. She never said she was part of DWP and I had to ask if she was. Her English was very poor and she says that when my form was issued my bank details were looked at and this is why the letter was sent to me. She is insistent that the letter has nothing to do with my recent form I had completed it is to do with my bank details change.

    My question is that surely a letter like that wouldn't be generated for a change of bank details, I have changed them before and always received a confirmation that your bank details are changed. Also why were my bank details been looked at just for a questionnaire to be sent out? Also why isn't the letter dated 5th September and not 11th October as it is. Also is my benefit stopping or have I been assessed again and its continuing.

    Has anyone experienced this. I'm just totally confused.

    Any help or advice greatly appreciated.:confused

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    They often re-use old letters that they have sent you previously and are still stored on the computer.

    They just edit them, changing some bits but not changing everything that they should.

    The last three I have had from them about payment changes have all said "this is because your entitlment to CB ESA has ended after 365 days".
    That actually happened in January 2012.
    (And the dates on them have been unchanged as well)

    So it looks to me that they have just reused an old letter from when you did change your bank details and not edited it fully to give the current reason, and not changed the dates properly.

    Typical incompetence from DWP staff.

    And of course when you ring them about it all that they can see is what the letter says, so they try to explain what the letter says - they have to act as if what it says is right, even though they can see it's obviously wrong.
    Last edited by nukecad; 17-10-16 at 17:36.
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    But I haven't changed my bank details and they're insistent I have. That's the bit I don't understand. Always why not send the letter the date I supposedly changed which was 5th September and not 11th October

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarzrey View Post
    But I haven't changed my bank details and they're insistent I have. That's the bit I don't understand. Always why not send the letter the date I supposedly changed which was 5th September and not 11th October
    I am not saying that you have changed your bank details- this time.
    But you have in the past-
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarzrey View Post
    ..... generated for a change of bank details, I have changed them before and always received a confirmation that your bank details are changed. ....
    I'm saying that they have reused an old letter from when you did change them before, - and have not bothered to change that letter to show the correct reason, or correct dates, for this time.

    (They reuse old letters like this all the time - and don't change them properly all the time - as I pointed out above)

    When you talk to them on the phone all that person can see is a copy the letter, and so assumes that what it says about the bank account is correct - even though you know it isn't.
    Last edited by nukecad; 18-10-16 at 08:16.
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    I'm sorry I don't want to appear stupid but why have I had the letter. Bank details were change 18 months ago and I received a letter at the time. The DWP said they cannot see a copy of my letter dated 11th October as they do not have access to the system. The only thing that I've done is completed a form which was about my health and how it was. I presumed this form had been processed and the letter was the outcome of this form......
    DWP says no it's cos I changed my bank details.

  6. #6
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    Not sure whether your ESA payments have continued as usual or not? Can you confirm?

    The letter says that you will continue to receive ESA at the same rate after they have reassessed you. The dates on the letter - up to November 2016 - is a 'quirk' on the system - November date is used because the week after you get your Christmas bonus so the amount changes. Don't sorry your ESa payments will continue as usual.

    I don't understand the bank details 'thing' either.

    So, ring them and say that you want to check that they have the correct bank details. Don't mention the letters. Just make sure they have your correct bank details so you can get paid.

    Just like any company mistakes get made.

    So, check they have the correct bank details and check that your ESA continues to be paid. That is what is important.

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    My payments have continued as usual except last weeks was in my account a couple of hours earlier than normal.
    The letter is titled "your claim for employment and support allowance" they have explained they have looked at my claim again following a recent change (I'm presuming the questionnaire). It says that from April 2014 my esa will be £xxxx and my circumstances mean I qualify for Xmas bonus payment. It says how often I'm being paid and then says a payment of £xxxx has already been issued for period 29/09 to 12/10 (the date I had my payment early) it then states what to do if I think the decision is wrong etc and the the last is a breakdown of my payments and said the amounts on the page apply from 14th April 2016 to 30th November 2016.

    The confusion has come cos I queried the November date and that's when they said the letter has been issued to me re change of bank details on 5th September. A Miss Lee called and said that it was definite change of details and I will have to have a face to face assessment for my PIP........

    See how confused I am x

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It does sound like a confusion, I had read your post wrong, sorry.

    (So you have not had a letter saying you bank details had changed. That was just what the woman on the phone said).

    I'm guessing that the computer glitch they had with that payment 'bouncing back' has meant that they had to re-enter your bank details (without changing them), and so it's showing up on the computer as 'new details' even though they are the same details as before.
    And that's all the woman on the phone could see on her screen.

    Obviously the bank details have not been changed as the money is still ending up in the right account

    As pmlindy says the thing about such and such a payment 'until 30th November' is just because the week after that you get an extra £10 for the xmas bonus so the payment amount changes - just for that one week.
    It's poorly written and confuses quite a few people.

    It does not mean that your ESA is ending at that date, it just means that the payment will change (for one week).
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    See why I'm confused I think I've confused everyone lol bank details changed not mentioned in the letter

    They say bank details changed 5th September but payment bounced back 1st week in October so still doesn't make sense. She also said that when you complete ESA form you have to go to a face to face interview the dWP doesn't make a decision on your benefit based on your form. You have to have an interview every time. It is very rare they make a decision on your form. I was a IB claimant since 2002 and then transferred to ESA 3 years ago and never had an interview.

    I'm starting to wonder whether DWP know what they're doing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarzrey View Post
    I'm starting to wonder whether DWP know what they're doing.
    Thats an easy one to answer- Wonder no more.

    95% of the DWP people you speak to on the phone do not know more than the very basics.
    Ask them something that is is a bit more complicated and they get flustered and tell you all sorts of rubbish that they have vaguely overheard somewhere, or remember wrongly from some 'training' that they had.

    Sometimes they will just have a guess; but will say it as if it is written down in stone.

    You do get the odd good one, but most of the phone-jockeys are only good for giving general information, and passing on messages to someone higher up the chain.


    You might think that's being cynical, but it's based on years of personal experience and on experiences related by others.
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