So today I had to visit my local town hall to go to the local councils one stop shop for all things council related including council and housing benefits. I had an arranged house visit a few weeks back but they changed the date and I was due into work that afternoon. I was assured that they would be calling early on but it didn’t turn out that way and I had to leave for work missing my appointment. Complete and utter nightmare! So I ended up having to take all my paperwork into the one stop shop to verify my claim. To make sure I wasn’t claiming stuff I shouldn’t be or earning more than I should be!
Now don’t get me wrong I am not all political about the subject but, as someone who too has to claim certain types of benefit not to be confused with someone who wants to, I have experienced a fair few situations and to be honest most of what I have experienced personally and through close friends and family has been completely biased against those of us who are completely honest and genuinely in need of some help
I absolutely hate claiming this benefit with a passion. You are held hostage to a ridiculous amount of rules, and restrictions. If you dare to earn to work even one hour more than your stated contract, penalised, if you are claiming as a single person you have to be very careful about your relationship as staying over the night accounts towards moving in if it is over a specified number of nights. Trust me if I could get off this nightmare of a benefit I would as soon as is humanly possible, but for me to do this I would have to go to work full time and as I am genuinely a single mum, it would mean me missing out on Olivia growing up so for now I am stuck with it!
So back to my visit today, it was like going into the Jobcentre, a completely horrible experience. Regardless of your situation you are treated like a criminal, if not worse because ALL benefit claimants are grouped under one category, scum! If it is not their intention to make you feel that way then they are doing a crap job at it as I was spoken down to, treated with suspicion and almost contempt and questioned on everything except the colour of my knickers! Seriously all I was doing was handing wages slips in yet I was treated to an interrogation usually only seen at immigration control, have you ever seen those border control programmes? Ridiculous and to make things worse they wanted information they already held and basically called me a liar asking what I had to hide! Nothing you sent me the letters so I presumed you already had it! For the love of god if this is the level of incompetence no wonder so many people are able to claim things they are not entitled to. It was a completely demeaning and humiliating experience and I have to wonder why? Why is like that for people who genuinely need this help? Is everyone feeling the same as me or are those hard faced enough to be reaping in money they shouldn’t be that cocky they don’t care how they are treated as it is surely a necessary step to get what they think they deserve! (Think another post on my feelings on this subject is required: scroungers make my blood boil!)
So now I am glad it is done and fingers crossed I don’t have to do this again in the near future and I can honestly say hand on heart I look forward to the day I say “I want to end my claim” I live in hope anyway.
Have you ever been treated like this for trying to claim benefits? Or are you lucky enough to never have had to claim them?