DWP told Motability my claim is suspended
I naively thought the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) couldn’t make any more “errors” in my case. Well no they have gone and told Motability that I no longer have a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim. This is despite me being awarded enhanced PIP just two weeks ago and having previously been on DLA.
So on Friday – 7th August, I received what can only be described as the most contradictory letter from Motability you could think of.
They start the letter; “Dear Mr Tiffin Your next car.” They go on to explain that I’m due to hand in my current car in November and that I should start thinking about my next car.
Then comes the contradictory part. Straight after telling me I should start to look at my options for November they put in big bold letters; “Suspended Allowance.”
They go onto say;
“The Department for Work and Pensions or Veterans UK (if you are a War pensioner) have notified us that your allowance has been suspended. Please contact your payment office regarding this matter.”
Now as I previously wrote I was recently awarded the enhanced mobility component of PIP which means I am still entitled to a motability car. You’d be forgiven for thinking maybe it’s the crossover that has caused some confusion. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Panicking as I usually do, I got straight on the phone to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helpline to finds out what on earth was going on. After 25 minutes of waiting I finally got through.
After the usual security questions I explained to the agent the contents of the letter that Motability Operations had sent me. Their first response was it must be in error on Motability’s end and to just ignore the letter as “everything looks ok on their end.” I wasn’t happy with this and wanted assurances.
As the saying goes; Once bitten, twice shy. No way was I taking their word for it and it’s a good thing I didn’t.
I’m then put on hold again to hear the irritating loop of Vivaldi’s – Spring (The Four Seasons) they have. Yes I’ve linked it, because I dare anyone to listen to it on loop for 45 minutes without being driven crazy. It’s not even the whole thing must a two minute loop.
After coming back to me twice to say that they’re looking into it the agent finally returns with an answer. They explain to me that “due to an error on our system Motability were informed that your claim has ended.”
I’m further told that the DWP will set up a new claim but that it could take up to six weeks for Motability to be informed. Part of the problem there is; it is preferable to order your next vehicle three-months before you current lease ends so the car can be ordered and most importantly adapted.
Motability won’t send me the letter I need to take to the dealer to order a new car until they get confirmation I have a valid PIP award. That letter takes up to 14 days to get to me, so I’m looking at a two-month timeline.
That means I will be ordering a car one-month before I’m meant to give my old one back.
DWP won’t say why it happened
Not happy with the “error” excuse I pushed the agent further on why my claim was ended. I also asked if my claim was showing ended that he told me “everything looked ok” at the start of the call.
The agent got sarky with me and said these things happen. I asked if this scenario happened before to which he didn’t reply. If it had surely they’d just say so but I could be wrong.
It just seems that everything that can go wrong with my claim for either PIP or Universal Credit, does go wrong. The excuse that it was an error each time is highly coincidental or just highlights how broken their system is. To be honest both are equally possible.
Motability come through with common sense
After ending the call with the DWP I was straight onto the phone to Motability. No holding with them I was straight through to an agent.
I explained the situation and what the DWP had advised me. Without a second thought they said that this happens a lot and if I can email them my new PIP award letter they will be happy to use that as proff until the DWP get in touch.
I’m given an email address and told that as long as it’s either scanned or a clear photo of all pages there will be no issues. That was the end of that call. No messing around, no lies just common sense.
I emailed off the letter and got a response within an hour saying it had been received and that should they require any further information they’d be in touch.
Broken by design
This latest event in my navigation through the Tories new welfare system highlights a catalogue of errors. In my opinion this was not an error on a system but an error designed by the system.
Like Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment has caused a lot of issues for both new claimants and those who were on legacy benefits such as JSA or DLA.
Considering they already had the legacy benefits to learn from it shouldn’t be causing this many issues.
Ex DWP whistleblower Bayard Tarpley who is writing a series on what it’s like inside the Universal Credit service centre highlighted some of the failings of the new systems the DWP use.
In one instance he explains that when a claimant doesn’t have a bank account the DWP’s official policy is to enter fake details to override the system it rather than add an option of “no bank account.”
I can only conclude that the system is designed to be broken so as to save as much money as possible at the expense of claimants welfare.
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