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UK Government Corruption
Up until recently I had been spending my spare time perfecting a website which I had built over the period of a few years. My intention was to build the website then, once complete, go self employed. I finally finished building the website then planned to register as self-employed the next day but then something happened. On that day I was kicked off the welfare benefits I had been receiving and was also kicked out of my family home at the same time. This was whilst I was suffering with mental health issues and had been referred for counseling. Over one month later the only resources I have had to see me through are crisis loans from the government, all of which I have to pay back and none of them to pay for accommodation.
Despite spending nearly a month living here, there and everywhere I had actually contacted all the government departments that claim to help homeless people and was turned down by all of them. When I managed to get in contact with my local Public Health Consultant she was furious! I had contacted my local bond scheme, my local council, homeless hostels, night shelters and even Crisis and Shelter. They offered me very little advice and absolutely no help whatsoever. Although I had found flats and bedsits that I could have potentially moved in to, there was no way of paying the bond and the first month's rent, a minimum requirement by nearly all landlords in the UK.
Eventually, a family member stepped forward and offered to pay a bond after I had found accommodation through a property agent. However, on the first meeting this property agent got me to walk two miles through the pouring down rain to go and meet him yet didn't even have the decency to be there that day. I got soaked right through to my skin and the identification he required me to take with became damaged from the rain. I got back in touch with him and arranged to meet him at the flat, he had told me that if I showed him some ID I could move in straight away. I went to view the flat, accepted it and went back to the office to sort out the paperwork. Initially he claimed he didn't want a bond. However, when we got to the office he asked for £300. I contacted the family member who was willing to put the money forward and they also came into the office. Upon arrival the property agent then asked for £700. This family member explained that he wasn't happy to pay that amount and it was then arranged that we would only pay £300 and that the property agent was happy with this amount.
Upon paying it the property agent then claimed he needed to see utility bills. We went back to the family member's house, got the utility bills and headed back for the office. Upon arrival the property agent then demanded to see bank statements. Upon, once again, going back to the family member's home and getting the statements then returning to the office the property agent then claimed that he wanted to see at least two recent transactions. By this time we had enough and decided that it just wasn't worth the effort, the agent was clearly just messing about and we later found out that it was because there was no electricity at the accommodation and he was trying to get it sorted a bit quick without telling us.
I remained homeless and incomeless and my business plans could not go ahead because of the situation I found myself in.
Although I originally planned to appeal against the decision to stop my sick benefits, I could not get the medical certificates required in time for Citizens Advice Bureau to put the appeal in and lost out on 30 days income. I could not go ahead with my business because I didn't have an address to work from and no longer had access to broadband so everything was put on hold. I just needed some income to see me through. However, because I ran out of time to appeal there is now no way of retrieving or backdating the income that I lost out on. I decided that I would now rather look for accommodation and work independently to try and get myself into a better situation so instead of appealing (which I can't do now anyway) I made a new claim for something called Jobseeker's Allowance. I explained that I now believed it would be more beneficial for me to find some work.
After a few weeks of waiting to hear about my claim nothing had happened so I contacted my local Jobcentre who then informed me that my new claim couldn't go ahead because my old claim was still active. I had just found some accommodation through a friend of a friend who was willing to let me move in for free and have the rent I am entitled to backdated. However, my landlord is still waiting and I have been told that even my address on the system cannot be updated until my old claim has been closed. In the UK anything to do with the benefits system now has to be done either by phone or online. However, after spending a total of two days simply trying to inform them of my new address I was sent back and forth to various different departments and given about ten different phone numbers to contact yet everybody I spoke to claimed that they could not help.
So, in summary I had become homeless but was refused any help, I was left with no income but made to take out two loans which I cannot afford to pay back in order to survive and my local Jobcentre refused to change my details so my new claim could not go ahead. Eventually, I got frustrated and really didn't want to end up back out on the streets so I wrote a very serious letter of complaint explaining the situation to DWP, my local council and the Jobcentre and also got back in contact with my local Public Health Consultant. I also bombarded all the relevant government organizations with emails of complaint explaining these issues. I then gave up for the day and decided I would try to contact them the next day to try to get things sorted.
Upon contacting them the next day and trying to find some more money to survive seemingly magically my new address had been updated on the system. I have no idea who did this. The council had already contacted me back saying I would have to take the issue up with the Jobcentre. I managed to successfully take out another loan (not that I wanted to because I will now be left short when my money does eventually come through). Upon collecting this payment I experienced even more issues because I only had one form of ID, my driving license. As already explained I didn't have my birth certificate because it had become damaged from the rain after meeting the property agent who messed me about. I was then sent away so that security could do a security check on the system, ask me a few questions and confirm my address. However, because I have only just moved into my new address my driving license is still under my old address and has not yet been changed which brought up even more issues as my benefits claim was at my new address. So, despite the Jobcentre telling me my details couldn't be updated and getting to phone a various amount of phone numbers it turns out that my details were in fact updated. I cannot send my driving license off to have the address changed yet because I need to be able to prove who I am, yet I cannot sufficiently prove who I am because the address on my license is now incorrect.
Although I can notify DVLA (driving agency authority) of my change of address, it can take up to six weeks to have this processed. But in order to get anything in the UK you need to have identification, sometimes two forms of ID. This is a huge problem because I have never had a passport or utility bills in my name and I do not have a bank account. I cannot get any of these things either yet because the address on my driving license is incorrect. It's an extremely difficult situation to be in but even upon explaining it to the relevant authorities rather than actually helping most of them just turned me away. My local Public Health Consultant was disgusted by the way I was treated whilst suffering with mental illness.
My landlord is now being kept waiting because my rent cannot be paid until my previous claim for sick benefits has been closed down and my new claim cannot go ahead until this is done either. So, because of the ridiculous system that the welfare system in the UK uses I have been kicked off sickness benefits whilst mentally ill, I have been prevented from going self-employed and starting work and I have had to live without any rent being paid and made to survive on nil income when they are supposed to be there to help people in such situations. In addition I have now also been forced into debt because I now have two loans to pay back which I had to take out in order to survive because of these issues and that's after I spent a total of seven years paying off my previous debts. Not only that, but I now have a backlog of debt to pay off on my phone contract which is in my ex-partner's name.
So, if you ever go the UK government for help expect to be put in debt, expect to have your mental health exacerbated, expect to be left homeless, expect to have all of your income cut off and expect to be made to contact a load of phone numbers that cost you a fortune and actually make them money because it seems to me that all they were trying to do was get me to constantly ring all of their various phone numbers and keep turning me away so that they could make money from the phone calls.