Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Well I honestly didn't expect to be posting here again before Thursday after my CAB appointment.....I mean today all I had planned was a dental appointment and tomorrow I'm going over to Colchester to see Leanne (poor girl has a possible slipped disc). I really thought all would be calm for a while. The dental appointment changed all that though.
For those of you who are not from the UK let me explain about our NHS system. If you're lucky you can find a NHS dentist...you still have to pay for consultations and treatment but if you are on benefits these charges are waived (unless you want something not covered by the NHS). I am an NHS patient and my dentist (who lost a brother himself to brain cancer) has fully understood my cancelling appointments over the last 2 years despite the fact I did need a lot of work done....his last words to me back in July 2005 were "don't worry, we'll keep you on our lists..you have more important things to do caring for your husband; you don't want to waste precious time sitting in a dentists chair). So today I went along for the much postponed appointment............just one problem.......as I currently have NO income and am in receipt of NO benefits.....I don't qualify for FREE treatment! What a crazy, crazy system. Even the (£48p.w.) Carer's Allowance that I received up until Monday is not classed as a qualifying benefit. Thankfully he took pity on me and has waived his consultation fee and is putting any treatment on hold until I find out if I can get some sort of exemption certificate or qualifying benefit.
Of course this means that the next time I need my monthly prescription for my blood pressure tablets filled I will have to pay for them too. So I hot footed it down to the Job Centre to check and see if this was correct. The young lady in there was very nice and spent ages going through all the benefits trying to find something that would help me...unfortunately until I get some sort of reply re: Bereavement Allowance nothing can be done. Even she herself found it ridiculous that I have no income at all yet have to pay a portion of rent, council tax and prescription charges......she said that a lot of people come to Britain because we have such a good welfare system but that sadly as I have no children living at home I fall through the net. She has given me a form to fill in that MAY entitle me to an Exemption Certificate though it will take about 4 weeks to be processed. She also told me that if I don't receive Bereavement Allowance that I will be able to receive Job seekers allowance until I get a job....though the look on her face said it all when I told her my age. The other problem is that Job Seeker's Allowance or Income Support cannot be backdated and I cannot claim it until I know if I'm getting Bereavement Allowance.....so if they say no......well ...........(please enter seriously bad expletives here)

She did say I'd be better off in prison.......ermmmm....now where did I put that striped T-shirt and swag bag

11 visitors have commented:

Sheila said...

Words escape me, probably not a bad thing since they might be unprintable.
Maybe it's time to contact your Member of Parliament?

RUTH said...

Thanks Sheila, I'll see what advice I get on Thursday from the CAB; mind you I doubt if an MP would help, it's just the way the system is...but anything's worth a try.

CG said...

Ruth, it gets worse and worse...I'm horrified :( XXXX

Akelamalu said...

Ruth if your MP is anything like ours they will definitely be able to help. Please consider contacting him/her regardless of what the CAB say, and letting them know just how you are being treated. It never hurts to have more people on your side. I'm apalled I truly am that you are being treated like this, I just wish there was something I could do to help.

Allotment Lady said...

What a silly system - I do hope they sort it out once and for all soon

Audrey said...

This is beyond appalling Ruth, I can only say I said the same thing re: contacting my MP,they would be able to help, wouldnt be interested, believe me they are, this is their job,in some ways they need to know just how badly the system can let people down, so changes can be made. In my case I felt truly supported,understood and always letters to keep me updated with how he was handling it..Apparently they have powers to access information others cant..Nothing to lose Ruth.go kick ass...via your MP whilst you take a well earned rest from this ludicrous system...x

Audrey said...

I would also add for your reassurance Ruth,my particalar situation was nowhere near as harrowin and complex as yours has become,and I had no dependant children and was working.

Instead of talking to countless people who 'forgot' to call me back when they said they would, it was put in the directly in the hands of the department manager and I only had to ring her. Forca..
p.s Its part of what our MP's get paid for

Pat said...

Ruth, appalling isn't the word for sure. It's worse. I just can't believe this. (What's the "CAB"?)

Definitely, you should contact your MP without any further adu.

I'm thinking of you. Hope you see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Pat said...

Thanks Ruth so much for explaining that to me.

I've been out on the road all day to another town and was thinking of you and what I'd do if that were to happen to me over here.

I'm so thankful that when Jack died, I was eligible for his work pension (not much but saw me from the beginning of the month to then end for essentials) but I had to remortgage the house as I couldn't pay the mortgage at all with his pension. The bank was so helpful to me and have been since then (six years now).

Praying for you my friend.

Blue the Spa Girl said...

They don't make it easy, when you have just gone through the most difficult thing in life. I hope it is resolved soon! xo

Annie said...

Ruth, I read this post yesterday and have been worrying about it and you ever since. I can only imagine the desperation you must be feeling and I hope you have some success if you contact the MP. If you can keep your spirits up through all this you might be thinking about taking in a boarder or selling some things on e-bay or working as an aide to someone in need of attention and help. You'd be successful, I know, at anything you'd do involving helping others - you have that spirit of love and care all about you.