01-24-2013, 04:59 PM
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More venting because this is making my brain hurt. After waiting the weekend out to call the Jobcentre about the letter I received I was finally able to call on Monday morning as soon as the lines opened. I spoke to a very nice man who told me there was no record of my sick notes being received but he would send a message to the benefits centre dealing with my claim to look into it and to call me about the issue. He also told me that this was the third call he'd personally dealt with that morning about sick notes going missing. I waited in all day because I was told they would call me between 9:30am and 4:30pm and there was no call. So I called them again yesterday because I hadn't been able to ring on Tuesday and was very surprised to hear that the benefits centre claimed they had called me. Once I told the Jobcentre person that I was in all day and never received a call he sent them a message to call me. Then eventually they called me and confirmed that my sick notes had some how gone missing despite the fact they had received the rest of the pack and I had placed them behind the cover letter so they couldn't just slip out. So the next step was for them to call my doctor to confirm the sick notes had been issued and I offered to call the doctor myself so there would be no issue with the doctor refusing to talk to them about it on data protection grounds which I did. Twenty minutes later the benefits people called me back and said they were unable to get in touch, tried to fob me off with the "oh they're probably at lunch" excuse and said they try again the next day. I pointed out that the doctor was expecting the call so there would be at least one of the receptionists around and that there would be someone there because at that time you can ring in test results so there is someone on the desk at that time. Turns out they had mucked up the contact details so I corrected them despite me giving them the correct details in the first place.
After I got off the phone with him the first time the post has arrived and I was surprised to find a letter telling me that I was going to receive the benefit after all. It reads identically to my mum's DLA confirmation letter, same sort of wording. So when he called me back about the doctors I told him about it, only to be told it was merely an entitlement letter about what I would get once the claim was processed. I pointed out that it reads as though it has been processed and no where does it say entitlement letter only. To a reasonable person it reads as though the claim has been dealt with.
The tone of voice the benefits worker used to speak to me was so patronising and he sounded like he really couldn't be bothered to deal with it. I understand it's not the most interesting job in the world but surely they must have some customer service training which tells them make the customer feel as though you want to help them! I just felt like was wasting my time with this man. The other thing is I didn't once receive an apology for losing my sick notes, even if they don't think they did lose them surely the one of the first things you would say is "oh I'm sorry to hear about this, let me look into and we'll get it sorted." I would have felt so much better if something like that had been said if they didn't really mean, it would have made me feel if they were taking it seriously. The entire process of this took several hours and I got so tense and upset it actually caused my hip to flare up really badly to the point I'm back on the same painkillers I was taking a few weeks ago when it was really painful whereas Tuesday night I'd actually managed to go to bed without taking a painkiller for the first time.
Then today I got another letter telling me I need to send them an updated sick note by the 25th of Dec 2012. The letter is dated 18th of Jan. Now, as I said before when they sent the last letter like this, how on earth am I expected to be able to manage that?! So I plan on ringing them tomorrow to find out if they were able to contact my doctor and to get a complaints form or find out how to complain because I feel as though my case has been handled quite badly especially with regard to the letters. I don't normally complain officially about things, I'll have a moan about it yes but I never really go down the official route but this has stressed me out so much that I'm going to because it is ridiculous how they've handled this.
Rant over...Until I speak to them tomorrow.