Lord Freud Set Me Up

I seem to have fallen foul of publicly recorded ConDem lies.

In the Welfare Reform Bill debate the Conservative Lord Freud advised individuals in under-occupied Social Housing properties to take in a lodger to protect themselves against bedroom tax or forced downsizing.

I am an individual with a serious disability, I am also a parent carer to two children with serious disabilities.  I am a divorced individual, my partner could not deal with the high levels of needs of my children and I. Around 4 years ago my marriage began to break down and domestic abuse commenced.  I behaved responsibly throughout, I gave evidence in Court and my former partner was convicted of assault and an indefinite restraining order was put in place.

I should make it clear that I have no family to help or support me – I have been drifting along managing the needs of my children and I with the help of friends.

Late last year my medical condition began to change for the worst, I began to exhibit serious Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.  I was suffering vision loss, hearing loss, crippling muscle spasms, tremors, significant muscle wasting down my left side and fatigue.  I became even more reliant on my friends to help me meet the needs of my children and I.

As a result of the fear I felt when alone in my home, fear of falling and hurting myself; fear that I would not be able to care for my children, fear that I would lose my disability extended adapted under-occupied home, I invited a friend who had been helping me meet my needs for over 3 years to move in as a lodger.  This held two advantages for me, I would no longer be under-occupied and I would have someone to keep an eye on my children and I at night.  If I employed a private care company to provide a night sitting service it would cost me in excess of £420 a week.

I took advice from CAB in relation to making a lodger application.  I followed the advice given by Lord Freud.  I made an application to my Social Landlord to take in a lodger, the Landlord was unsure how to deal with the application and had to take advice.  My Local Authority Councillor pressed my landlord for a timely decision.  After a couple months of the Landlord considering the request, it was granted with the advice to contact the Housing and Council Tax Section at the Local Authority and the DWP’s Income Support section – which I did immediately by telephone in May prior to the lodger taking up residence at my property.  I was advised by both the Local Authority and the DWP to put the change in my circumstance in writing, which again I immediately did.  A few weeks later he Local Authority requested a copy of the rent book I had supplied to the lodger, I produced it within 24 hours of receiving the request.  The CAB had advised me that I didn’t have to have a rent book, but its good practice to do so – so I followed their good practice advice.

A few days later I received a form from the DWP’s Income Support section, which I had to submit outlining the rent payable – I filled in and returned this form.  A few weeks later I received a letter asking me to attend a change of circumstance interview – as a recipient of higher rate DLA the advisors had always conducted interviews over the telephone or they attended my home.  On this occasion they demanded I attend their office.  I arranged for a carer to attend with me as I also had my wheelchair bound child with me.  I was questioned on how the lodger kept his food –  I answered in his own fridge and freezer and separately allocated kitchen cupboards.  I was asked about laundry, I advised the lodger took care of their own.  I was asked to produce my bank statements which were scrutinised, they were looking for joint finances or financial commitments – there were none.  I was asked who had parental responsibility for my children, I replied I do.  I was asked do I share a social life with my lodger, I replied no although we do sit and watch tv in the lounge on occasion.  The DWP officer who interviewed me advised me that all was ok.

A week later the DWP cancelled my Income Support payments, my housing and council tax benefit payments were stopped and my tax credits required that I terminate my claim, because – “You have told us you have a partner.”  I was advised to make a joint tax credit claim, my lodger would not provide details of his income so I could make a joint claim – because he wasn’t my partner.  I phoned the DWP and told them I have not advised you I have a partner, they said they had adjudicated I have a partner.  I asked them why they came to this decision, they could not tell me why.  They then told me to submit an appeal, how on earth can you submit an appeal when you don’t know what your appealing against?

I wrote them a letter requesting that the original decision maker again look at the evidence that I had taken in a lodger and not a partner.  The letter was hand delivered by a carer at 11am in the morning on a Thursday.  At 12 midday I received a phone call from a compliance officer advising she had received the letter and she was personally taking the letter upstairs to the decision maker.  I asked that the decision was looked at again immediately as my two severely disabled children and I were insolvent and I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent or feed my children now that benefit had been withdrawn.  I was told the decision would take a few days.  I contacted Income Support the following Monday, they advised me that they had only received my request that day – I told them that isn’t true, they disputed they had received it on the Thursday previously.  I was told the consideration would take 4 days, phone back on Thursday.

I contacted Income Support on Thursday as advised, they stated someone would phone me back.  An hour later an appeals officer phoned me and told me that my ‘appeal’ was being formally considered by an appeals office.  I asked why it had been transferred to an appeals office at this stage as I was advised the original decision maker should look at the decision before I submitted a formal appeal.  The appeals officer advised that my letter contained the word appeal, so it was an appeal.  I was then further advised that my appeal could take up to 10 weeks to be adjudicated upon.  I told the appeals officer I could not wait 10 weeks, I hadn’t eaten for a week already – I am significantly unweight due to my illnesses already, I am effectively starving.  The officer stated they would request my paperwork from the DWP office that dealt with the decision and to phone in a week or so to see if a decision had been progressed.

So this is the stage I’m at.  I gave the lodger immediate notice to leave my property as soon as the original decision was made.  The lodger has now located an alternative address and is due to move out next week as soon as the rented property has a new kitchen fitted.  The relationship between my lodger and I is now strained because I told them that I would be allowed to take in a lodger.  The lodger also undertook carer jobs for me such as shopping and transporting me when I was unable to drive, I am now without this support.

Several months ago I wrote to Lord Freud asking what protection I have against being accused of cohabiting if I took in a lodger.  The Lord never bothered to furnish me with an answer.  It is my belief that Lord Freud wilfully misled this Country during the Welfare Reform Bill debates and his suggestion to take in a lodger was yet another way to remove individuals welfare benefits by stealth.

If my benefits are re-instated once the DWP look at the situation again, I will be terminating my claim for Income Support – I will manage on my Tax Credit entitlement.  You may ask why do I not intend to claim what I’m entitled to?  I have been misled, lied to, treated as scum and forced to the point I am considering suicide by Income Support.  I have already written my suicide note, I have it ready to send to my local coroner and the Guardian Newspaper outlining the DWP and Lord Freud’s abuse toward my children and I.  I pray that I am strong enough to to get through this situation without resorting to ending my life.

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22 Responses to Lord Freud Set Me Up

  1. Dominique says:

    I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to you. It is dusgusting the way you have been treated. Please don’t commit suicide, although I understand completely why you are feeling that bad. Please make an appointment to see your local MP. Take this blog printed as a letter so they can read it, and any supporting documentation.
    I hope they will look into this for you and resolve your situation positivly.
    I did exactly this in simiolar circumstances, ane was suddenlt reimbursed all money owed by the state. Funny how they jump when an MP is on their tail.
    Good luck, and I wish you and your children all the very best.
    Don’t give up!

  2. Please, however down or depressed you get don’t go down that route, your childrens lives would be destroyed. believe me I perfectly understand how you feel.

    Sometimes you feel there is nowhere left to go, no one cares, your friends are nowhere to be seen, you have no support, life is precious, your childrens lives are precious, your life is precious, don’t let these bastards drive you to do something so desperate.

    You and your family are worth a billion of the likes of Lord Bloody Fraud, don’t give the smug bastards the satisfaction.

    Have you contacted your MP, your local councellor, your local Newspaper, national media, contact anyone and everyone you can to expose these bastards.

  3. Liane says:

    Please don’t commit suicide. Come to facebook and find the group Spartacus Report. There are people there who can support you and give you advice. I have ms too, by the way.

  4. BlueAnnoyed says:

    i feel so sorry you, I have gone through this i went through same nearly 6yrs ago,have faith it can get better. I was placed in hostel after serious surgery then rehoused and benefits reinstated, since then they have hounded me but each time they find nothing cos there wasnt anything in first place. the bedroom tax will cause similar issues when introduced. these ppl will devise any excuse, trap to get ppl off benefits rather than accept many of us are geniunely very sick and need help just so they can fill their own pockets with greed. this counrty needs a serious wake up call to see what it is like to be judged daily when its through no fault of your own. one day they will be sick and regret what they introduced .

  5. BlueAnnoyed says:

    i have been there in your shoes, i know it hard but it can get better too. my thoughts are with you:)

  6. Julia says:

    Please don’t quietly commit suicide, that would be very convenient for the government. Shout it out, use your anger and let those in the population that still believe life is cushy on benefits (of any kind) know the truth.

    You are not alone.

    You matter.

  7. I feel for what has happened to you and how you have been treated by the ones who are supposed to be helping you. They are so incompetent it is unbelievable. The way this government is treating sick and disabled people is absolutely disgusting. My husband has been put in the WRA group when he should be in the support group and I am dreading when they come for me as we both have disabilities and chronic health problems. I know you feel alone right now and that nobody cares but there are many people out there that are caring enough about the situation many people like yourself are in to fight the government into making the welfare system fair for people like yourself who are genuinely struggling. I have been suicidal myself in the past so I know it is hard but hang on in there coz it will get better. It is this government that are a bunch of arrogant twats, you are a genuine person in genuine need and it is high time they seen that. Get all the help you can from your MP, CAB, etc. Good luck. Don’t let them grind you down.

  8. they dont live in our world and make the rules that are utter nonsense and leave us to pick the pieces up after they treat us with indifference,but to take ones life for the the like of those please please please think ive come this far and i got to children to look after are they going to do after you gone no it will stay with them,so please come and join us on .wwwdwpexamination.org and you will meet people who fight this unjust system and help each other so please please please come over and leave some sunshine in jeff3 http://www.dwpexamination.org

  9. Oh my days. I really cannot believe that the system which is meant to help people with disabilities has done this to you. I really do hope that you have the strength and courage to carry on fighting this case, cause you don’t deserve any of this. Please stay strong. Major hugs x

  10. Reblogged this on Tracey Pallett and commented:
    I cannot believe that this is happening. Unfortunately I do not see this as being the end of the hurt and pain – just merely the beginning :0(

  11. Helen Marshall says:

    This is one of the most heinous acts of misjustice I have ever read. No to suicide. What let them win. No way. Do as the first person tells you take it to you MP. For the sake of justice and for your children, don’t leave then without a mother. Take this to national press, anyone who will listen. Write an article for your local newspaper. Demand that this be taken to the higest level. This is why this scum bag government has failed you. I am very happy to copy and paste this letter/blog to my MP and say why is your government allowing this to happen. I have placed this on my evernote account. I will do this if you want. Let us know how you get up and keep us updated.

  12. woolhatwoman says:

    Please don’t despair. Take up some of the good suggestions, particularly to join in the Facebook group and to get your own MP on the case. If you don’t know how to contact them look in http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ where all the MPs are listed. You can put your postcode in to get your local MP. There is an email form to use, too, which goes straight to the MP. I have used this and I know it works. Best of luck, and best wishes. xx

  13. woolhatwoman says:

    Please don’t despair. Take up some of the good suggestions above, particularly, join the Facebook group and get your local MP on the case. If you haven’t contacted the local MP before you can use http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ to find out who it is by putting in your postcode. There’s a list of all the MPs. There is also an email form you can fill in to contact your MP. It goes straight into their inbox; I’ve used the site and I know it works. Best of luck, and best wishes to you and family. Please don’t give up. xx

  14. Every word in this piece of work is very clear and your passion for this topic shines. Please continue your work in this area and I hope to see more from you in the future.

  15. Shel says:

    Contact your local carer support service – I have found them extremely helpful, they can provide support for you to access all the services that you are entitled to both as a carer and as a disabled person in your own right. They can also contact the DWP on your behalf and gives more weight to your demands – they always act a bit more professional when it is another professional demanding action. And they often have close contacts with the local authority dpeartments such as housing benefit, council tax. Good luck to you and your precious kiddies.

  16. john skarp says:

    that’s a horrible situation you have been put in. I hope you can work it out somehow.

  17. Bosshammer says:

    Never believe a word that politicians tell you! EVER!

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  19. Pingback: “It’s going to cost a fortune” says DPAC spokesperson | The Bedroom Tax Investigated

  20. Pingback: “It’s going to cost a fortune” says DPAC spokesperson | Kiran Khan

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