Author Topic: Should I be worried  (Read 587 times)

JLR2

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Should I be worried
« on: June 18, 2018, 08:56:05 PM »
The other day I had a brown envelope from the DWP and was somewhat thrown by it as I had contacted them only the day before to ask for the particular form contained in it.

I learnt a while back that if a claimant knows they are going to be out of the UK they are compelled to obtain this form and return it before they go abroad and so made the phone call, the form is not available in local job centres hence the phone call, trouble is for me at least the day following my phoning to request the form one arrived on my doormat.

You might say very efficient, well done the DWP but first there was for me the issue of how come a second class postmarked letter arrived within 24 hours of my asking for it?  The real intrigue starts though with my next letter from the DWP. The second letter contained the very same form which I had asked for previously and was posted using the same 2nd class pre-printed stamp on the envelope. The second letter arrived just as I would have expected the first one to have arrived, that is to say within a week or so of my asking for it, certainly not as happened with the first, arriving the next day.

So my quandary is were the DWP expecting my requesting of the form for temporary absence abroad and posted one to me 'without my requesting one' ?  Does this suggest there is more going on with regards to my benefits and of which I should be wary of?  If the DWP were expecting, perhaps through recent close monitoring, examination or investigation of my benefits claims history that I would be making a request for this particular form that they also have an idea of my timetable so far as arrival time/day at the airport involved?

It's a strange one but one wonders doesn't one?  Should I be concerned?

auntieCtheM

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 10:47:23 PM »
Nah!

Put it down to the vagaries of the post.

JLR2

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 10:51:44 PM »
Here's hoping :-)

Fiz

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 06:47:55 AM »
Do you have to tell the DWP that you're going to be abroad for a week? I hadn't realised that. A charity is taking me to France on the 2nd. I'm absolutely petrified about every aspect of the trip but now I'm worried about this. I will never get a form in time to return before the 2nd will I?

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 09:33:00 AM »
https://www.gov.uk/claim-benefits-abroad

Quote
Benefit fraud

Youíre committing benefit fraud if you:

    donít tell the office that pays your benefit youíre going abroad, even if itís just for a visit

But don't panic!  Do like JLR2 did.

Having said that, my gut feeling is that if at the same time as you phoned to request a form, you wrote to them telling them you were going and sent the letter 'signed for', they'd be hard-pressed to argue that you'd behaved fraudulently if they didn't send the form in time for you to submit it before going.

That being so, since I'm in a nitpicky mood, I also notice that the government website doesn't say "tell before you go" it says "tell if you're going".  That might be useful if they kicked off.

Incidentally, if you're on more than one sort of benefit, don't forget that.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2018, 10:05:08 AM »
That quote is taken from an information section on moving abroad though. Not just Joe Blogs who is having his first holiday in years. I've googled this and found on government pages specifically about going on holiday abroad that it is advisory but not compulsory to inform the DWP that you are going to be abroad for less than 28 days.

The moderator on benefits and work adds that if you are in the working half of ESA that he advises that you do inform them in case you are called in for an interview. But he was addressing someone who was going away for almost 4 weeks. I'm in the support group and will be away for one week. Once on my tablet I will try to find the ESA and going on holiday pages on the government website to add here.


JLR2

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 10:10:30 AM »
Fiz, I phoned the DWP on their Freephone number 0800 169 0310 which I found on the government's web pages, thankfully it was Freephone as I waited 56 mins to get through to speak to someone. Pity it's too late today to phone after 8am when the lines open as they tend to be quicker then.

If you call them today I would expect them to ask you when you are going away and returning. I'm sure they will do everything they can to get the form, a BF5, to you before you leave and they will have it noted that you have called to inform them of your intention of being away.

Under present rules a claimant can be out of the country for up to 28 days including departure and return dates and so long as there are at least 3 months between any period of being abroad.

Fiz, re your posting there I have always felt it better to let the DWP know about my being abroad in case they were in the process of organising a reassessment, then again I tend to go away for as near the 28 day mark as I can. Still safer I feel to let them know than hope there is not a letter calling me for any DWP related matter waiting for me returning home.

If I were to go abroad for a week on say the 2nd of January and then again on the 4th of February for 2 weeks the three weeks spend abroad would be added together giving a total of 21 days abroad. If I were to exceed the 28 day limit even by a day I would be compelled by the DWP to start my benefit claim as a completely new claim. That is something I've even had confirmed by Job Centre staff when I used their office in person to confirm to the DWP that I was back in the country.

So far as notifying other areas of benefit claims such as the DLA side of things I have never done this as I feel having informed the DWP and completed and returned their form BF5 it would be up to them to let anyone else know about my going abroad.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 10:31:00 AM »
I just did a .gov.uk search and thought I'd found the right think because it said "even if itís just for a visit".  It looks like I should have searched further. 

I haven't been abroad for years.  Part of me would rather like to go somewhere but I don't think I've got the emotional energy.  Ah, yes, I know - Scotland.  Strange country with strange customs.  It's a pity, though, that they're ahead of England on their upskirting laws.  Or should I say upkilting laws?   >devil<
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 11:43:00 AM »
''Or should I say upkilting laws''

Being a lowlander by tradition I am not really able to wear a kilt trews being the mode of dress in the lowlands. So far as kilts go I'd be so conscious of the feeling that everyone looks and wonders if I am or am not wearing it according to legend....  The only time I could imagine someone wanting to upkilt a kilt wearer would be such as when a hen night is in full swing and a poor unfortunate kilt wearer crosses its path. Mind you some kilt wearers might be only too happy to have their accessories caught on camera as it were >lol<

Fiz

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 12:26:23 PM »
My tablet is still charging so I've tried to find the government webpage specifically about ESA that said you only need tell them if you're away for more than 4 weeks but can't find it on my phone so I phoned them on the same number you quoted. Interestingly after dialling my mobile phone identified the number as SPAM ! with the exclamation mark in red which I thought quite amusing. It took me seemingly forever to get anywhere because I pressed 1 for ESA then you had to speak the words you're phoning about and it failed to recognise anything to do with declaring a holiday or going on holiday. I tried so many phrases it seemed the voice recognition was never going to give up! I was finally put through to someone who immediately told me I only need notify them if I will be away for more than 28 days! I guess that's why the voice recognition thingy didn't recognise holiday. Although if I was going to be away for more than 28 days I would need to be telling them. I suspect not many people on ESA go away for more than 28 days. Anyway I phoned and they told me they didn't need to inform them and I've got my call to them and the duration of the call in my phone records should it ever be queried. I'll have another go at finding the ESA webpage later. It's useful info if I can find it.

Fiz

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 12:35:15 PM »
I just did a .gov.uk search and thought I'd found the right think because it said "even if itís just for a visit".  It looks like I should have searched further. 

I haven't been abroad for years.  Part of me would rather like to go somewhere but I don't think I've got the emotional energy.  Ah, yes, I know - Scotland.  Strange country with strange customs.  It's a pity, though, that they're ahead of England on their upskirting laws.  Or should I say upkilting laws?   >devil<


I haven't been abroad for years either. A charity group that is going offered me a free place and I said yes and I've regretted it ever since. I'm terrified of flying, I'll take diazepam, I'm scared of the travel, being close to men in an enclosed space, my pain levels and whether I can manage them and lastly but by no means least, the food issue. My eating disordered brain can't cope with it so I'm planning to take packets of food I will eat and the plan is I won't eat the same as the others, I will sort myself out. Right now, I  can't wait to get home and I haven't gone yet.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2018, 01:46:05 PM »
Do the men in the group know you're ill at ease with men?  I've been in situations where it can help to say.  Having said that, the most beautiful situation I can recall was on a big NATO exercise where a group of male soldiers stopped me, whilst very carefully not surrounding me and whilst making it explicitly clear they would come no closer than I permitted.  They were concerned, they said about the behaviour of someone senior towards their female colleagues but none of the women would say what was going on, would I?  I wasn't in their unit, just liaising with them, and confirmed their suspicions.   He had tried it on (and I'd given him a free martial arts lesson).  That was all they needed.  Word spread amongst the men and then the junior officers and after that the man in question couldn't get near any woman, including me, without another man, be it officer or NCO or soldier, popping up seemingly out of nowhere "Excuse me, sir!"  Incidentally, it would have been the same if it had been the other way round, female senior rank abusing her position with male soldiers, we women would have rallied round and protected our men.

Of course, a woman should never need a man to protect her, but sometimes just knowing that the men around you are there for you has helped me in the past.

So if it's something you feel ok doing, consider letting the men know you're wary so they can take care not to do things that will worry you and also maybe 'protect' you by little things like making sure other men give you space.  It can be such a simple thing for a man to step across somewhere forming a harmless barrier with no implication except that you're travelling together.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2018, 07:41:17 PM »
It's literally every single man I'm afraid of and I steer well clear of them all. To be in enclosed spaces with a man sends me in a panic. I'd never be able to see a male GP despite my head knowledge knowing that I'm not at risk. I was abused as a child by 3 separate males and then was in an abusive marriage for 19 years. I wouldn't chose to speak to a man in any group setting. I get round it by always requesting female doctors, female DWP assessors, female anything at all. When I'm in hospital I'm terrified of the male nurses. It doesn't make sense to me, my extreme reactions so I'm sure others must find it bewildering. The campsite we're going to in France that has offered us the accommodation free is a Christian campsite and there might be other groups but it'll mainly be families there. The transport from airport to campsite is owned by the Christian venue so the majority of people travelling will be Christians. Of course there are abusive men who profess to be Christians, my ex being one of them, but it's highly unlikely that there's any risk to me at all. I make sure I'm never alone with a man but I'm always on high alert. If any of the males in the group I'm going with came close I'd panic so I'd never view males as a protection, they're a threat to me. I have classic PTSD reactions and I hope I don't have a major PTSD trigger while away. If a man got drunk somewhere on the plane that would do it. It's difficult to explain but it isn't going to make the trip easy. I wish the accommodation I'm sleeping in will be all women, I have no idea if that's the case. I just know that the whole group are eating dinner together each evening in the accommodation I'm in. Thinking about it, if I were organising a group trip I would try to separate the sleeping arrangements between women and men for general security purposes and it's a charity taking us so I guess they have safeguarding responsibilities. I hope.

I doubt I'll be able to relax there. I'm not joining the group on day trips because I can't walk anywhere so many of the group will go off away from the campsite on some days and thankfully it's only a week. I aim to stay near the pool if it's not raining which is the most public area so if anything happened there'd be dozens of people around so almost certainly I'd be safe there surrounded by people.

Jlr2 are you going for longer than 4 weeks? I'm wondering why they said I was fine going without notifying them as it's less than 4 weeks but they've sent you a form?

I think I need to have to have information on me saying that my medication is prescribed? My medication will be in my case and each box has a prescription label on it, is that enough? The only tablets I will have in hand luggage will be a small metal pill box with medication I need during the journey. I've emailed the airline we're flying with requesting what assistance I need mobility wise which I hope they can accommodate. Both airports are Diddy local ones.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2018, 03:11:26 AM »
You'll be warning the cabin crew about the panic attacks, I assume?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Should I be worried
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2018, 05:02:13 AM »
I know someone who did that once and after the cabin crew discussed it they took her and her luggage off the plane saying that she might cause a dangerous situation during the flight.
People don't understand mental health problems and telling the crew would change precisely nothing. I'm terrified of flying and take 20mg diazepam 30 minutes before take off and I've never been a danger to anyone else yet.