Tag Archives: council


Regular readers will know our living situation took a turn for the worse recently and if you missed it, you can read about it here.

Following our visit to Shelter, a request for a review was made on our behalf which we also confirmed to the Council in writing ourselves.  We also asked that we could remain in our current accommodation until the review was complete and a final decision made.  In most usual circumstances, you still have to leave the accommodation even if the review hasn't been finalised.  However, we have been granted the right to remain until a final decision has been made which is a relief.

I also contacted the Children's Centre where Harry attends nursery.  I had been reliably informed that just about every service is offered at this particular Centre so when the Family Support worker finally returned my call, I advised her of our current situation and she has made an appointment to see their housing specialist there.  Whilst this isn't until next Monday, this lady works part time for the Children's Centre and the rest of the week in Housing with the Council.  I am hopeful she should be able to point us in the right direction in terms of getting help to rent privately if needed.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At the beginning of last week, I went to my GP and poured out my heart.  I had received telephone advice that I had failed my pre-op assessment.  Actually, I am not sure if I so much failed the tests on the day or whether the anaesthetist refused to give me the all clear on the basis of my notes from genetics in which my geneticist has requested a heart scan (I can't recall the name!).  Whilst I was desperately upset and disappointed I logged onto one of the support forums I am a part of and it seems to be a fairly common requirement for sufferers of Chiari.  After bringing my GP up to speed, both on the op front as well as the housing front, she offered to write a letter of support to the housing team for us.  I am collecting this tomorrow.

We also received a call today.  I say we, really D had to take it since I have laryngitis at the moment.  Typical hey?  Feel the most mobile I have felt in weeks and get silenced.  Safe to say the Harry and D are loving it, Harry in particular when D had to go to the supermarket earlier and was left with me.

Anyway, our Health Visitor called today, requesting an update on our situation to see if we'd progressed at all.  So D brought her up to date.  She also advised that she too has written a support letter to the Council and has received a response confirming it will be taken into account.  She did warn us that the homelessness team have a particularly heavy load at the moment so to not expect any answers any time soon.

For now, that is where we are at.  Whilst in reality not a lot has changed, we have had a load lifted, albeit possibly temporary.

I would just like to thank you all for your support, you really have been wonderful.

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It is all change here again.

The husband has found a job.  I still haven't.  It isn't a full-time job but it is just enough hours to get a little bit in terms of Working Tax Credits (although given how much they overpaid us last year I am not sure how much).

We have only been getting full benefits for a couple of months, we waited until I had been out of a job myself for a month because, you know, no one really wants to have to ask for help to support their family.  At least most people want to support themselves despite what the Daily Mail *spits* would have you believe.  We waited until we were down to pennies in the bank and my aunt gave me a stern talking to, including an apology that she couldn't help, not that we were asking for her to!

So now he has a job.  We are chuffed by this.

So today we spent hours on the telephone calling the various agencies; HMRC, the Job Centre, the Council.

The husband needs some money in order to be able to travel to work, whether by bus or by getting his bicycle repaired so he can cycle, it is too far to walk, especially when you consider at least once, maybe twice a week he will be on a split shift, such is the hospitality industry.

So imagine our surprise when he was told that his final JSA payment could take up to a week to be awarded.  Granted, we got one last week so the next one is not due for a week anyway but we are crap with money so we shop for food and all other necessities on a fortnightly basis.  Basically, if we have money in the bank account, we are likely to spend it.  So our bills, food, nappies (for H obviously, not us) are bought and paid for once the JSA comes in.  Not that all the bills are covered by it but that is another post entirely.  A couple of calls and hours of pleading later and they have agreed to fast track it.  *relief*

Another surprise came when I called the council to inform them of our change in circumstances.  I understand they have to suspend our housing benefit claim until we can show proof of the husband's earnings.  I understand that will slow things down, what with him being paid four-weekly in arrears and the housing benefit being paid fortnightly in arrears.  What I don't understand is this new revelation.  Apparently, if we had been claiming for over six months they would continue paying our housing benefit for a further six weeks?!  I don't really understand that, it kind of feels like we are being punished for the husband getting a job?

Our only hope for the next 4 weeks until he gets paid is that somehow the tax credits, along with the housing benefit arrears we are owed will be enough to cover the rent and all the other things we need to live on but somehow I doubt it!

We hated being on benefits, it really is not a pleasant feeling for us, nor for the vast majority but you know, actually, I am beginning to understand what is referred to as the "Benefit Trap" and that is without having to come up with the ridiculous childcare fees in advance (which we will have to try to find if I ever manage to find a job myself).

*Disclaimer* I would like to assure you dear reader I am eternally grateful for the welfare system we have and wouldn't be so naive to think that there can ever be a perfect system but my goodness it is slightly screwed at the moment!