Day in the life · Uncategorized

A Phone Call With The DWP

DWP: How can I help?

Me: Hi, I’m calling to change my bank details.

DWP: OK, I need to ask some security questions.

*We go through the security questions*

DWP: OK, that’s done. How can I help?

Me: I’m calling to change my bank details.

DWP: The payment due on the 1st will be going into your old account.

Me: How much is going in?

DWP: *Gives amount* That’s for the address *Gives old address*

Me: I called a month ago to change my address.

DWP: We still have the old one on file. We’d need to change your address.

Me: Have the housing team looked at my new tenancy yet to reassess my claim?

DWP: I can see the tenancy was received on 7th October, but they haven’t looked at it yet. I’ll send them an email.

Me: Right.

DWP: To change the address on the system, we’d need to go through some questions. Are you without an address?

Me: No.

DWP: Hang on, the system has crashed.

*Silence, as I look deadpan at the wall*

DWP: Did you hear me? The system has crashed!

Me: Yes. I heard you.

*I am placed on hold for a few minutes*

DWP: Right, I can advise you to call back in maybe 2 hours, and to change address only today as the system can only handle one request a day.”

Me: I only called to change bank details.

DWP: I know, but it’s your choice which you do today, and you can do the other one tomorrow.

Me: Just to confirm, I paid out to call and change my address a month ago, I call up to change bank details today, and you’re asking me to pay out in a few hours to change my address, then call back tomorrow and pay out to change my bank details?”

DWP: Yes, please.

Me: OK, bye.

Cost of call: £9

45p a minute. 20 minute call.


2 thoughts on “A Phone Call With The DWP

  1. Imogen

    Your posts on your experiences of benefits and the DWP are an essential voice on the www. It really must not be allowed to be said by Tories that Loach’s film is a fiction. It is all too real (two friends of mine- one of them on benefits, the other an ex worker for DWP) were advisers to Loach. The stories they told him- and the evidence they showed him- was even more harrowing than Daniel Blake’s experiences in the movie.

    A few ordinary folk up here in Scotland , and a few from England, and a couple of Americans-and other nationalities behind the scenes- have been collaborating on a podcast that brings together left voices and music. Like quite a few on the left, we don’t always agree- but rather than allow that to come between us, we have created Ungagged! to allow us to share our experiences as working class folk and our thoughts on what is happening in the increasingly scary Tory proto- fascist UK etc.

    We have voices represented on our ‘casts who are on benefits, as well as left people who are reasonably well off- and people who like Jagdeesh and Ruth, campaign in the ground in their respective countries (Punjab India and North Dakota) for freedom from oppression.

    We have a trans woman podcaster and abled bodied and disabled podcasters and people from across the human spectrum of colour and left belief.

    Our ‘cast is self produced- we have, at present, no funding- but we have a growing audience (around 4K per episode- and we are only on our fifth!)

    Taking part is easy- you record a piece- around ten minutes- usually using the recorder app in your phone – email it to me (or Dropbox) and it goes out unedited (at least- unedited if you don’t make mistakes and don’t want it edited!)

    Please have a listen to our controversial previous episode (one that had different left views on the ‘merkan election) and our special podcast on the Tory election.

    And please consider recording for us! I’m afraid it’s unpaid- as I say, we have at present no income stream- but all of us have a determination to change society and fight the Tories!

    Please, please consider adding your voice!

    Neil Scott
    @_ungagged on Twitter


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