If you have had this letter, I know that feeling of dread, fear and even upset that this piece of paper can bring.
You are probably wondering why and what does it mean?
Unfortunately it means they are looking into you, this may even be because someone has reported you to the DWP for working or something else and this can be done by people as a means of retaliation or just from people filled with hatred.
There is a phone number on the letter and you can ring and they will very briefly outline why the letter has been sent!
Here is what happened to us!
If you are disabled and or have chronic health, then you will know how it feels when the dreaded brown envelope falls on your doormat!
Instantly my pulse quickens, my brain begins to overthink the situation and then I am having an anxiety attack, this is all within a couple of minutes.
But I tell myself to calm down, it could be anything, it could be an update of my benefits or any number of things.
I put off opening the envelope despite the fact that it won’t change what is inside, but I just need a bit of time before whatever is inside destroys my day, week, month, year or life!
As soon as I open it and see Notice of Compliance Telephone Interview, this 6. 4″ and 20st 50 year old man is almost in tears.
What is going on?
I can chat via message, I can talk into a camera, but I cannot easily talk on the phone. I don’t know why but I just cannot mentally handle it anymore, my brain suddenly refuses to know the right words and so my wife phones up to see if they will tell her what is going on?
It is an accusation that we are working!
What really angers me is that people can phone up DWP and just accuse someone of doing xxx, without proof and without any come back on them for lying.
They can simply use the DWP as a weapon to help them in whatever grievance they have with the person.
Over the past two years whilst reviewing beard care, I have pushed the importance of only using products that have been assessed and approved and hold a CPSR (Cosmetic Product Safety Report) and I have clearly rattled a few cages in doing so.
It appears that someone has not been happy that I have highlighted this issue and have used the DWP as a way to silence me.
I would love to be able to say “Up Yours” and make it even more of an issue as it is the law after all, but the truth is that I cannot risk the stress and the impact that has on my mental and physical health.
Also this potentially had the ability to make us homeless, we private rent and so any stoppages in our benefits could have meant we lost the property we live in.
The reviews, the Facebook group are like a hobby, they give me something to take pride in, something to eat up the endless hours in this Groundhog Day life.
The group is also my only access to a social life, I only see my mum and her husband and Donna’s parents as well as our children and so being a part of a group where we talk crap, laugh and support each other is a means to keep me from slipping further into depression.
The problem is that when you are unable to work, you are expected to just do nothing and if you dare to try and push on, people look at your efforts and question your inability to earn a living.
So hopefully this has been resolved with our explanation, but the stress that this caused had a big impact on my health and I hope that I am able to find the source of this callous attack!
The woman who phoned us to discuss this issue couldn’t have been any nicer. She explained that someone had reported me for earning money from my Facebook group and reviews. I then explained that yes I set up a group and yes I review products but it is just a hobby and that I would love to be able to earn a living doing it but it isn’t possible.
It caused us a lot of stress, some sleepless nights and did impact my health.
I think it is about time that people who use the DWP reporting system to make false allegations should be prosecuted!
I understand the need for an anonymous way of reporting people, after all there are people who claim benefits and yet hve an income. The issue is that what happened to me is clearly not unusual, in fact it happens a lot.
So is it not about time that people were required to give their name? This would surely cut down on the number of people who use the DWP as a tool to get retribution and so so calously and without any comeback.
This can destroy peoples lives and I expect it wastes a hell of a lot of time and money for the DWP.