SIGN THE PETITION!
This is something Southwark Know Your Rights group have been lobbying the DWP on locally and nationally for over a year. Good that the medical profession and Z2K have got on board. Please click on link below to sign their petition:
WaterSure Plus (Thames Water scheme)
WaterSure Plus is for low income households and aims to help them pay their water bills by giving a meaningful discount. If your household is on a low income (currently below £16,105 or £19,201 for London residents) you may qualify for a discount on your bills by applying for WaterSure Plus. For the year 2019/20 the discount has been set at 50% of the total bill but may vary in the future dependent on levels of income.
This scheme caps the bills for those on a water meter who are using larger amounts of water because of having a larger family or a water dependent medical condition.
If you are on a water meter and still use lots of water because you have a large family or a water dependent medical condition, WaterSure may be able to help reduce your bills.
If you qualify Thames Water will cap your water bills to the average other customers pay. For the year from 1st April 2019 that’s a total of £398 (made up of £210 water and £188 for waste). The amount changes slightly each year as bills change.
If the amount of water you use costs less than the maximum you will only pay for what you use, so the bill could be lower than £398.
All water companies provide the WaterSure scheme. If you are billed by another company you should apply to them in the first instance.
If you need more help or information, or you’d like to talk through how to apply or whether you might qualify, you can call Thames Water Extra Care Services Team on 0800 009 3652. Lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
Please look at this petition:
And view the government response:
PLEASE GIVE US YOUR VIEWS
LUS is an organisation based at and supported by the regional TUC and funded through Trust For London. The aim of the organisation is to develop self-help support groups for claimants and to campaign for changes to the Social Security system so that it works more for the benefit of claimants.
The survey results will feed into high-level forums in which claimants reps and major voluntary sector organisations are participating. The aim is to develop a White Paper (or Bill) for Government on major pro-claimant improvements to the system.
Please download your preferred format below (Word or PDF) and fill it in. The survey can be returned by post or email as indicated ideally before the END OF SEPTEMBER. Your contact details will only be kept on file if you wish to take part in our focus groups and will be kept separate from your survey responses which will be anonymous. WE CAN AND DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Click on above link for MORE pics.
Can Universal Credit be reformed? Or must it be scrapped altogether? If the latter, what do we put in its place? The old system was not working well either!
LET US HAVE YOUR VIEWS!
(photo: Johnny Void)
As a jobseeker or if you are on ESA, claiming benefits can often unfortunately be problematic. Problems claimants experience include delayed benefit payments, behavioural issues with Jobcentre staff and long waiting times to get through to the DWP’s helpline.
We encourage you to make a written complaint. The ‘official’ DWP advice is explained in the link below:
It says that you can complain in person or on the phone to the Jobcentre. However, this often goes wrong, as you do not have your own written proof that you made the complaint.
So, we advise you to take the following easy steps:
- Write down your complaint in an email
- Include a sentence where you offer to verify this email i.e. show it is from a ‘real’ person. The DWP have a policy to ignore emails that cannot be verified. For this reason, we recommend that you state the following in your complaint email:
“I am happy to verify this email in person with my ID.” Don’t forget to add your National Insurance number and personal address to identify your claim.
- Write ‘Complaint’ in the subject line of your email
- Copy in a friend who you can trust in the email
- Send the email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Allow 15-20 days for a response (15 days is the stated DWP waiting time for responses)
- If you have no reply by then (or an unsatisfactory one), you can then write to: email@example.com
- Wait another 15-20 days. If this does not work for you, you can then complain to the Independent Case Examiner and after that through your MP to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. These stages are explained in the DWP ‘Complaints procedure’ weblink above
Tips for writing your complaint:
- Don’t swear
- Don’t make unfounded allegations (i.e. be sure to have something to back up what you are saying)
- Describe what happened to you (calmly like a neutral witness)
- Explain what should have happened
- Explain what you think should happen now (to resolve the situation), or simply ask them to rectify the situation.
Because it is important to inform the DWP about problems, so that they can understand that improvements are necessary. By doing so, and by copying in a friend or somebody who you can trust, you are creating a written record of your case and evidence of what you said and when, and it will be harder for the DWP to ignore your complaint or claim that they never received it. You CAN get results!
LUS is a campaigning organisation fighting for a quicker, more efficient complaints process for claimants.
Due to our limited resources we are unfortunately not able to do casework. But please contact your local Citizens Advice, Law Centre, trades union or other advice agency if you need further help with writing the complaint. Or if you live in these areas, join one of our local Stand Up For Your Rights groups in Southwark, Waltham Forest or Islington – or set up one of your own! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and guidance on this.
For other comments, such as compliments or feedback, the DWP gave these contacts:
Have you experienced issues with the DWP or Jobcentre as a jobseeker? Comment below or tweet us @LUSACTION and share your views.
Nick Phillips of London Unemployed Strategies will be holding a training session for Lambeth and Southwark benefit claimants on Friday 20th May between 12-2pm at Stockwell Park Community Centre. Please come along to learn about the changes to the Universal Credit system, avoiding sanctions and details how the Housing Bill will impact you. The Lambeth and Southwark branches of Unite Community will kindly be supporting us.
As Thursday 5 May rapidly approaches, it’s essential to understand the crux of the manifestos of the main candidates in the running for London Mayor and the direct impact they will have on you. The vital issue in this election is resolving the London housing crisis. How will the candidates protect and create homes for the vulnerable? So, let’s see how they all measure up and how your vote will count:
Zac Goldsmith – The Conservative Party
- will tackle the housing crisis by ‘doubling home building to 50,000 a year by 2020’, giving Londoners the first chance to buy new homes built in the city.
- Ensuring a large number of new homes built are for rent and not for sale.
For full manifesto, please see https://backzac2016.com/
Sadiq Aman Khan – Labour Party
- will give Londoners ‘first dibs’ on affordable housing, promotes the fact he grew up on a council estate and therefore claims to understand the support needed in this area.
- Ensuring renting becomes more reasonable and protecting the green belt.
For full manifesto, please see http://www.sadiq.london/
Caroline Pidgeon – London Liberal Democrats
- Will ban ‘unfair letting agent fees’ and give tenants more rights.
- Will build 200,000 new homes.
For full manifesto, please see http://www.londonlibdems.org.uk/plan
Sian Rebecca Berry – Green Party
- Promises ‘truly affordable homes’ created by housing associations and local councils, claims to understand the needs of private tenants as a private tenant.
- Providing London with more green, affordable energy for their homes.
For full manifesto, please see http://www.sianberry.london/
Thursday 5 May 2016 is for you to use your voice as you see fit. Please contact your local electoral office for further information on voting hours.
Let us have your views – Tweet us at @LUSACTION, comment below or follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/LUSACTION.