I live on the border of two counties. We use to live in one and now live in the other, we have moved about five miles.
I mention this because I am going through the process of claiming housing benefit. Now when I was at my previous address,, I wondered down to the council office, with the various documentation and the form, they processed my claim and I started to receive housing benefit straight away.
The basic documentation is ID (passport or driving licence), proof of address, proof of any benefits, wage slips, a rental agreement and bank statements for any current accounts or savings.
In this new council, I have been down to the council office four times now, this is made more difficult for me, as due to an OCD issue, paperwork can only be completed on a Friday, apart from my mental state nothing has changed for us, yet this process has now taken 6 months from when I first did a form, to still taking in more and more documentation. To be honest, the council now probably know more about my financial position than my partner does.
I naivly thought it would be as easy as it was, but instead of my claim being processed straight away, I met with one person, who made sure I had all my documentation, he then sent that “upstairs” I then had to wait for them to send me a letter asking me for more documentation. Which I then had to take in, to wait for another letter asking for more documentation. At this point I still have no idea if I am entitled to either housing benefit or a council tax reduction.
To me it just seems very silly to do it this way, rather than tell me straight away if I am entitled rather than making me go all the way in with paperwork every so often. And its not as though they have asked me for something and I didn’t bring it, every time its a new thing. This wastes time and money of the council and each time I have to prepare myself to go outside my home. When it clearly says on my form the reason why I am claiming is because I have a mental illness, which prevents me from leaving my home.
I swear they make it difficult just to make my very high council tax justifiable. Why does one person need to check I have the right paperwork, so that another person can check it again and make a decision. And why oh why was it so much easier in a different council
And people say I am crazy.