Delays in benefits

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I HAVE been extremely disappointed at the way in which those claiming housing benefit are being treated by the council’s benefits service.

My initial claim, a year ago, took six-and-a-half weeks to set up.

I was bombarded with letters during this time asking me to provide information which I had already sent and was pushed into arrears by the delay.

I have recently had my claim suspended as I have had the audacity to sign off Job Seekers Allowance and take up paid work, which actually leaves me less well off than claiming benefits. I have been told I have to get my employer to fill in a form detailing my expected earnings for the next 12 months (payslips do not count as reasonable evidence, apparently), which I find an unnecessary intrusion and demeaning.

In short, the benefits service in Sheffield is harassing and providing a very poor service to some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable people.

PH, Stannington

I AGREE with Mr Morgan’s recent letter regarding the change to housing benefits.

The same system was used in the 1970s then it went to what it is today – just paying £6 or £7 a week and the DHSS (as it was then) paid the rest.

But people on benefits couldn’t even pay that small amount and racked up arrears.

So what will happen now, with rent and council tax costing the best part of £100 a week?

Claimants will be led into temptation and spend it on other things, getting into debt to the tune of thousands of pounds and we, who are working, will have to pay.

For every bill the Government passes, we will have to pick up the pieces one way or another.

Who thinks of these ridiculous systems, with more people unemployed than in work?

It’s going to cost millions to alter and administer and put more paperwork and stress on to the benefits claimants.

Mrs P, S2