Friday, January 16, 2009

Computer says no

I had a true Little Britain moment earlier this week.

Last summer we lost our child benefit for son 1, because he was over 16 and attending a mental health provision with no educational element, rather than being back in school or college. I suppose he could have claimed incapacity benefit, but we didn't suggest it, not wanting him to start off adult life feeling that he has no need to study or support himself. We were very clear that we would claim child benefit again as soon as he went back to education.

He is due to start college next Monday so this week I phoned the Child Benefit office to give them the information and ask for the benefit to be reinstated from next week.

'Oh I can't take the details now. Phone back next week when he starts.'

'Can't you just take the information now, as I am on the phone?'

'The computer won't let me enter it this week. Have you got all the course details?'

'Yes, here right in front of me.'

'You'll have to phone back next week please. I can't enter them on the computer now.'


Three notable things:

1. A lovely dinner out last night.

2. Knowing that my car is safely through its MOT for another year.

3. Catching up with an old friend today and arranging to meet another very soon.


Unknown said...

don't you just love bureaucracy!!!!

Casdok said...

I had all this when C moved into his home. I couldnt tell Child Ben in advance. Nor could i apply for IB and IS in advance - i had to do them the day he moved. And then it took 2 months to actually get any money - which is what i wanted to avoid!

Anonymous said...

What an absolute nuisance. I admire you for not encouraging your son to claim benefits. We are entitled to some of course but I do often think that people claim just because they can't be bothered getting a job.

CJ xx

Cathy said...

Well they did my details today and it will be reinstated for the rest of this academic year.

Crystal, he is currently getting DLA, he is living with us and above all we need to get him educated. If he thought someone would pay him to lounge around at home he would no doubt take it but it wouldn't do his mental health any good.