I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago and I was medically retired.
Fellow "Old School" 04.00 am start/6 days a week posties will not need reminding that, in spite of RM making obscene profits, what passed for pay and what now passes for pension income is an absolute joke and having served over 35 years my monthly dribble would barely keep a dog in necessities.
As a consequence of my pension being "less than the amount the government say I need to live on", my income(!) is topped up with state benefits which I am grateful for, but not proud of, and which simply should not be required with over 35 years of pension contributions under my belt.
If I get one pension statement a year I am doing well and a few weeks ago I received a letter from the DWP asking for a "recent" (less than 3 months) pension statement or a confirmation letter from RM Pensions confirming the amount I get each month and I would need to provide this within 28 days. My most recent pension statement was sent back in April so I called the RM Pensions Office that day requesting a confirmation letter and I was told it would be with me in a few days.
I called them again a week later and I was again told the letter would be with me in a few days.
I called them yet again a week later and I was told there is only ONE PERSON tasked to send out such a letter and they are expected to do this alongside their job as a telephone adviser! I politely reminded them I had been chasing this letter for over 3 weeks and my deadline to provide it to the DWP was fast approaching. I was assured it would be sent out to me that day.
5 Days later I called them yet again and my letter arrived 3 days later - Sent second class post!
During this calamity, I had contacted the DWP and asked for more time. When I told them I was waiting on the RM Pensions Office they completely understood, and I had an illuminating conversation with the person at the DWP who was no stranger to claimants who had previously worked for RM being given the run around by this shower.
RM were rubbish to work for: Worked like a mule and treated worse than, and the RM Pensions Office, like RM, couldn't care less and couldn't organise a p*ss up in a brewery!
06 Dec 2018, 13:12
Don't be (ashamed) at claiming benefits. You were medically retired on health grounds. Never mind the top ups from DWP to give you the basic income guarantee. You are probably 99.9% entitled to ESA (employment support allowance) and POP ( personal independence payment) and HB ( housing benefit). If you get any of the 3 main benefits above, you appeals quality for mortgage interest payments, and you would/ might qualify for other top ups depending if your married/ partners working, your single ect, but you having PARKINSON'S is most likely to get you PIP in your own right, even if you have a partner. Any pension money doesn't get taken into consideration against PIP. The ESA has 2 parts, INCOME AND CONTRIBUTIONS. It all depends on the last 2 years national insurance contributions, so years 2016/17 that you have paid and as you said you were getting top ups you we would have paid NI contributions on your behalf, so you will go onto the contributions based part for six months then it gets reviewed and reverts to income based, UNLESS, your illness is bad enough for you to be put in the support group which with PARKINSON'S you will mostly be put from week one. I know it sounds a lot of hassle but the average award is about £280 per week, ON TOP of any pension your getting. Also your rent will be paid or if still paying a mortgage, then the interest will be paid, but the rules for a lot of these are changing but they haven't came into our office yet, but the sooner you claim the better. YOU WORKED ALL YOUR LIFE UNTIL UNABLE BECAUSE OF I'LL HEALTH AND THAT'S WHY YOU PAID NI CONTRIBUTIONS......SO IF NEEDED THROUGH ILLNESSES YOU WOULD BE OK..........good luck mate.
06 Dec 2018, 16:17
Thank you Navalron for your informative, kind and considered reply.
My major "gripe" is the simple fact the miserly RM pension is poor reward for what we do, what RM expect from their staff and the obscene profit they make from us and, speaking as a retired member of staff, we are treated no better for giving the best years of our life in loyal service.
If I were to tell anyone who had never worked for Royal MAIL it would take over 5 weeks of chaising to get a very basic and uncomplicated LETTER sent out - They would probably not believe me.
My kind regards are sent - First class :)
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