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Mankind has a long way to go in terms of looking after elderly

Readers' letters | Published:

How on earth do the elderly cope with the benefits system in the UK?

Based on my experience, I fear for the wellbeing of our senior citizens, and I worry for the sanity of their relatives and friends looking after them.

I have just received a letter from DWP, refusing my request for Carer’s Allowance in respect of my partner. The letter explained the reasons for that decision, and the following FIVE pages went into further detail about the background to the policies that underpinned it.

Helpfully, the letter ended with an invitation to call an 0800 number to check out whether there were any other ways in which I could be helped.

I rang the 0800 number, and an automated voice said that the number was no longer in operation, and for further information to ring an 0345 number. I did so, and yet another automated voice gave six options for further help. The third option related to Carer’s Allowance, and choosing it, a voice (automated of course) gave a further three options from which to choose. This third option informed me (automated) that an 0800 number would be able to assist with my enquiry.

It was a different 0800 number than the one with which I started (for which I found myself being grateful to the automated voice) and so I dialled it. Interspersed with apologies for the delay (a high call volume was being experienced) and invitations to go to a government website for more information, I hung on for just over 12 minutes before a human being answered my call. A brief, interesting discussion followed.

They say that the way society looks after its less fortunate members is a measure of its humanitarian credentials. If that is the case, then based on today’s experience, mankind has a long way to go.

Name and address supplied

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