Service Centre Rejects plea to lower advance repayment

Just Short update today

Rejected by Service Centre

Last week I had written in my work journal asking if they could lower the amount at which I pay back the advance I got when I initially applied as, £125 less a month is just not sustainable. As we have all seen from my first post.

My work coach got back to me today, and said that they could not do it and that I would be required to call the service centre.

So I called and I waited the usual ridiculous amount of time until I got through to, lets say Ben, (not real name). I go through the identity procedures to confirm who I am, all done passed, I’m in.

I explain that I am really struggling on £190 for the month and that I have been running out of food and couldn’t afford my heating etc. I ask could the amount be lowered. He says he’ll look into it.

Click, click, tap, tap, I hear above the standard call centre hubbub. ‘Ben’ was not a very chatty agent so it was rather awkward. He then comes back: “I’m sorry but I’ve looked at your claim and, because we deferred the payment for one month before, we’re unable to lower it at this time.”

I explained again no food, heating etc but he apologies and says he isn’t able to do anything. He asks why I got it deferred for a month previously, instead of lowering it then?

I was confused. as I HAD asked for it to be lowered back then, but they said they couldn’t but, could give me a month off it. I explained this and he apologised and advised that I should have been allowed to lower the amount originally, but now the system will not allow him. I ask to speak to a supervisor whom Ben gets. The supervisor is straight in, “I’m sorry but as my colleague has advised you, because of the previous deferment we can’t do anything for you today is there anything else I can do for you?”

That was the end of that conversation and abruptly I was handed back to Ben, he advised that if I consider I am in crisis I should contact the Scottish Welfare Fund or write to my work coach again and they should be able to help me. He bid me farewell with; “enjoy the rest of your day”.


So, I was lied to when I called before and, through no fault of my own, I’m still not allowed to lower the amount at which I pay it back at per month. So unless my appeal is successful in changing my assessment it looks like it’s £95 a fortnight until the 6th of August. Great.

I loom forward to giving you a longer article tomorrow and also I’ll be making an announcement about my Podcast series I plan on doing.

Until the next time

Alex @respectisvital

#FoodBankChallenge is still thriving – Newcastle United Supporters Foodbank put out a request; encouraging fans to keep up the donations despite the season being over. Great commitment lads and ladies. It will make a big difference.

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