Sunday, 24 August 2008

Page 78

He started saying that when he was loading his syringe the ampoules were breaking, so he was only getting about a third of the amount he should be getting. I was a bit dubious about this, I knew he was as crafty as a cart load of monkeys but Dr Jones believed him and said it must be a bad batch of amoules, so he prescribed him the extra to cover the ones he said had broken.

I knew it was a con but of course couldn’t prove it. To me it was confirmed when he said he was going job hunting complete with a rucksack and asked to borrow £2. I did say to him that I knew he was off to London but he was adamant he wasn’t and said he would be back in a couple of hours. Guess what we didn’t see Dennis until the next morning very dissheveled again and with money. He gave me my £2 back and a further £5 I asked where he got it from and he said he had been shoplifting but not made much. I said I didn’t want dirty money but he said well its here now I cant give it back so you might as well keep it. He was right and it would come in handy.

I asked him if he had got a job knowing full well he hadn’t and he admitted he had been to the Dilly and sold some drugs. I said oh right, the drugs you said you had broken,he laughed and said he couldn’t get away with anything with me. I said I also knew he would be back early this morning so that he could collect his Heroin. I also told him not to say any more ampoules were broken or else I would tell Dr Jones what he was doing with the extra. He agreed but again I knew how he worked , he was on to a good thing and wouldn’t stop until he had to.

I received a letter from Mrs Smith the Housing Officer who had been so nice to me and I couldn’t believe what it said. She said she was very surprised to see that I owed nearly £200 in rent, nothing had been paid since March. I immediately went to see her as it was only across the road. She said it had got this far because she thought I was getting benefit and that they usually settled it every 6 months or so. I said that I was getting benefit and had been told it was being paid direct, she suggested I contact DHSS and find out what had gone wrong. I apologised and said I would go down there now.

I went straight to DHSS and asked to speak to someone and explained the situation saying there must have been a mistake somewhere. She was gone ages and came back with another person who said the rent had not been paid direct it was included in the money I received each week from my payment book. I was shocked because I only received £9.95 a week and the rent was £5.50. I told the lady that when I originally had the visit from a guy back in February when my husband first left, I specifically asked if the rent would be paid direct as the Housing Officer Mrs Smith had suggested. I was told by him that it was, what I received in my payment book would be for food and utilities but not rent. The lady said that couldn’t be proved now. I also said he had been so nasty to me that it wouldn’t surprise me if he had done this on purpose. I told her that he had asked if my husband had left me any money, I said he had left £5, his reply was I can double that then. I also told her he had asked, if he looked round my house right then would he find any mens clothing and bits. I said he would as my husband had only walked out a few days ago and only took a few things that he could carry in a couple of suitcases. I also told her I was so incensed that I immediately sat down and wrote down what he had said for no reason other than I was upset and couldn’t believe he could be so nasty. The lady said could she take me home and look at the letter I had written, I said yes, that way she would see that it had been written then. I gave her the letter after looking everywhere for it as I couldn’t remember where I put it but found it. She read it and said that this man had not conducted himself very well and what she read threw a completely different light on things.

She said she would have to speak to him and then I would hear from them. In the meantime my money would be assessed again and my rent would be sent direct to the council as she thought that I wasn’t even getting the right amount of money.

I rang Mrs Smith and explained what was happening and she said she would await the outcome and in the meantime not to worry. Such a nice lady. About a month later I received a new payment book, the payments had been increased from £9.95 to £11.95 this worried me as It was more money and I was assured that my rent would be paid direct so I rang them up and they said a mistake had been made when I first asked for benefit, it had now been corrected and my rent was being paid.

A few days later I answered the door and there stood the lady who had checked the letter and a man, I asked them in and they proceeded to tell me that after talking to the guy who initially assessed me they had realised that I had been mislead by him and he had now left. They apologised but said unfortunately I would have to repay to the council a third of the rent arrears and DHSS would pay the remainder. I said that I thought this was unfair as they had proved it was this guys fault. She said she had really fought for me and the very best she had achieved was the two thirds.

She felt that if she pushed any more I may have to repay the money I had received towards my rent previously even though that was wrong. I said ok and thank you but I had no idea how I was going to repay this.

The next day I went to see the Housing Officer Mrs Smith to try and sort out a way to repay the arrears which my part was £67 which was a fortune to me. She was very helpful but didn’t think I should have to repay anything but there you go. It was agreed that I would pay whatever I could afford even if it was only £1 and she made me a promise that when it was paid off I would be given a three bedroomed house which would be less rent than the maisonette and much better for the kids. I said I would try and get a job as the children were now at school. I thanked her and she said she would like it if I could pay the arrears at the office but to go and see her as she would like to be sure we were managing ok.

The next morning I went to the job centre to see if any jobs were suitable for my circumstances and there was one that was a temporary job for 8 weeks it was full-time and was at the Ministry of Transport down town. The wages were £20 per week. I had also found out that if I was not claiming benefit I would be able to collect the £7 a week Mike paid to the court for the childrens maintenance, whereas at the moment it was going to the benefits office. That would mean I would be getting £27 per week which would be £10 more than I was getting now. I would be able to pay off the rent arrears in no time ,hopefully.

I hadn’t even gone to see about the job yet but here was me working out how much I would get. I thought to myself, go in now and ask about the job, I was scared I hadn’t worked since Lesley was born 8 yrs ago.

I went in and asked about the job , she went through my previous jobs with me and said I sounded just right for the job and could I go for an interview right now. Panic set in, I said I wasn’t dressed for an interview I had only been shopping and noticed this advert. She said I looked fine and it was only upstairs from where we were . I said ok.
She made a phone call then took me upstairs.

The lady who interviewed me was very nice and told me the job was in the statistics department of the Ministry of Transport and would involve figures most of the time as a large survey had been done to assess how many lorries were travelling on the roads and motorways. I said I loved working with figures. Also that my working life had been figure orientated first the General Post Office and Post Office Savings Bank she said she was very impressed and would like to offer me the job. There was also the possibility that if things worked out I could be offered a permanent job. I was so pleased and quickly accepted it. I would worry about fitting it in with the kids etc…later.

I was to start the following Monday at 9.15am at least this would give me time to get the children to school. They were going to have school dinners so my only problem was when they came out of school at 3.30pm. My dilemma was could I trust Dennis to be in for them. They now came home with Lesley and Kim so didn’t need collecting. The kids were really pleased I had a job they new how tight the money situation had been. I explained to them that I owed some money to the housing office as a mistake had been made ,so for a while the money would still be tight, hopefully not for long. I hoped to have the arrears cleared by Christmas so we could start the new year with a clean slate and extra money, because if I wasn’t taken on permanantly at this job I would get another one. I estimated paying the £7 from the court direct to the rent office each week , if I could manage to do this it would be cleared two weeks before Christmas. I was so determined and a little peeved as this had been proven to have not been any fault of mine.

Dennis still hadn’t got a job, with his drug addiction it was virtually impossible for him to work. Dr Jones seemed to be part of the problem. He was over -prescribing him heroin in spite of me telling him he was duping him for the extra amps. I even told him he was selling them in London. He had convinced himself he could get Dennis off , he didn’t know him like I did.

Dennis said he would look after the kids after school and would not let me or them down. I wished I could have been certain. Linda was coming over later as Dennis and her were going out to the pictures. It was looking as if they were getting back together. A partnership made in hell.

Linda said she would take time off from work to look after the kids during the holidays and would help out when she could.

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