My boyfriend received his questionnaire over 2 weeks after it was due to arrive. Once filled in, it was sent off over 2 months ago. After hearing nothing and struggling, impacting finances and relationships with family members due to the stress of finances, we call today to find out that apparently he hasn’t earned enough NI Contributions. This has been now nearly 3 months of not having a single penny to live on, and now a completely new application for Universal Credit has to be applied for, which will be more weeks of waiting for a single penny. We were then signposted to a number where we could apparently discuss and perhaps appeal this. This number then said that it couldn’t discuss or help us in regards to eligibility.
Instead of saying on the phone in reference to the benefits, 'you don't need to contact us, we'll contact you directly' maybe you should scratch or reiterate that. Since if we'd have left it up to ESA, lord only knows how long we'd have nothing before hearing about it.
You could do with setting up an online service of people helping out those who wish to apply or are in application. Which is something that's possible due to the amount of remote working that's suddenly become possible.
There should also perhaps be some sort of hardship fund that you can receive due to this, even if not large.