I’m pretty sure that Alanis Morissette would have mentioned this on her list of ironies – I received my first letter from the Student Loans Company in my correct name today informing me that my loans have been cancelled! FFS, if I’d realised that I was close to having them expire I wouldn’t have wasted so much time over the last three years trying to get them to change it.
Finally finished renewing my tax credits – what a chore. To legally change gender in the United Kingdom requires a Gender Recognition Certificate for which there are a number of prerequisites in order to apply including proof of formal diagnosis, permission from your spouse and evidence of living in the acquired gender for a minimum of two years. In the interim period it is possible to change your name with HM Revenue and Customs but legally you’re still the gender assigned at birth. To protect your identity and safeguard against randomers from accessing your previous name and history they have a system which locks your national insurance number. On the face of it this seems like a good idea to protect your privacy and avoid awkward/intrusive questioning. However the consequence of blocking access is no access at all including random stuff such as not being able to check your driving record which some places require to hire a car.
Everything to do with official stuff becomes that much harder. To renew my tax credits requires finding out from Carer’s Allowance how much I received last year so it can be declared as a taxable benefit. I rang them up and I know that they can’t access my claim because it requires special permission (a one off, time limited code that allows staff of a certain grade to access the records) – they promise a manager will ring me back. Two weeks later I ring back because I still haven’t received the call. Of course they still can’t talk to me but I do get an assurance that someone will call me back within 48 hours. They do call back the next day and I get the figure – yay!
On to the main task itself – tax credits. I need to report changes because I’ve changed jobs so I can’t renew via the paper pack so instead I attempt to do it online. After answering twenty bazillion questions the process fails because my identity can’t be verified. Okay so I’ll ring the tax credits helpline. After waiting quite sometime in a queue I eventually get through to someone but of course as soon as they enter my national insurance number they can’t help me. They put me through to another department and after another call queue and twenty questions I’m given another phone number to ring.
Of course, this department is only open during office hours so I’ve had to wait until today to ring them. Good news they can access my account and I can confirm my income totals for last year. Reporting the changes seems a bit more tricky though – my new job pays more so it takes me over the threshold for Carer’s Allowance but since I’ve only just started it I have received some benefit since April. I could have screamed when asked “How much have you received from Carer’s Allowance since April 2018?” Fuck my life I can’t bear the performance of having to ring them back up for that info but fortunately an estimate will do so I have a quick guess.
Finally job done – until next year…..