This is a crazy one I know. (Also, sorry its a really long post, but I have a lot to explain!)
I initially applied to uni in 2019 for deferred entry to 2020 (which Roehampton kindly deferred to 2021 and then 2022 given the circumstances surrounding all the COVID restrictions and online learning at uni etc).
In I think Jan/Feb 2020 (just before lockdown hit) I started to apply for DSA. I was under the circumstances that student finance was a pre-requisite for DSA (ie you had to have student finance to apply for DSA). I gave them my bank details, I gave them proof of identity, but I never gave them my National Insurance number (I didn't have it to hand then cos of all the restrictions I just forgot about it).
I spoke to my disability advisor over Zoom in August 2022 to organise support at Roehampton and he mentioned DSA and I think possibly how you didn't need student finance for DSA.
So I applied for DSA as a self funder.
I got an email on the 30th August 2022 saying they couldn't proceed with my DSA application as I'd indicated I was a self-funder but had started an application for student finance. I explained the situation and asked them to cancel the unfinished student finance application, which they confirmed via email on the 31st of August.
They gave me DSA etc etc (fought long and hard with the supplier to get all my equipment/software and had to pay out of pocket for some software but got there)
Now, as a self funder, I'm trying to reapply for DSA. I fill in and email the continuing students form to my uni who eventually (took a while due to miscommunication) fill it out and send it off to DSA (and copy me in the email)
I get an email from DSA saying I did not date the declaration on my application. I thought this was the continuing student form because I realised I had sent the version I forgot to date off to my uni and thus to DSA.
Turns out, they want me to sign and date a student loan contract form, even though I never applied for 2023/24.
Manage to log into my student finance account yesterday evening. Discovered how to go into my inbox this afternoon and it says I got an 'Acknowledgement of Application form (which I did not) in the post dated the 5th of September 2022 (checked the PDF which I can access), five days *after* DSA confirmed they cancelled the initial application, that I got a 'renewal Student' SMS on the 14th of March 2023 (again I did not) and that I got another 'Acknowledgement of Application Form' in the post dated 4th of July 2023 (again which I did not, at all).
The only contact I have had from SFE is text messages with verification codes to change my password, and 2 messages (which do not show up in my student finance account inbox) on the 13th Feb & 20th June 2023 saying 'your student finance payment will arrive in your bank account by 5pm the day after tomorrow'.
Neither of the payments made into my bank account were student finance payments. They were DSA reimbursements; partial reimbursement for a new laptop as agreed by the DSA assessment, and travel mileage reimbursements as agreed by the DSA assessment.
I had no contact from SFE/no knowledge of anything student finance related until I received a letter from SFE in August 2023 (which is also not listed in my SFE account's inbox) saying something like 'congratulations on your successful application for student finance'. I obviously ignored the letter because I thought it was sent in error/a really good quality scam.
Since I had absolutely no knowledge until yesterday that my initial SFE was never cancelled on SF's end, why would have I applied for SF again given I (my mum) paid my own fees for terms 1 and 2 of last year and just paid the first installment of the fees for this term upon re-enrolment for my first non-foundation year?
Although SFE say they don't automatically reapply for SF on your behalf, somehow someone (at SF?) has taken my bank details and ID and applied for SF again; when I checked my account, I could see two open but incomplete student finance applications for 2022/23 and 2023/24 for my old course (I ended up switching)
How is this possible? How is this not illegal? I've been trying to speak to SFE on Twitter about this as I'm really not great with phone calls and couldn't access the live chat option and they basically kept fobbing me off saying they don't reapply (well someone did! Not me clearly) and I should contact DSA and they take 48 hours to reply over email (lies. I've emailed them numerous times it takes at least 10 working days and has taken over 20 working days for me in some responses).
This is not DSA's problem, its clearly SFE's and I have no clue where or how the **** up happened, but I found their live chat. Hopefully I'll be able to fix this tomorrow over live chat, but has this happened to anyone else?