S1 (E106) delays

I just thought that I would let everybody know that the department dealing with these are running three months behind. They have just started those that they received in July! I have just had a bit of a "discussion" with them and it seems that the excuse is that three-quarters of the department have been told to deal with tax credits instead! They said they would fast track mine as it has just run out and they also told me that next year I should send the form a minimum of three months in advance and to phone them 4 weeks before it is due to see how they are doing. Their direct line (after being transferred three times) is 0044 3000 555 734.

I applied to renew my S1 at the end of August, a month before it was due to expire on 29 September. In middle of Oct, I phoned and was told that it could take up to 78 working days to process my application, but if I felt it was urgent, I could fax in and explain that my cover had expired. It took me 2 weeks to find somebody here with a fax machine and then the machine at HMRC didn't answer! I eventually got through to a supervisor last week who pulled my application out of the heap and dealt with it there and then. The certificate arrived today, but only covered myself and not my husband as a dependent, as in previous years. Does anyone know whether "inactif" dependents are no longer being covered since the change of criteria last year? What happens when one spouse reaches state requirement age and the other one does not? Does the S1 issued to the pension still cover the "inactif" spouse? Would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has been in this situation recently.