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Everything posted by Anlli

  1. I don't know if anyone can help be I am doing my self assessment last minute as usual, I am self employed as a foster carer on which my profit was around 9,000 and catalogue business which I made a loss of around 800. I have filled in the box to offset my loss to the previous year as I had to pay some tax last year which is unusual for me. Does this mean that I should get a rebate from last year? Because the calculation is coming up as I have to pay around £80 National Insurance as I am over the threshold for that and there is no rebate from last year included in the calculation. How does it work? Alternatively can someone tell me how to get the help chat box to come up when you are logged into your account? It popped up yesterday and I managed to ask a couple of questions, but I then closed it and now I can't find it. Sorry to sound so stupid but I have been struggling with these tax returns for the past 4 years and I'm pretty sure I am doing myself out of money by not knowing what I am doing.
  2. Thank you for your reply. I don't have a copy of it - after the meeting R took it away to make some corrections but there are a lot of things wrong with it that I didn't have time to challenge. If they don't let me see it again and have more time to read it properly and challenge inaccuracies etc I am concerned that it will become final and put on record where anyone in the social services might be able to see it, even if they are not involved with this case. It could affect my currently good reputation as a foster carer and affect my chance of getting future placements. I am a lone and full time foster carer. My family and home have already undergone an intensive 6 month assessment in order for me to become a foster carer and have been deemed a suitable and safe environment to foster children. This report seems to throw a lot of doubt on that.
  3. Not sure if this is the right forum for this question but I can't find any other suitable for this issue. I'm looking for some advice regarding the data protection act and a bit of a long story but I will try to be as brief as possible. I am a foster carer of a 15 year old boy (B) who has autism, ADHD, and social emotional behavioural problems. I have been his foster carer for over 3 years and it has not been easy, he has temper tantrums like a 2 year old, has trashed my house on several occasions and trashed his room on a regular basis. He has been placed with me on a permanent basis. There has been a lady ® involved via social services who has been brought in to give specialist interventions for some particular problems he has and she has visited regularly with B's social worker. Myself and my adult son and girlfriend who live with us have been very open and honest with her about the difficulties hoping that he will get the help he needs to resolve some of his issues. I have another child in placement who will be leaving soon to return home and there has been suggestions that B, because of his difficulties then becomes a lone placement and that they will pay me for 2 placements so that i don't need another placement and can manage financially. In October the social worker and R visited and while they were here looked at his bedroom. I will admit that the bedroom was awful, he won't keep it clean and tidy and won't let me do it, he has damaged the walls, broken things and collects junk etc. When the social worker suggested to him that she would come round to help him sort it out he totally lost his rag over it, and with me too when I suggested helping him to get it sorted and said no-one is touching his room and if I do anything to his room he will trash mine! He has since been making a bit of an effort to get it tidied up and sorted out a bit under the threat of someone else doing it for him. A couple of weeks ago my supervisor told me the social worker and R were coming round to discuss how we can help B sort his room out. When they arrived R immediately said she had been asked to do a placement report and had brought it to share (absolutely nothing to do with what I thought they were coming for). I was totally shocked and unprepared for this and I had around 45 interrupted minutes (kids coming home from school) to go through a report containing at least 30 pages and tell her all the bits I disagreed with. The report was full of inaccuracies, assumptions, comments taken out of context and inferences. It was very derogatory regarding my family and home and made me out to be a dotty old lady who only cares about the garden, cats and chickens. I am actually a very intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced carer. Yes my home is a bit tatty and everything is old but it's clean (apart from his bedroom) and it wasn't nearly so tatty before B came and trashed everything, broke furniture etc. I was very aggrieved that I was unprepared and did not have time to go through the report properly and point out all the inaccuracies and unjustified comments, She even got my son's age wrong and his university degree. She said of my garden that the veggies were all in straight rows with no weeds! Well she obviously hadn't looked because my veggies are not in rows and there are plenty of weeds. It said nothing about how B has settled, progressed and developed since coming here and how his temper tantrums have reduced significantly and how he will now talk about things upsetting him rather than throwing things. I felt like giving notice on B there and then but I won't do that to him, as this is the first place he has settled since coming into care - he went through about 6 placements in 2 years due to his behaviour - prior to coming here. Following this meeting I emailed R and told her I was not happy with the report and the fact that I did not have enough time to read it properly and challenge everything that was inaccurate or that I didn't agree with. I also said I was grossly insulted by the fact that she came into my home under the guise of providing specialist interventions for B and then used the information given freely for that purpose to write a report which was derogatory towards my home and family. I asked to revisit the report with her so I could have time to read it properly and give a considered response. That was over two weeks ago and I haven't had a response from her. The social worker, who I copied in did tell me her manager was going to call me but this hasn't happened either. If anyone can advise me I would like to know if I have a case under the Data Protection Act, due to the inaccuracy of the information and also the fact that it was gathered for a different purpose to which it has been put and what I should do about it. This information they now have could be very damaging to my good reputation as a very competent foster carer and could affect me getting other placements in the future. I have looked at the ICO website but it's quite complicated and there seem to be different rules regarding social services. It's also difficult to be very specific about what is wrong with the report as I do not have a copy and am relying on memory and I do not know what has happened since the meeting, whether anything has been corrected (the things I did manage to challenge). Sorry this is a bit long but if anyone has time to ready it I would be grateful for any advice.
  4. Thank you for your advice. From what I can recall I told the guy on the phone I was a foster carer and I needed a policy to cover potential damage by fostered children. Foster children are not tenants or paying guests, they are supposed to be considered family members and in this case the boy is permanently placed with me. In each section of the policy - in this case it would be 'Vandalism or malicious acts' - it states as not covered 'loss or damage caused by you or any paying guest or tenant'. Which is why I thought I would be covered. I missed the bit at the back of the booklet titled 'General exclusions' where is states under subheading 'Deliberate loss or damage' ' Any loss or damage caused, or allowed to be caused deliberately, wilfully, maliciously, illegally or unlawfully by you or any guest or tenant, or anyone lawfully in your home'. However on a potentially more positive note I did have a call back from the insurers later today, the lady said she had discussed it with her supervisor and she wanted some more information about the boy who caused the damage, she asked me lots of questions such as what caused him to do it, and whether he knew it was wrong, I told her he was autistic and has social emotional and behavioural difficulties and would not have known at the time he was doing something wrong and she said she was going to discuss it again with her supervisor and get back to me on Friday to let me know whether they will accept my claim. Fingers crossed!
  5. I am a foster carer and when I began fostering over 3 years ago I took out a new home buildings and contents insurance policy with Nationwide. I specifically told the guy who sold it to me over the phone that I was a foster carer and needed suitable insurance to cover me for potential damage by foster children. He said this policy would be fine. I have been paying it for nearly 4 years and not made any claims but yesterday one of the young people that I foster caused considerable damage to my house during an outburst of temper, including a broken window and internal doors. I called the insurance company today and was told I was not covered because there is an general exclusion concerning damage caused by anyone living in the house. This means that I have been paying for nearly 4 years for a policy which was not what I asked for. Do I have any claim against the Nationwide for selling me a policy which did not meet my clearly stated needs?
  6. That's disgraceful considering it can't provide a decent service. The high speed broadband, when working properly is superior to anything else on the market but it's reliability is very poor. We had 15 days without any usable internet or phone recently and I had to make 4 fault reports before it was fixed, each one involving at least a 3 day wait for repair (5 if it includes a weekend). Every time the engineer came out they blamed the pole across the road for the problem and said it is due to be replaced. That was several weeks ago and guess what? The pole still has not been replaced, the internet has packed up again and it is another 5 day wait for a repair! No amount of complaining seems to budge them from this wait, they just blame BT outreach engineers for the wait and say it is out of their hands (still BT though???). They also threaten to charge you £130 each time they come out if they find a fault on your property with the wiring etc which is quite anxiety provoking to those of us without the expertise to be sure it is not. There is no automatic compensation for time without any internet or phone, last time I rang to ask for half the bill to be deducted (for 15 days without phone or internet) and I had a lengthy debate on the phone as they would only offer compensation for about a third of the bill. In the end I emailed and itemised what I was deducting from the bill as compensation to which they agreed in the end but there was still nothing for the inconvenience or the cost of using mobile internet for all my family members. You do get free access to a free BT wifi but this was difficult to access from our computers, very slow and the mobile internet was better. I would willingly go elsewhere for phone and internet except for pressure from family members who want the fast upload speeds that you get with BT.
  7. Thanks for your comments, I think the Prince's Trust also focuses mainly on disadvantaged young people. My foster daughter did it and all the young people on it were care leavers, had mental health problems or had been in trouble with the law. My son has applied for 100s of jobs and gets nowhere. He has now applied to do some voluntary work, hoping to expand his experience a little and make him more employable. The trouble is the longer they are on JSA the harder it is to get someone to employ them. He was better off when he was just dealing with the job centre, they did at least try to get him some work experience, even though it didn't come off, since he has been with Ingeus he has had nothing.
  8. I have heard nothing from the court. I have had a letter from Lowells - just a typical debt collectors letter! So now I don't really know where I stand with this.
  9. Whoops I misread the statement and the call logged was actually 2 hrs and 45 minutes, not 2 mnutes and 45 seconds. I was rather dismayed about this and sure I ended the call properly but that's what comes of not being very phone savvy I suppose. I emailed virgin and they did knock £35 off the bill which helped. I also contacted Traveline because they must have left that phone line open all that time! They were very unhelpful, I won't be calling them again! Thanks to you guys for your help anyway.
  10. I don't know if I am in the right forum here but here goes: Does anyone know of any organisations for young job seekers that actually offer practical help (not just CV and applications) to any young person (not just disadvantaged young people) in getting work? I have been a little dismayed that while a young person I foster has had all sorts of practical help from various organisations from helping her with her CV to actually taking her to agencies to help her look for work, my son, because he has not been in care, is not disabled, does not have mental health problems and has not been in trouble with the police gets no help whatsoever! He appears to be disadvantaged by a good education, and a degree, a smart brain and an ambition to do a masters degree and he desperately wants a job so he can pay for it. He has been unemployed for 18 months and has been seeing Ingeus for around a year but they do absolutely nothing to help him. The only help they offer is CV writing and job applications which he does not really need. They have told him there is not much they can do for him. He suffers from an extreme lack of confidence and social awkwardness and this is what he needs help with. They have never given him any work experience or interview practice. He was sent once about a year ago to go and interview for some work experience and it was in the bad weather, he made it through the ice and snow only to be told it was cancelled when he got there and he didn't hear any more about it. He is 24 so should still just count as a young person but not for long!
  11. I was definitely in UK. Thanks for all your your help, hopefully it may be a mistake, I will get onto virgin and see what they say.
  12. I made a call from my virgin mobile to Traveline 08712002233 to find out if a certain bus route was operating as normal tomorrow, as the young person I look after was panicking about getting to her boyfriend's for Christmas. I was on the phone for 2 minutes 45 seconds. A bit later I had a text from virgin saying I had nearly reached my credit limit. I was confused as my bill is only normally about £25. I went online to check my bill and I have been charged £67.94 for this one under 3 minute call! Does anyone know if this is correct? And is there anything I can do about it I'm a full time foster carer and can't afford to pay this. Any advice would be appreciated.
  13. I did the S 78 request which they ignored, and put in my defence as above, but what is so frustrating is that they now appear to have given up on the court claim but are still chasing me for the debt. I don't owe them anything, this so called debt is made up entirely of charges added AFTER I paid off the balance and tried to close the account. They won't take me to court but still want the money!
  14. Update: A couple of weeks ago I had a letter from Lowell's to say my account was on hold. I have just received another letter telling me that because I have failed to pay my account it will be sent to ScotCall who will be instructed to pursue me for the full balance, which is now £176.92. Does this mean they have given up on the court claim? I have not had any communication from the court. And any advice about how to deal with this new lot when they start chasing me?
  15. Thanks Andy, I've submitted that, with that bit omitted, fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted of any developments. Many thanks for your help. Annlli
  16. Thanks Andy. I have used your example and come up with the following, could you please tell me what you think? Not sure whether I should mentioning original agreement with Great Universal or not. Paragragh 1 is denied as there was no such agreement with the original creditor. The claimant has failed to respond to a section 78 request for the orginal agreement, dated 14th October 2013 and signed for on 16th October 2013. Paragraph 2 is denied because there was no debt to be assigned/purchased. Paragraph 3 is denied because there was no agreement with Shop Direct. The original agreement was with Great Universal Stored Ltd and did not include charges for late payments. This claim is made up entirely of unlawful charges, the account balance having been paid off in full on 19th July 2011. Therefore the Claimant is put to strict proof to: (a) show how the Defendant has entered into an agreement with the original creditor. (b) show how the Defendant has reached the amount claimed. As per Civil Procedure Rule 16.5(4), it is expected that the Claimant prove the allegation that the money is owed. Until such time the Claimant can comply with my request for a copy of the agreement it relies upon they are prevented from enforcing or requesting any relief as pursuant to the CCA 1974 By reason of the facts and matters set out above, it is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the relief claimed or any relief Thanks
  17. I have had no response from the section 78 request, which was received by Lowells on 16th Oct. I have to submit my defense by the end of this week, could you please help me with how to word it?
  18. I sent the Section 78 request on 14th Oct, it was received and signed for on 16th, I have had no response so far, should I have had it by now? How long do I wait for it? Sorry to be a little dim but I am a bit confused by the time period they have to respond. Is it 12 working days or just 12 days?. From when I sent it or when they received it? Thanks
  19. I just had a thought, when Kays took over from GUS, they gave me a new account number, do I need to put both in the letter or one or the other? That's if I can find the old one.
  20. Thanks, I'll get on and do that, I doubt very much whether they have the agreement as I started the account over 30 years ago. So I acknowledge the claim and wait for a response to my letter, then come back here for some more advice?
  21. Thank you, and thanks to dx100uk also for the advice. I've found the section 78 request letter, who do I send it to? Is is Lowells? I will do that today and post tomorrow. I have found a letter from Shop Direct informing me that they have assigned the debt to Lowell does that count as a copy of the assignment? If it's not is there a template or sample letter? Does that go to Lowells? Do I still send the SAR? Many thanks
  22. At the risk of sounding a bit stupid, what does 'a' mean?
  23. How does that work when the claimant is Lowells and charges were paid to Shop Direct? When I complete the counter claim do I specify an amount? I only get 28 days to submit a counter claim and the SAR can take up to 40? Thanks
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