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Everything posted by jadeybags

  1. Well that is ridiculous then, & just seems to prove my point that they would prefer the OP to stop claiming any benefits. Since when has any welfare dept had a right to push people into committing to a full on living together as if married relationship? So OP, you have a few options here, continue as you are & get prosecuted, split completely & be prosecuted because you have only split to be able to still claim benefits, or only wake up together at weekends & be aware that someone will be sat outside your home for weeks on end watching your every move. The third one still sounds the best to me in the long run as they will have no grounds to prosecute. Having your own homes & bills & sleeping together twice a week does not constitute living together, even to a novice like me. Next people will be told they can only claim benefits as a single person if literally single or a couple if you start dating someone you met at the club last weekend. There wont be anything anyone like us can do to stop that happening either.
  2. There is something going seriously wrong with benefits at the moment it seems. Probably the goverment hoping a few million will be scared off them. Lets be honest, we are in dire straights financially as a country, people living in poverty can take a back seat for now I expect. That's politics for you though. The fact you are trying to better yourself by going to college, so that you WONT need benefits in the future wont cut any ice at the moment, the aim right now as we all know is to get people off benefits, full stop. If I were in your shoes & I am no expert, I would quit the stopping at eachothers houses, just keep it to weekends. One weekend you stop at his, next weekend he stops at yours. Atleast til you finish college or you do decide to live together. Dont be bullied! If you do all that, that I just suggested, I would be interested to see how they can still claim you are 'living together as if you were married' when he has his home, pays council tax on it, post goes there etc, & you have your place, you bills addressed to you. And would be even more interested to see how they would be able to prosecute you for that! When they say they are giving you 3 months, what I am suggesting is what they are probably hoping to see you do. They cant expect anymore than that of you, unless as you say you split! It's getting crazy with benefits these days x
  3. Well, to be honest, the compliance officer that came out to do my review was a lovely lady. She actually came a few days before but I was at work, & left a card to call her, apparently I should have got a letter to say she would be coming to do a review, I didn't get it, rearranged her to come a few days later. She showed me the letter that would have been sent, they have to give you notice. I definitely hadn't got it. Appologised to her saying I would have rearranged if I had got it as I work mondays! Anyway, that's when she cheked what she had me down for, & she said it was 275 a month, I have never only earn that apart from my first payslip when I first started working after coming off income support, because I only worked about 2 & a half weeks before we all got paid! She did say if it's less than 500 over payment they tend to just write & take it out your benefit, if it's over, you usually get called in for a taped interview but said it's nothing to worry about, just to put your side across about how it has arrisen. Well a few days later she rang to say what the overpayment was, 1200 housing benefit! BUT she did say that's still not an amazing amount to them! And that whoever worked my benefit out on that payslip should have asked for another payslip because I had given them my work contract & it was obvious it didn't match! She said she has explained to the lady that does the interviews that this is my first job after being on income support & claiming housing benefit & she could see by the look on my face that I was gobsmaked they only had me down for 275 earnings, I went & got her all my payslips! I had also been told on the phone back when I started working that I would get full housing benefit. I even questiioned that person at the time saying tht at my lone parent back to work thingy where they work out your benefits based on working 16 hours a week that I would have to pay about 45 a week towards my rent. But the person on the phone at the time said the law changed literally 2 or 3 weeks before that CSA payments are no longer taken into account as an income, we can keep them. So I assumed it was all fine, my CSA payments were 45 a week then! it all made sense. & didn't read award letters as long as my rent was paid! So anyway, the compliance officer last week said I should just get a letter, not have to go in for an interview. And that's exactly what happened. Our council doesn't bother with calling you in for anything under 500. I believe I was treated well what with the amount of over payment, but I have lost all trust in the staff that do the working out. The compliance lady was wonderful though.
  4. I wont forget it either, nasty experience. I wont be able to until the 1600 I borrowed to pay it back is paid off anyway! Since this all started a couple of weeks ago for me, I found an online benefit calculator through a link on here & they are still not working mine out right. It's still a total mess up. Glad to be off it. I dont know what to suggest to you really. I know you're feeling you have lost all trust in them like I do & cant face going through it again. x
  5. Sounds so similar to my situ. Although I didn't notice my AND their mess up until 2 years later when it came to a review. Was told last week how much I owed back 1600 including council tax. The whole thing has scared me so much,, even though my compliance officer was a diamond. I emailed & told them to stop my claim as of now. Rang them the next day & they received the email, have suspended the benefit & then it will be processed & closed down. After that my new award letter came through & I cant make head nor tail of it, avaialiable amounts, applicable amounts, my sis used to work for DWP overpayments dept & even she cant make the figures match. And now I am just thanking him up there that I have cancelled it. I will be upping my hours, working my derier off from now on as a single parent to pay all my rent & council tax, & run a car to gte them to school 5 miles away. I just thank the lord for tax credits. Although those will go down a bit now, but still not too bad. I cant face ever going through that again. The fact the figures still dont seem to add up might mean I hear from them again, but I will face that if it happens. I just feel so much better now I am not dealing with untrained staff that do the working out & responsible for my own finances & not just trusting what someone had told me over the phone 2 years ago. Hope you are feeling a bit more settled, but I definitely understand the fear of them still not getting it right, all too well xxx
  6. That's brilliant thank you very much folks 8-)
  7. Is EMA even a benefit? Anyway I am wondering if it is definitely going to be scrapped & if there is anything similar taking its place, for students to be able to get to school & buy books? Apparently a bus pass will cos 44 pounds per month for my son to get to school when he starts 6th form in september, & then there's the books he will need to purchase. We are now living on very little, & can just get by, but i'm genuinely not sure if I can afford a bus pass AND books. And because I work, the different times he will need to be there is going to mean getting buses sometimes. At the moment I work during regular school hours.
  8. My ex pays CSA of 65 a week for 2 kids. Apparently he refused to provide details of his girlfriends wages, whom he has lived with for the last 6 or 7 years. And they let that go. I opted for them to still be involved when I started working part time 2 years ago, even though he wanted to arrange it privately between us, haha yeh ok, not happenin! He would always be saying he's too skint this week etc. I have never questioned their 2 full time wages coming in though, as I dont atually believe his girlfriend should have to pay towards his children? Because that's all wrong in my opinion. And CSA/maintenance isn't taken into account when claiming benefits now, so men/women should not get too greedy imo.
  9. Yarik I hear ya, I mean, since CSA/Maintenance payments were disregarded from being included as income back in about october 2008 & child benefit being disregarded back near the begining of last year, my review (compliance) officer told me there was an influx of housing benefit claims, even from women/men that were recieving 1000 pounds a month in maintenance payments, because they no longer were included as income. So a single parent with 2 kids on tax credits working 16 hours a week & receiving a grand a month from their ex in maintenance can still claim housing & council tax benefit. Of course they could get credit! They are better off than most regular full time workers in a family of 4!
  10. They wont be interested in loan accounts, I printed mine off to show the review officer the other week (compliance officer she was really called but we both agreed that sounds harsh!) And she said she didn't need to see that. But as it was in use I declared it. Didn't look pretty because it said -3000 pounds lol I have to be honest, I assumed if you weren't using accounts, you didn't need to produe statements. If they have 5p in them & have done for months before you claim anything, they wouldn't want to see them surely? I would have thought they are only interested in a main account or a savings one that you are using at the time of your claim? I dont know, the whole benefits things is a mind And I definitely didn't think they need to be told when you open a new one??!! And I dont agree that people on benefits cant get loans, or credit, I know of a woman that was on income support & ran up huge debts on credit cards, so much so that she had to declare herself bancrupt in the end. That's another option for you if the worst comes to the worst? Especially if you dont have a property. If you have to explain transactions going back 6 years, how do they expect you to do that?
  11. Received my letter saying the amountof over payment, arranged to pay it back 100 a month, cancleled my housing benefit & council tax benefit claim the same day. Now I got a loan & am about to pay it all off, but it looks from the award letters I got yesterday that they still haven't worked out my claim right & there may be another 6-800 over payment. They dont seem to realise this yet. If I pay the 1200 off & the 400 council tax over payment now, Then go to CAB & ask them to check the laest award letter out, if they advise me to to appeal the over payment, can I still do that if I have already paid it off? The reason I am thinking is ifI dont pay it off, & there is still another over payment, it'll take me over the 2k mark for prosecution? x
  12. Ah ok, I was wondering that because when you used to start work you got paid in arrears didn't you, so you would still get a weeks wages after you left (i'm going back some years lol) but the housing assosiation woman confused me earlier as she didn't seem to know how the council pay them, although she said I think they pay in arrears. Just paranoid about getting anymore over payments. Living on my nerves now because I will be having to budget week by week from now on. Thanks for the advice x
  13. I am anti claiming anything whilst working nowdays. The only thing I will be claiming is a bit of tax credits. I think unless you are on IS it's a total nightmare & going back to work & them messing my earnings up at HB, I ended up 1600 in debt. They love their over payments & the way they treat their errors, our errors & fraud are always the same. There is no difference, you're a fraudster in all 3 ways atleast to start with. And that's scarey. Having gone through the over payment road after trying to do the right thing & go to work even though my youngest was still young enough for me to stay on IS, I would rather live on less money & be sure I wont ever have to be told 'we messed up, but you didn't notice so we want our money back' Remember, people that claim benefits are vulnerable, they obviously need the/entitled to the money, so they do have a Duty of care. That is forgotten when it comes to mistakes though. Only you can decide if the job is worth doing. If I could go back 2 years I would have stayed on IS. I dont really see any incentive for people to leave the safety net of full benefits, what with tax credit over payments & all those hassles.
  14. Bit confused. Have told housing benefit monday just gone that I want to stop claiming as of that day, monday 14th feb. The housing assosiation were saying on the phone earlier that even though they ask for rent a week in advance, the council pay them 2 weeks in arrears. Definitely arrears, cant remember if she said 2. But I am now confused, will this mean I will have to pay back some benefit for the last 2 weeks? I know it sounds thick but my head is all over the place at the moment & I cant really think straight. x
  15. Hi If you have young children you would be better off on income suport than Job seekers? When on income support you can work, but obviously they will take some away. Have a look at this site... http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Employedorlookingforwork/DG_10018757 And here's a benefit calculator site you can play around on.... http://www.turn2us.org.uk/benefits_search.aspx
  16. Hadenough, I agree with you, if there is any way of not having housing benefit, do it. Because they are rip off merchants. I got my new award letter today since my recent review & yes this time I have checked out the figures they have based my rate of pay on about 7.40 an hour, when I only get 6.88!!! I was not due a payrise until the end of this year atleast, so in theory they would be UNDERPAYING me! Ok not by a lot, but hardly the point. That was because I worked a bank holiday monday in december & the january bank holiday. The review officer hasn't mentioned anything about taking 2 normal months ones down there again, so they would have been happy to carry on underpaying me, & that riles me a bit. They dont advise you at all. So I am glad I stopped it yesterday, good riddence to it!
  17. I'm still struggling to see why you should have been claiming as a couple if you dont live together & he just comes to see the kids & does a bit of cooking & washing up? Is it really that bad? I just thank the lord that I dont have a boyfriend & have no intention of getting one anytime soon. Benefits are a total head fffff' & I think the only answer is to get an extremely well paid job, have an exremely well off partner/husband, & never claim any benefits. Then of course the tax man takes a lot of it anyway, so it's a loose loose situation! It's all making me really mad at the moment, which is why I keep coming on here because I see all these people that are just trying to live, everything is getting so expensive yet our incomes aren't going up. And people that make mistakes are bunched in with people that commit full on benefit fraud & I have seen atleast one that blatently did it, got found not guilty in court. Have to stop getting myself would up by it all at the moment, I have enough to worry about now I have cancelled housing & council tax benefit. Just taken out a 3k top up loan, I already had a loan I started a year ago, I still owed 3k on it, they have topped up another 3k & only about 40 quid a month more repayments. I have done this to pay off the 1200 over payment & 400 I now owe council tax. The rest will have to be my fall back if my car breaks down or dog has to go to the vet. After paying my rent, bills, petrol etc we will be living on 150 a week, that's to by food & clothes. Kids dad will have to help out with uniforms. He wont like that. And if tax credits say that's wrong they can kiss my *?! And you wouldn't go to prison even by some bizarre chance they find you guilty, single mum with young children I would eat my hat & yours! Can you imagine the scandal in the papers, that judge would be lynched! x
  18. What happened when you stopped claiming? You put in writing you no longer wanted housing benefit from that moment, then what happened? They didn't contact you again?
  19. And you would definitely be entiled to benefits now with only 3k savings. I got a loan for 4k when I was claiming benefits, why would that mean I shouldn't get benefits anymore? As I was saying in another post the other day, I have heard of people being taken to court for over 100 thousand pounds of benefits they shouldn't have got & they didn't go to prison. And you wont get evicted from where you live, unless you dont pay their rent of course. The amount of people with criminal records renting properties is a good sign that it's nothing to do with them. Atleast not as you are living there already. Not like you're going to be credit checked when trying to rent somewhere else now if you already live there.
  20. I would be suprised if anything would happen now, that's a long time ago! And dont forget, even if people have savings over an amount that means they cant claim benefits, the DWP, LA etc still have to deduct a reasonable amount that you would be expected to live off? If you stopped your claims there n then, a large chunk of that money would have gone on rent food etc? So say you carried on claiming benefits for a year after getting the 30k, then cancelled your claim at the end of that year, they can only actually do you for one year. Just because someone had 30k savings, doesn't mean they have been over paid benefits of 30k or even the full amount they were claiming in that year? Do you need to re apply for the benefit due to circumstances changing now & worrying they will drag up the past?
  21. Well the woman on the phone at benefits this morning said just send us an email to [email protected] blah blah blah saying you no longer want to claim. But I did put in the email I wanted it to stop from today as I will be working full time from the begining of march, but want to stop it now due to having incurred an over payment arrising from a review recently & dont want anymore chance of over payments again as I found it stressful. At the end of the day my mum said she will pay one months rent for me rather than me have the complex bit of them not stopping it soon enough & me ending up stressed again. I will get a full time wage at the end of march so as long as I owe the council no more that's all I care about! Are you wanting to come off them too? x
  22. Yep that's me Emailed them today & said I want to stop my claim for housing benefit & council tax benefit from today. I shall be working full time & never claining off them again. Too much grief! I'm lucky in the way that my children are 14 & 15 now so they are quite independant. I feel for people with young children that have to claim benefits, it's awful.
  23. Because they'll just say I should have read the award letter instead of just trusting what someone on the phone from there told me. Obviously after they based my claim right going by my contract, then put down that I was actually on less because when they saw my first payslip, which was only a part month due to me starting there half way through their pay month? they didn't register that the wage slip didn't match the contract & didn't ask for another payslip. But they will still say I should have noticed that from the award letter they would have sent after that, but as I said before, I was getting my rent paid, unless it went into arrears I wouldn't have qestioned it. But that's not really enough defence for me, that is still my fault & I will have to pay for it. As was said in another thread, anyone claiming benefits check check & double check they have everything down as right, because mistakes do happen, on both sides. x
  24. Awww you're a sweetie, thanks for that advice. Well, I emailed benefits today & told them I wanted to stop claiming from now, as I am going to be working full time, tax credits go down obviously, but I would rather stand on my own two feet now, children are mid teens, & because I find housing benefit too complex I would rather not bther with them. I couldn't go through another overpayment at any point. It's been awful. I dont know what happens now, the woman on the phone just said email us & tell us you no longer want to claim. I guess they will write to me & confirm it's stopped? Have already arranged paying back the overpayment at a set amount each month that can be done on line the lady said.
  25. Luckily I could afford to lose about 2 stone in all, so that is all the bonus of this is. I know I am dehydrated too as my lips are dry & I keep picking them, I keep trying to drink fluids but I cant force down what my body isn't saying I need? I expect you know what I mean there by what you have said in your post x
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