I am a single mother with three children aged between 4 and 10. I worked in a London law firm up until I was made redundanticon in 2007 and then my husband and I decided I should stay at home with the children while he went out to work. In June 2012 my husband and I suffered a very messy separation, he moved out, and we haven't been on speaking terms since and he hasn't been interested in seeing his children for quite some time.
After my husband moved out I informed HMRC of the change and was awarded Child Tax Credits which have been paid to me until August this year when I received a notification that due to the fact there was the belief my husband had never left my Child Tax Credits had been stopped and I was asked to repay all the Tax Credits I have received since June 2012 which amounts to £13,000. I DO NOT have this sort of money. I am also no longer entitled to benefits such as free school meals for my children since I am no longer in receipt of Child Tax Creditsl
I objected to these claims and so was asked to send a bunch of documents which I duly sent immediately. I then waited months for a decision to be made and last week I received a lettericon to say their opinion hadn't changed and I am still therefore not entitled to Child Tax Credits. However, the letter did state I could send in further documentation for their consideration, which I immediately did, and am now awaiting further correspondence from them.
Could anybody give me some advice please? I am 100% entitled to those Child Tax Credits.
Alongside this issue I am now being refused income support and housing benefit due to the fact I co-own properties in another part of the country. Since my separation with my husband I have been living on a chunk of money received from the sale of a property. However, the balance of my bank account had dropped very low and so I decided it was time to put in a claim for housing benefit and council tax deduction and to claim income support.
However, I have been informed I am unable to claim these benefits due to the fact my ex-husband and I own properties in another part of the country and because I cannot give them much information about these properties because he always dealt with the properties (I just signed on the dotted line and provided the cash) and he took all the paperwork with him when he left and kept control of all the properties including receiving all income from rent. I have given the addresses of the properties and rough estimates of how much I believe them to be worth but I don't know anything about the mortgages or the tenants or any other details. My bank statements prove I haven't been benefiting financially from them at all and am not receiving any rental income.
There is absolutely no way for me to obtain the information required due to the fact my husband despises me and absolutely refuses to speak to me. I have asked a solicitor but was told there is no way to force him to provide this information. I would really like to sell the properties in order to buy my own house but my husband refuses to sell. He also refuses to divorceicon me and therefore I am unable to sell the properties through that.
I am so worried about what will happen if I can't claim ANY benefits. I have properties to sell but I am not in a position to sell them. I cannot live in them because they are so far away and our life is here. Besides, they all only have one bedroom. In two or three months I will have no money left in order to pay my rent or to survive in general.
Please can somebody advise me whether I should be entitled to income support, housing benefit and council tax reduction even though I own properties in other parts of the country? Or is the expectation that I move into one of those properties, even though they aren't suitable and are far away from our life here? It would mean all the children changing schools and living in a cramped 1 bed flat. As I have already stated there is no way I can sell the properties. Or can I? Is there a way to force my ex-husband to sell the properties?
I am EXTREMELY worried for our future. The ONLY income I have currently is £190 per month child benefit. That is ALL. I have £2,500 in my current account and once that runs out I have not a clue what I am going to do if I cannot claim the benefits and the Child Tax Credits I require in order to pay my rent and survive. I have terrible visions of me and the three children ending up homeless on the street. We have no relatives to help us out. The only option for the children would be to live with their father but considering he is mental and has frequently threatened to kill us all I couldn't bear for that to happen. He took me to court earlier this year to try to obtain residency of the children but thankfully his case was not successful. However, if we lose our home it would be our only option. I am so worried.
Please can anybody offer me some advice in this thread on how I can go about proving to HMRC that my ex-husband no longer lives at my address and therefore claiming the Child Tax Credits to which I am fully entitled? Also what can I do about the fact I have no money to live on or to pay my rent and yet I cannot claim any benefits?
Thank you so much in advance.