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  1. In 2013 I started claiming HB, both myself and my husband are self employed. We had only just set the business up in 2012 following him being made redundant and me having a baby. For the first 3 tax years the business made a loss (2010, 2013, 2014). In January 2017 they wanted to reassess us again , I made up the books (I was doing this anyway for the Jan 31st deadline) and found we had made a small profit, which was reduced by the tax losses brought forward. I then also made up the next lot of accounts when the new tax year started in April. The council have reassessed and said we were overpaid and we owe them around £9500 in HB and £3500 in CT, plus we have now accrued £400 in rent arrears while this is being sorted out. As far as I can see the problem / over payment has been caused by the council using different figures than the tax man, for example they have disallowed certain expenses which have left me scratching my head. I had no way of knowing what they would or wouldn't allow, and on top of this they seem to have made up a lot of the figures. I called shelter and they said they couldn't help, I called CAB who said from what I told them I need to get a specialist solicitor, but I have no idea how much this will cost and I have no savings, I live week to week on our low income. 've written to the council, and copied their own letter and written corrections next to all of their figures. This making me feel sick to my stomach, I have no way of paying back what they want, plus I think it's incorrect. I psyched myself up to phone first thing but they aren't open until this afternoon. I just can't believe when I've been 100% straight and always notified them of any changes that I'm now £14,000 in debt. Does anyone have any experience of this sort of thing? Is there anything specific I should ask or say when I do speak to them?
  2. Hello. I will try and be as brief as I can as this follows on from a thread I posted in the employment section which has now been resolved so I won’t go in to any details. I resigned and get full pay for the whole of November as well as full pay (Gardening leave) for December. Overall this was the right thing to do for me based on the likely outcome. My full pay went in today and will also do so for December as confirmed by HR. I resigned on medical grounds as my A&D got a lot worse and have been to the GP about this and all disciplinary action against me has been dropped. If DWP write to my employers or indeed another employer writes to them there will be no 'resigned under investigation' mandated. Now, I am in a UC area but was advised I should reapply for ESA and HB. I will only get ESA if my condition has got worse, I am seeing my GP again on Friday to discuss this. If my ESA claim fails it will be Universal Credit where I get a lot less. When I previously signed on and claimed HB my total payment was around £660pm. Under UC it seems I can only claim shared bedroom rate as I live at home with parents (private rent 2 bed) so my UC rate is around £580pm (used an on line calculator) This would leave me a shortfall of rent and leave me very short as the rest of my rent (50/50 with parents) would need to come out of my JSA element of UC. I also understand that if you voluntarily resign the JSA element of UC would carry a sanction but as I intend to claim ESA and HB initially based on medical reasons (I have sick notes and will get an updated one this week) I do not think there is any sanction, however, if my ESA claim fails and I do have to claim UC (housing and JSA elements) even if I am looking for some form of work based on my health and demeanour at the moment and my resignation being on health grounds I also do not think I should have a sanction held against me as I still have rent and bills to pay. If I do not get ESA and have to claim UC is there any discretionary top up I can claim? If not I guess this is all my fault anyway and I will have to suffer and get on to gas and electric, credit card, SKY etc. and reduce payments and make a 'deal' with them until I can start paying more again. I have no savings either. Can someone also advise that if I am paid my salary on Dec 16th taking me to Jan 16th at what point should claim my ESA and HB or UC? As it takes 6 weeks can I claim anytime soon citing I am no longer employed from the end of December and funds run out on Jan 16th so that I can get my payments sooner rather than later? If I have nothing for 6 weeks (is it backdated?) not sure how I am going to pay my rent or bills! In addition to all of this I also have an overpayment of £1100 working tax credits to pay back but when I spoke to them about this they said recovery is based on circumstances and won'tbe until the next financial year anyway Many thanks in advance
  3. I would really appreciate any help with this. I live in London and have a spare bedroom some of the time. I don't want a permanent lodger but was thinking of renting it out on an occasional basis through crashpadder. I am in receipt of housing benefit and obviously would declare the earnings from this, but cant find any information on the legal implications of doing this and do not want to get into trouble with them. Does anyone know where I would be able to get more information?
  4. Please can anyone give me some advice or reassurance? My wife's daughter has this morning received a letter from DWP dated 26th August that her IS has been stopped as of 7th August. This was not so unexpected as she split with her partner on that date and he moved out officially on 15th August. What was unexpected was that when she called them to find out what to do about a new claim she was informed that she should not have been receiving any IS at all since they moved in together in July last year and they are reviewing her case. She must also make a fresh claim. The woman on the phone did admit that my stepdaughter had told the DWP at the time (she actually had assistance from some sort of family support worker to fill out the forms and has a benefit award letter stating 'Benefit paid for you and your partner' meaning they definitely did know) but she also said the DWP had made an error and she should have been denied IS altogether. She is disabled and has 3 dependent children all under 8 and is now unexpectedly skint as she didn't realise some of the payments she had thought were being made into the bank weren't! She now has to wait for this review to happen before she receives any more IS. To cap all that off, her recent new HB and CTB claims have also been put on hold whilst the matter is resolved, she moved into a new rental property on 16th July and still hasn't received a bean meaning she is already £1700 or so in rent arrears. Questions:- 1. How long is this DWP review process likely to take and is there any way to push for a speedy resolution? 2. Is it likely she will be asked to repay this 'overpayment' by the DWP? 3. Is it likely she will be asked to pay back some or all of the HB and CTB that she received for the previous period when they were living together. 4. What is likely to happen with this new claim for HB and CTB after the DWP review is complete? Would her HB payments be affected for the new property i.e. reduced payments? Many thanks in advance, worried stepdad and landlord!!!
  5. Hello After renting for more than six years having sold my house, I put in a claim for housing benefit which was awarded. 3 months later it has been reviewed and the LA want to know details of the house sale. I know about the five year rule for sale and rent of same property - does that apply here as well? Thank you
  6. Hi, first post and I wouldn't normally sound so rude, but today's situation has really got my blood boling. I'm normally the most polite woman you could ever meet. But my JCP advisor has had it in for me ever since I was assigned her a few months ago. Sometimes people just take an instant dislike to one another, nothing can be done. However, she has all the power. She always keeps within the rules and so do I. But recently she's been coming across to me as really insulting, denigrating and suspicious when I talk about my anxiety issues. She dismisses them like I just need to stop indulging myself and pull myself together. I'm on JSA at the moment, and reading some of the posts here it sounds like I might have an easier life if I just went to my GP and got a sick note for anxiety to get ESA (?) and get her off my back. What I want to know is if I explain to her next time I sign why exactly it is I think she's a nasty *****, as long as I've done all my jobsearches, fulfilled all my jobseeker directions, can she STILL sanction me for being insulting and rude? I don't want to spite my nose, but I don't think I can bite my tongue much longer with her. Any advice really appreciated as what used to be normal life stress is fast becoming something I think I deserve ESA for.
  7. I was applying for JSA Income Based with Housing Benefit on 11th of May. On saturday I received letter saying I have passed habitual residency test. So I'm hoping that I will get jsa, my question is how long will it take for a decision for housing benefit and who will notify me of council or dwp ? as I was applying for it together with jsa.
  8. Hi, I have been waiting for my PIP to be assessed for nearly a year. Now that it finally got assessed and I was awarded an entitlement and I am to receive a chunk payment for the year that was not payed out due to delays, which sums up to £6000. However, if I technically have savings of £6000 it will affect my housing benefit. Although I have loans to pay back, because the DWP will put the amount into my account I guess temporarily it will be perceived as 'savings'. What do I do? Do I even need to inform Housing Benefits about the PIP payment? Do I need to pay my rent out of PIP now? Will my housing benefit entitlement be affected because PIP delayed with my application? I would be greatful for any advice on this. IMO: Housing benefits lot treat people like sh** and they are always in the 'right', so you can never put your point across or get neutral honest advice from them. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you ever so much in advance..
  9. I'll explain the situation and maybe someone can give me some advice. I was on jsa until the end of January (I had been on jsa for two years, and I was on the work programme as well). At the end of January I applied for esa, and I am now still waiting for a decision maker to decide on my habitual residence test. I haven't received any money yet, as I have not been awarded esa because of the habitual residence test which I'm told can take as much time as needed. My housing benefit has continued to be paid because I informed my local council when I switched to esa, and so far I have continued to receive payments. For these two months I have been looking for a part-time job without success so far, and living off my savings. Today I went to the CAB who told me there's this new law which starts tomorrow 1st of April, which says if I go back to claiming jsa now I won't be receiving any housing benefit payments for the first three months. I asked her about making a rapid reclaim, but she told me even though my rapid reclaim is still within the 26 week period, the fact that I stopped the jsa claim in order to claim esa may be a problem for the jsa rapid reclaim to go through, and be treated as a new claim. She says I can do a jsa rapid reclaim only if the reason why I signed off was because I found work. She told me the best course of action would be to stay waiting for the esa habitual residency test outcome (even though she told me I'm very unlikely to pass the test), because at least I'm still having my housing benefit payments, and get a part-time job asap. I think that's a good option however I have been to several interviews and have had no success so far. Which doesn't mean I won't be successful tomorrow. But I am in doubt about the rapid reclaim. I am in doubt about whether maybe I should make a quick decision today and apply for a rapid reclaim since the new law doesn't start until tomorrow april 1st, would it make any difference? Would my rapid reclaim be accepted even if I signed off to claim esa, and not be affected by the new law regarding housing benefit-eea nationals? If my rapid reclaim were accepted then, would my housing benefit be affected by this new law? Any help is very welcome and appreciated.
  10. Hi, Sorry if this post comes off as part seeking advice and part rant but I've turned green and turned Hulk with letter I got this morning. I'm in receipt of Housing Benefit, JSA and Council Tax exemption, but I got a letter back in August saying under ConDems new Eugenics program I need to pay some Council Tax and was sent a bill for £19pcm. I honestly couldn't afford to even pay that, so I marched off to my benefit office in Harringay to ask for advice - they made me fill in a 'Discretionary Payment Award' form. I got it all stamped having shown the evidence and forms needed. Form is stamped 26th October 2013. I phoned in early December to see where my claim was at, having heard nothing, and they said it was still being processed and to wait another few weeks. As of beginning of February 2014 I'd heard nothing, so I phoned again - still being processed. Then last week I get a letter for Court Summons for non payment of Council Tax. I owe a mighty £95 - but they've added £125 for 'Court Summons Fee' - (which to my understanding involves someone near a photocopier printing off a letter and licking a stamp). I once again marched off to Harringay Benefits Office full of self-righteous indignation only to be told it's MY Fault I didn't pay Council Tax even though I received no further demands or letters, phone calls or anything - so wrongly assumed my claim for relief was in hand and let sleeping dogs lie... My question, and my rant, is what can I do about the Court Summons Fee? I accept I owe the outstanding CTX and am happy to pay it as well as I can - a couple of pounds a week, but how does this fee help anyone? I'm living on food banks and grace - luckily I have a reasonably strong mind but I can imagine this sort of bullcrap could easily push a desperate person over the edge and for what? It will cost Harringay council a helluva lot more than £95 to take me to court, instruct bailiffs, have more personnel sat at more typewriters to post letters, etc. .. What's the damn point? Ideological? for the sake of it? I'm at a loss.
  11. Background: I was out of work for a few years. I have now a temporary work contract with no ending date but I was told informally that it would end in November. I really need to move away from my current accommodation and I like a nice single room at a very affordable place let by an agency. One of the condition of the tenancy is: no Housing Benefit (I haven't read the contract, that was on the leaflet). I can understand the agency or landlord not wanting certain kind of tenants, but what happens if I rent the room and then I lose my job and claim Housing Benefit? Can they legally put a clause in the contract that if I claim HB then my contract is terminated, or otherwise the fixed term tenancy becomes periodic tenancy? Would I have to inform the LL/agency of my change in circumstances? Any other pitfalls I should take care of? Thanks
  12. Hello, I will be grateful for any helpful advice. I was late signing on at Job Centre twice in a row and got benefit taken away for four weeks. On both occasions I was late by just 5-6 minutes. The situation was, I had requested the advisor several times not to set the appointment for too early in the morning as I have to drop off my disabled daughter to nursery at 9:15 and am unable to make it to Job Centre (2 miles away) for, say, 9:30am. Still, they continued giving me early morning appointments. That made me come a few minutes late at times. Now, I was seen right away on the first occasion (and given a warning letter), then two weeks later I was told to return in the evening when I received another warning and was told that I would be reported to "decision makers". Today I received a letter stating that my benefit will be suspended for four weeks. Now, if it was only JSA affected, we could make it somehow. But we can't afford loosing Housing Benefit for a month (that's £1,000 in where we live). I also feel treated unfairly as my JCP advisor always appears to have lots of free time, both before and after my appointment - so, arguing that I was taking someone else's slot would be a lie. Still, she went for punishing me instead of showing a degree of flexibility. Now, has anyone been in a similar situation? What chances of getting their decision annulled do I stand if I appeal? Should I do anything else apart from appealing? Finally, would this affect Housing Benefit which in itself is a means-tested benefit (and we clearly got worse not better this month)? Thanks for any advice you might have. k.
  13. I have recently been a subject of a fraud investigation relating to a housing benefit claim for a former lodging. The landlord and his then partner were also investigated (one of them having jointly signed, with myself, a lodging agreement that falsely stated a higher rent than had been agreed, which was used to support the similarly exaggerated benefit claim). Several weeks ago, I was subjected to an interview under caution. I had already volunteered all of the information about the offence, before the council were even aware that one had taken place, and the interview was really just to reaffirm what I had already told them, for the benefit of a tape. Because I had admitted everything, and indue come forward of my own accord, I was given a formal caution. The investigation continued for several weeks after - presumably then focussing on the two other parties; I know that they were interviewed some time after me - and has now been completed. I need to make a DPA request for the case file, and am wondering if the DPA has any provisions that would allow me to see the entire file unedited - i.e. to include whatever information is held about the other two parties in connection to the same offence, given that I have a direct interest in knowing, for example, whether they received any penalties themselves (considering that the nature of the offence is such that I can't have committed it without one or both of them).
  14. All being well my dd will be going to Uni this September. She has various disabilties and receives LRC and LRM DLA which as it's an indefinite award should take her to 2015 at the earliest before being assessed for PIP. She'd never manage in halls so is planning to rent a flat and share with a friend who knows her needs and will help her. dd will be studying a full time course. Am I right in thinking that she can apply for ESA while at Uni? I expect that her student finance will mean she won't actually receive any though? And am I right in thinking that she can be 'awarded' the benefit but receive nothing (due to her income from student finance) but the fact that she has been awarded/approved for ESA might then mean she can claim housing benefit to help with her rent? Hope that makes sense. If I am wrong, I can't see how she will manage through Uni, as her student finance adds up to under £7000 for Sept - June and if paying 50% rent & 50% utility bills, would never survive.
  15. Hi all, This happened to us in October/November last year but a recent event has made me bring it up with my landlord so I thought I would pop by here to: Earlyish October 2012 My wife had a university grant so we notified ESA and LA - both of which immediatly susspend our claims and stopped all payments. We were very lucky that I made sure we didn't start this hassle until about 3 days before the grant was paid to my wife as we knew the DWP are absolute @#!&%@$s but it surprised me that even our HB and CTB were stopped too. We live in the Coventry area and I was wondering if this is happening to anyone else in other parts of the country? About a month into this process we received a lovely letter from Whitefriars notifying us of "Notice to Seek Possesion" - you can imagine how this made us feel, it is scary to think that I was unable to protect my disabled wife or our baby. After a letter or two, many phone calls and some trips to the landlords office I was feeling a bit more confidant that we would be ok as we were told (though not in writing) that proceedings to evict would be put on hold until further information came in from LA . After all this hassle we finally got a letter through from LA stating that we were still entitled to full HB & CTB but I am a little bit greyer and balder and my wifes medication has had to be increased (this 2nd bit is true unfortunately). It seems absurd to me that the system has changed now so that no matter what the change of circumsance is (I think) all the payments are stopped and we are threatened with eviction.
  16. I have entered full employment three weeks ago. My HB was fully suspended accordingly I expected no further news from the council. However I have received two further payments and a letter stating that my HB claim was reinstated. I called the council helpline and the operator said that when I filled the online "Change Of Circumstances" form I declared that my yearly income would be just over £2000. I have the printed copy of this claim and I am pretty sure this is a mistake of the council. I am pretty sure this will go down sooner or later as an overpayment and I would have to pay it back. What do you suggest me to do? Send the council all the information they want and wait for a recalculation or simply ask them to cease my claim?
  17. I am going to fill my online application for JSA, where I will asked if I want to apply for HB too. I am pretty sure I'll get sanctioned for the JSA. If so, would I also lose the right for Housing Benefit? And in any case is it better to make a separate application for HB with the council?
  18. Hi, I was horrified and slightly confused recently to receive a letter from the council informing me that they had suspended my housing benefit in order to look at it in more detail. The reason I was horrified and confused was because I wrote to them on 18th June 2012 to inform them that I was moving out of the property I was in on 25th June 2012. However, on speaking to them, it appears they never received this letter. Having moved out I started a two month working contract during which I was immensely busy often working evenings as well as all day. I didn't check my bank account too closely, but knew I had money in there when I started and was paid periodically (every 4 weeks) by my employer. I never had any problems with paying for things, though I did think once or twice that I had been paid more than I should have been. However, I didn't have access to my payslips, as they were delivered to my mother's address while I was staying onsite at work (I was working in Bath and my mother lives in London). Anyway, I received this letter recently which confused me because I thought the benefit had been cancelled at my request, and I checked my bank account in detail. This revealed to me that I had been paid HB for the last 3 months or so and that I owed the council around £1650. I immediately wrote to the council apologising profusely explaining my position (and enclosing a copy of the letter I sent in June, though this, admittedly, doesn't really prove anything, as I didn't send it recorded delivery or anything like that, so have no proof of posting) and offering to pay back the money as soon as possible, and they have invited me to an Interview under Caution on 23rd October. As I say, they are saying they never received my letter cancelling my benefit, so as far as I can see it is my word against there's - therefore, my question is how do I stand? I am very worried here (I have never committed a crime in my life and am scared stiff of a criminal record, fines, possible imprisonment etc...)that I could be prosecuted for benefit fraud given the fact that I can't prove that I sent the letter (am kicking myself for not sending recorded delivery). Do I have any legal standing at all and am I right to think that the consequence could be as bad as I think it could be? Hope to hear from someone soon and thanks in advance, Matt
  19. I separated and moved out of the matrimonial house 4.5 years ago. I am currently paying for everything and thought - rather than a narrative, I'd list the points below for some sort of clarity. We have 2 children ages 9 and 11. Have a joint mortgage (350k) on that house which I am paying for and looks like it's going to rack and ruin..... I have an income of £3.5/monthe net of which she is getting £2.5k - it's an agreement I sort of slipped into when I moved out of the house - and got ill... I have been off sick from work for coming up to 3 years with stress (the above income is from a work insurance policy) and am just "coming round" as to what is happening. (I had a triple heart bypas a couple of years ago too). She hasn't worked for around 2 years and seems quite happy with the arrangement - though still running out of money at the end of the month. What I'd like to know is firstly what I am legally obliged to pay? Is it just my half of the mortgage and 2 children or - what I am paying for; the mortgage, children, wife, etc. How do I get her to decrease my costs by moving her out so she might do something about getting a job; some basic allowances for housing etc. I can't aford to go back to work - I doubt if I am going to be earning anything near what I was now- and this sort of thing is driving me back to where I was in terms of being ill................It's really killing me. I guess I need to employ an accountant to make sure these payments are cost effective; and legal to do something about the logistical changes. I'm really at my wits end - stuck in a mire - don't know what to do and am sinking fast.... Any advice on any of the above points would be much appreciated.....I also need to get her out quickly as the hous is now a "project in need of modernisation" and I'm worried that selling it now won't clear off the mortgage. I've even started watching "arty" films and feel that I have no control whatever over my existance - Oh and I'm 47 - if that helps. Tahnkyou for reading and any help you can provide - Andy
  20. I am currently being investigated for benefit fraud. For JSA ESA Housing benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Dating back to 2009. To give you a quick history. My ex huxband was caught cheating in Dec 2008 and in Jan 2009 I threw him out. I had also been made redundant Jan 2009. So I claimed for JSA. I suffered from depression so in Sept 09 I changed my claim to ESA. During both these claims I have also claimed housing and council tax benefit. My ex husband has always been a frequent visitor to my house, as he work in a Comprehensive School about 800 yard from my home. We have a 23 year old son together and a 3 year old grand-daughter. There were outstanding debts at the property of Rent arrears, which we arrange for him to pay a direct debit to the Housing Ass of £50 a month untill it was cleared. There were also gas and electric arrears, which although after he left I had pre paid meters put in on both. I thought it was only fair that he contibuted to the both to clear the arrears. I was approx £6 per week. He was also paying sky for a little while after he left, but that was because I was unable to cancel it because it was in his name. He also paid my car insurance. I had to take my sons ex to court for grand-parents right to see my grand-daughter in 2009 after they split and thing became very strained. This was something that I did alone and did not include my ex husband. Although in 2010 when the court granted me regular access to her. Her mother asked that I was not part of the collection or return process. She ask that her grand-father collect and return her. I hadn't seen my grand-daughter properly in over a year and I agreed to this. This is now part of my court order. The car is need to collect and return my grand-daughter and when I was having financial trouble with the upkeep of the vehicle. My ex agreed to pay the insurance. It is my car and was brought after the split. Also because the court order for access to my grand-daughter is mine. My ex see her at my home. And I will say for all his many fault and problems that we have. That little girl loves him to bits. In Aug 2011 I recieved a letter from that housing benefit office asking my to go in for an interview 2 weeks later. Maybe being a little nieve I went to the interview believing that I didn't need legal representation because I had done nothing wrong. And even stated this during the interview when I was asked if I wanted a solicitor. They had my ex's bank statements which show the £50 rent arrears being paid and the car insurance, 2 months of sky etc. They asked me for all the address he had been staying at. I gave them the address of the school caretakers property to which I know he was staying at one point. But I also explained that my ex was very reluctant to give me any form of forwarding address because he had outstanding debts at my property and did not want me having an address to give people. They said that his bank statement and pay slips still come to my property. To which I did state was true. I also stated that I open them both every month to see what he has earn and where he has been. They also told me of a provident loan that was taken out, in his name at my property in June 2009. This was the first I had heard of this and even phone the Housing benefit office at a later date to get the exact date of the loan. I phoned provident and was told that no detail could be given to me because it was not in my name. But they did tell me that no repayments had ever been made from my home. I also contacted citizens advice and ask if they was anything I could legally do. I was told there was nothing because his the property was still in Joint tenency. ( I couldn't remove his name because of the rent arrears). Since having that interview I have had all my benefits stopped. And the all the letter have started coming through asking me to repay all the benefit dating back to Jan 2009. There is a gap of about 7 months in oct 2009 to May 2010 and when I phoned the benefits office, I was told that was because he was paying rent on the school property then, so is not see as living with me then. I have appealled against all the decision that the benifits office have made. Also also asked the offices that want the repayment to hold them until the apeals are heard. I have also asked for a copy of the taped interview and the transcript. I have also asked both the housing benifits office and the ESA office for a copy of all the information they hold on me under the Freedom of informations act. I have found a part time job of 10hrs a week and hopefully this will cover enough of my rent to stop the housing ass seeking to evict me before the appeals for all this is heard. My ex arrived at my property this morning, shouting and screaming because he has recieved a letter asking him to go for an interview regarding the part he played in my benefit fraud. He is refusing to go to the interview. He just says that he is not claiming any benefit and therefore is not answering any of there questions. It is none of there business where he is living. I am just wondering how much this will count against me? Has anyone else ever had this experience? I don't know how I can make him go? To me it seems that because I cannot supply another address for him. He must be living with me. How can that be right?. I thought it was innocent until proven guilty. Not guilty until you can provide the proof that your innocent? I also think he has been staying with my sister and her partner on and off and I know she is claiming. I don't want to give the benefits office her details as the same might happen to her. Same can be said about his sisters. I know the chances are he has stayed with both of them at some point. This is a nightmare and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Not even the person that rang the office in the first place. I believe another factor in him not providing me with a forwarding address is he stays with the girl he got caught cheating with sometimes and cannot say that because he still want to reconcile with me. Although there is no love loss between me and her and she is probably the one that phoned about the fraud in the first place. She has 2 small children and I can't give that as his address when I don't really know if it is right. This is a nightmare and I wouldn't wish it on anyone including her. If this can happen to me when I have done nothing wrong then it can happen to anyone. What I would really like to know is there anyway I can stop all these appeals and interview etc and Just get them to take me straight to court. I would actually prefer that. I feel that I would have the chance with the legal system that I am not getting with the benefits offices, they seem to have laws of there own. Can I take them to court to force then to prove there allegation?
  21. Hi, I've been lurking and getting advice for a while so thank you to all the advice givers and question askers. my situation is complicated and i'm looking for some advice, Citzens advice haven't called me back and now i'm desperate. my marriage broke down and i left with my children, he is refusing to sign divorce papers but that is another matter entirely. He wouldn't agree on cild support so i got CSA involved so they collect it and then send it to me. I now live with my parents and my children, I am allowed to claim Child Tax Credit as a single parent as i am over 25 and they know about the situation. I looked into the local college/uni to find out about getting a degree to give my children and i a better chance. However they didn't do the course i wanted, the nearest college that did the course was 3 hours away which obviously costs a fortune in travel expenses. My boyfriend said that he would happily get a flat and (for financial recompense) i could stay there when i was at college to reduce the financial outset. Both our names are on the lease in case we broke up and left each other in the lurch. i get child benefit, child tax credit for 2 children, maintenance payments via CSA, student grant and student loan. my boyfriend started college last september himself, however he was ill and couldn't continue the course. He claimed for job seekers, he was told it had to be a couple claim even after explaining our situation. He received two letters dated the same day one said that benefit would be paid and the rates that would be paid the other said that they needed info before the claim could be processed. The info had been returned to them but i assume not in time before the letter was sent. it was all very confusing but in the end he called to ask about payment because he hadn't received anything and they told him that the claim had been cancelled because i have too much money. This has also been the case for Housing Benefit, i have too much money coming in. I don't have the money to pay the Rent, Bills, Travel etc... all on my own he has no money whatsoever coming in. I phoned the Citizens Advice helpline and was told that it probably shouldn't have been a couple claim, there are apparently questions that when asked reveal whether it should be a couple claim or not. I was told to go into the Citizens Advice centre as they would help more and possibly advocate on our behalf. i went down early and was second in the queue. I was advised that my case would be passed on to someone who was a specialist but she wasn't in till the next day in the afternoon. she will phone. No phone call was received. I called and left a message, i got a call back but not from the woman who would be able to help me, so she would call me that afternoon. No phone call received. i need help, please can someone point me in the right direction?
  22. Hello! My name is Maria and I am about to find a place in London for me and my boyfriend. I suppose we will have to rent a a room in a house with other flatmates as we cannot afford a whole flat on our own. As we will be sharing the same room, what kind of housing benefit would we get?? We are not married so do we count as a couple or as friends sharing a room? Thank you in advance. I would really appreciate your help.
  23. HOUSING BENEFIT FRAUD INVESTIGATION Just received a letter today to go to a taped interview with an investigation officer with Sefton Council (Merseyside). The reason(s) for this i think are.....When I moved out on May 1st 2011 Sefton Council paid my HB/CT upto the end of August, as my new Council Liverpool City Council never told them to stop and I assumed they would........I got a letter for an overpayment of about £58.00 for this period, although my land lord got one for about £1000.... The interview is not for a few weeks as i'm In hospital for surgery the day they originally requested so i requested they give me two weeks to get over that.... I told the landlords agent I was moving out as it became a flat from hell...I started a fresh claim at my new address in Liverpool on 1st May 2011 Which Liverpool city council started paying my HB/CT....I am in receipt of Full Long-term Incapacity Benefit The letter says "Bring a friend or Legal Representative" I'm Taking A Dictaphone (so i can share this on here!!!!) and All Your Reply's So CAG is My Friend Some Answers before we start 1 I never knew Sefton was still paying until a bank statement came IN AUGUST and i noticed 3 LHA payments over 3 months of about £18.45 this was in august.... 2 When I saw this i cancelled the HB/CT and told them I had just Moved Out In August And Left It at That... Right What are the possible Outcomes BUT BOTH THE COUNCILS SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT HB/CT ARREARS AS THEY TRACKED ME DOWN FOR A PREVIOUS CT BILL SO A SHOULD HAVE TOLD B TO STOP PAYING HB/CT !!! OR SHOULD THEY WHAT WILL THE OFFICER DO/SAY TO ME AND WHAT SHOULD I REPLY
  24. Hi, I hope I am posting in the right place here as I am a total newbee. I need some legal help on where we stand. and what we should now do for the best. I'll try to keep it short but it has been going on for 9 months. I have a disabled friend who lives in a housing association flat with his school age daughter. My friend lives on disability benefits after several bad back operations. They claim housing and council tax benefits. In Dec and Jan his mother was ill. Because he is disabled and his mother lives 200 miles away or so he went to visit her 2-3 times during this period for a couple of weeksish at a time. He arranged for a friend of his to house sit his 16 year old daughter while he was away. When he came home toward the end of january he had a letter saying his housing and CT benefits had been suspended from 18th Jan and he needed to contact them. He did, and was told an unannounced visit had been made while he was away. That a young female who was not his daughter had at the time of the visit, been letting herself into his flat and had said she lived there. My Friend assumed his daughter had just had a friend staying over while he was away. Later it turned out the person was in fact the girlfriend of the person he had asked to housesit. So my friend let the council know. The woman from the council said she didn't believe him, that they wouldn't reinstate his benefit, that in order to have his benefit reinstated he needed to: Fill in a new application detailing his change of circumstances in the any change of circumstances area (there was no change of circumstances, his mother was ill, but nothing about His circumstances had changed ), He needed to be present at another unannounced visit. He had to supply his (sick) mothers address (so they could contact her), his mothers doctors address (which he didn't have), His housesitting friends address (after all this, they were not exactly on the best of terms any more), the housesitters girlfriends address (obviously he doesn't know that) and the address of his ex-wife (to prove his daughter lives with him). My friend refused to supply any addresses. When told they would not be given the addresses the council representative became agressive abusive and threatening. My friend did fill in a new application (exactly the same as his previous one) and agreed to another visit. Tellling them of a planned visit to his mother around the end of March and a holiday in May. To cut a long story short. He put himself under virtual house arrest for the next 6-7 weeks and nothing. They paid a visit on the 29th March and un-suprisingly my friend was at his mothers. However his daugter was in and the visiting team left a card with her. He contacted them on his return and they said they'd visit again sometime within the next 2 weeks. My friend phoned every day to make sure he was not forgotten untill he recieved an automated message saying the offices were now shut for easter....... etc etc etc. Around June my friend asked for my help as he was getting no-where and very stressed by the whole thing. I asked where the paperwork was so I could look at it but the only paperwork he had received was the letter in January telling him his benefit had been suspended and a letter in May saying his benefit had been suspended and backdated to 3rd January, as there had been no contact after a visit. Both saying he needed to contact them. I asked him what visit they were refering to on the letter from May and he said he had no idea. I probably should add, my friend does get confused with dates and the order things happen in quite easily. Which his doctor says is a side effect of his morphine medication. I arranged for us to both go in and see someone from the council, who again said someone would be out within the next 2 weeks. My friend was worried about this after the aggressive way he had been dealt with, and getting confused. I said I would pop round regularly and he could phone me. The visiting team came on the last day of the 2 weeks. About half an hour after I'd arrived to talk over what to try next, and I sat as witness/memory. They wrote out a statement and asked him to sign it, I did not see what it said and he can't really remember. They asked if they could take my name and address incase they needed to contact me in the future. I could see no reason why not, so agreed. 2 weeks later I asked my friend if it was all sorted and he said he still hadn't heard anything. I arranged for us to go back into the council offices and speak to the person who had arranged the visit. The council then ran credit checks on me without my authorisation, These flagged up on my credit report and were e-mailed to me by a well known credit check service. The following day we went to the appointment, the person who had been abusive to my friend decided to also attend the meeting. She took over the meeting. Told us she was the head of the fraud investigation and that my friend was officially under investigation. She then proceeded to try to repeatedly verbally bully my friend, untill in the end I asked her to stop doing it, as I could see him getting distressed and confused. At the end she said she wasn't satisfied he lived at his address and his claim was going to be cancelled from January 3rd but that his new claim would be paid from July 4th. She stated that he would receive the decision in writing along with all documents to do with the investigation, including telephone calls, visits etc. That it would also include details on how he could appeal the decision. I took notes during this meeting as it was the only way we could have anything in writing telling us what they were alleging. I asked them why they were running checks on me and was told they were not. I told them they were, and I wanted to know what right they thought they had to do that. She said she would look into it and write to me. Later I went through their list of events and found several of them that simply were not true. False allegations of visits they had made etc. 3 weeks later still nothing from them at all. This time I wrote to the Ms in charge. telling her in no uncertain terms that I was not happy at all about the way this had been conducted or her conduct throughout this investigation. That the matter had now been going on for too long, and that they had not given my friend the opportunity to defend himself or reply to any accusations, as they had not written to him telling him what he was accused of. I gave her 7 days to bring the matter to an end one way or another, or I would take further actions. I then received a letter from her supervisor saying he was looking into my letter, but it would take him a while. I also received a letter from her, saying they were quite within their rights to run credit checks on me as 'they were done as part of an ongoing investigation' and as such are exempt from the normal rules governing the data protection act ? ? ? So if you know someone who is under investigation, for anything, they can run searches on you, without your agreement, consent or even knowledge ? ? Anyway, I digress. I have since received a letter from the supervisor closing ranks and twisting the truth, sayings things like 'at the interview on'. When there was, and has been no interview/s. There was a meeting that WE had called to try to get some/any information. Going on to say he has seen no evidence of wrongdoing from his staff and listing some of the actions taken by his staff. This second list of actions (which is not the same as the list of actions we were told, and I wrote down at the meeting) is still just not accurate at all, at one point they are saying they visited my friend and that it was only ME that was present at his home, this just simply never happened . It has however finally given us something in writting. Something to enable us to prove they are lying:-). But what do you do with it ? Who do you take it to ? My friend has now been served with notices from the housing association. I advised him to see Citizens A,B. Who told him to go to the local council contact point where he lives. We went there and they said he had to speak to the people we had already dealt with and made us an appointment to go there for this Friday. I am worried about us attending this meeting, as I now understand how my friend feels. I also feel that everything that is said is twisted and that they can claim whatever they feel like claiming, without needing any proof what so ever. I am sure this can't be right, but I can't see any information on what my friends rights in this are. I can find plenty on how to report on, or prosecute on fraud. But nothing telling you what the rights of the accused are. I have found Housing Benefit Regulations etc, but they are not really very clear refering constantly to other acts, cases and legislations. So if I haven't sent you to sleep yet, all help would be soooo gratefully appreciated. Hopefully we can get it sorted and my friend can get his life back, come off of the anti-depressants and start sleeping again. Again Thank you So much for any help or advice you can give.
  25. Hi everyone, I am new on here and am in desperate need of advice. My husband and i have recieved a letter from the Housing Benefit to attend an interview under caution. It s a long story but I'll try and keep it simple. We have been claiming HB for about 7 months. At the time of claiming we were both unemployed and provided all the relevant documentation which they were happy with. Three months later, I started working but was not earning enought to cover all our expenses. So we decided that once i recieve my payslips we'll inform the HB as they want proof of change in circumstances. The problem being was the company i was working for was not paying my taxes, my NI or giving me payslips - which i was not aware of until my payslips never arrived in the post. I left after being there for 3 months as i knew what was happening was illigal. In the mean time though, we still had not informed the HB as I had no payslips to prove anything and we didnt want to cancel it completely because then we wouldnt have been able to live! On top of all of this, which we are to blame, we were over payed slightly and never told them about it - we are happy to pay them back though. VERY bad of us:| So now we have this letter, it does not say why they are investigating, they just want my husband to go in for an interview. We have been advised not to say anything to them but my husband is trying to decide whether to go or not. What will they do if he doesnt attend? Or, if he does attend, does he have to speak? Any advice would be much appreciated:-)
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