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On Pension Credit and Charged £75

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Can anyone tell me if you are on benefits, can banks charge you when the charge is going to leave you without food !!!!!!

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They should not but do, Its been debated till the cows come home.


Theres no real clarity-besides the social security act on which there was thought to be reliance only covers certain benefits.


I have heard of one or two claimants citing the human rights act.


Basically its hit and miss- but nothing to lose by trying.

Often the banks have observed it simply because they are unsure if there is a legal requirement.


When we first started to investigate this, we were never able to determine precisely what form of legislation backed the request. It had some instances where it worked successfully, and then others where it did not.


This is called First Right of Appropriation


Benefit claimants receiving direct payment of Housing Benefit into their bank accounts may be able to protect those payments from being used by the bank to meet authorised or unauthorised overdrafts built up by the customer and guarantee that they are used only to pay the rent to their landlord.



This "Right of Appropriation" allows a customer to assign any funds entering their account to specific events and needs, not just benefits.

This is something all the banks should be aware of, but are loathe to publicise. Some banks however do not understand this process since it is not very often used.


There is a letter you could try sending.....................




Dear Sir/Madam,




I am writing to inform you that I am due to have Housing Benefit payments of £xxx paid into my account on xx/xx/xx, and I wish to use my first right of appropriation for this money, for the following purposes; Rent £xx


I have set up a standing order/direct debit/will withdraw the money for the above use, and I would be grateful if you would ensure that any other payments out of my account do not interfere with this withdrawal.

[Add details of the future regular payments if they will be regular payments of Housing Benefit.]


Yours faithfully,




[Enter your Address]


Whether you get any joy from this is anyones guess.






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