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    • what rights of access do you have on your agreement with the landlord?   i suspect you shouldn't have to pay a thing.
    • then there is your proof to them why would you pay for BB twice!!   for my notes: GENERAL NOTES ON CHARGEBACK & Continuous Payment Authority & BACS   .....  We have been telling people to put a letter into their bank instructing them  not to make any payments under any circumstances to these companies  . http://whatconsumer.co.uk/visa-debit-chargeback/- it works! usually this should be done using the number on your debit card  .  banks MUST follow written intructions from their customers ! . CANCELLING YOUR DEBIT CARD DOES NOT STOP CPA'S  .  This fsa guide has now been updated:  . http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/consumer_info/know_your_rights_guide.pdf http://www.fca.org.uk/news/continuous-payment-authorities-your-right-to-cancel https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/unauthorised-payments-account  .  Here's the text:  .  Cancelling a regular  card payment:  .  When you give your credit or debit card details to a company and authorise them to take regular payments from your account,   such as for a gym membership or magazine subscription,  it is known as a ‘recurring transaction’ or ‘continuous payment authority’.  . These are often confused with direct debits, but do not offer the same guarantee if the amount or date of the payment changes.  .  In most cases, regular payments can be cancelled by telling the company taking the payments.   .  However,   you have the right to cancel them directly with your bank or card issuer by telling it that you have stopped permission for the payments.   Your bank or card issuer must then stop them – it has no right to insist that you agree this first with the company taking the payments.  .  Be aware, though, that you will still be responsible for paying any money that you owe. and that CANCELLING YOUR CARD WILL NOT STOP THE CPA  .  ..  .  New june 2013  .  Regulator orders Banks and mutuals to review complaints about not cancelling recurring payments from November 2009.  .  Consumers who have set up a regular payment from their account will now be able to successfully cancel that arrangement   by contacting their card provider, the Financial Conduct Authority said.  .  The FCA has been examining how easy it is for customers to cancel Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs)   due either to payday lendersicon or for other regular payments such as subscriptions or gymicon memberships.  .  CPAs, which are also commonly called recurring transactions or recurring payments,   are relatively easy to set up but can be hard to cancel, causing problems for consumers trying to manage their finances,the FCA said.  .  Now, following the FCA review of how the largest high street banks and mutuals process requests to cancel CPAs, they have agreed that they will ensure that when   a customer asks for a recurring payment to end, that will be sufficient to cancel the arrangement. They have also confirmed that should a payment go through by   mistake following cancellation by a customer the customer will be refunded immediately.  .  In addition to securing this commitment, the largest banks and mutuals have agreed to review every individual complaint they have received about the non-  cancellation of a CPA and to pay redress where payments have continued to be made despite the customer cancelling the arrangement. This applies to all complaints   since November 2009 when the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor, began regulating banking conduct.  .  Clive Adamson, the FCA’s director of supervision, said: “It’s important that consumers are confident that banks are meeting their everyday banking needs. Today   customers can be confident that when they ask for a Continuous Payment Authority to be cancelled – it will be cancelled - and that it can be done easily.   . “We recognise that historically this is an area where some customers have struggled but the banks and mutuals have responded positively to our work on this issue.   From now on we expect them to be getting this right. In addition, they have committed to review past complaints.” .  .  Also mentioned your displeasure that as whomever took your money had obviously attempted this many times   probably activating your banks own anti fraud software - nobody had the decency to inform my you this was going on.? .  .In the FSA's own words:  .  ..  What should I do about a payment from my account that I didn’t authorise?  .  Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction.   Money can only be taken from your account if you have authorised the transaction   or if your bank can prove you were at fault –  . see below.  Contact your bank immediately if you notice an unauthorised payment from your account. .  If you are sure you did not authorise the payment, you can claim a refund.  .  However, your bank does not have to refund you if you do not tell it about the payment until 13 months  or more after the date it left your account.  .  Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction  .  ------------------  .  Your bank may only refuse a refund for an unauthorised transaction if:  .  ? it can prove you authorised the transaction  – though your bank cannot simply say that use of your password,   card and PIN proves you authorised a payment; or .  ? it can prove you are at fault because you acted fraudulently,   or because you deliberately,   or with gross negligence, failed to protect the details of your card, PIN or password in a way that allowed the transaction  .  -----------------------  .  How quickly must my bank refund me for an unauthorised transaction?  .  The bank must make the refund immediately unless it has evidence that one of the above reasons applies.   Your bank may ask you to answer some questions and fill out a form confirming what has happened,   but it cannot delay your refund while it waits for you to return the form.  If the bank has evidence that one of the above reasons for refusing a refund applies,   it may investigate before making a refund   but must look into it as quickly as possible.   If your bank rejects your claim for a refund it should explain why.  If the transaction was on a credit card, the refund may not happen immediately.   But the card issuer cannot charge interest or ask for repayment of the amount unless it can prove you are liable to pay        
    • Only asking because I want to get my facts right before I approach the bank! Yes, BT is coming out of the same account.
    • not if they want to make the OP the named claimant no!! let them take the other party to court themselves!! the op can be a witness then..   one bitten...read this thread..      
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jimmygrimble85

Housing and CT Benefit Overpayment - HELP NEEDED!!

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Hi People,

 

I was just looking for some help if possible on how best to argue my case. I was receiving jobseekers, housing and council tax benefit for a period of time, and when I returned to work, I sent an email to the council informing them I was back in work and so forth. My jobseekers allowance stopped, but I kept receiving benefits. I called them to ask if this was right (I didn't start claiming anything until a few months of unemployment) and I was told yes, no problem, it'll stop when it's supposed to.

 

Anyway, the council are now wanting it back and I can't afford it. Where do I stand here? I have challenged this on several counts:

 

i) Not being financially able to do so. (I only earn £15k pa).

ii) I aim to return to university in September.

iii) I had informed them of my return to work and it's their fault.

 

I have argued this and had a couple of letters back and forth (they basically ignored point i+ii, and said that point iii is irrelevant and I should have known better.

 

As the case stands, they have requested 4 months worth of bank statements and pay slips from me. I have 14 days to reply to them. Any help as to how I should proceed would be gratefully received.

 

Thanks!

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Update: I have literally just got the good news that my place at university has been confirmed for September this year.

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The council could let you pay it in smaller amounts over time (payments schedule) if you ask them nicely.


I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/127741-benefits-advice.html"]see this post[/URL] by Joa, great advice and links! I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.

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Hi Lone_Ranger,

 

Thanks for your info, they've effectively given me that option, the problem with it is I will have no (or very very little) income next year as I am returning to university. Obviously I don't want to commit to paying an amount I cannot afford.

 

I guess my point is that I'm asking if there's any way from paying this back either a) altogether - being it was their fault. Or b) once I obtain full time employment after my university course (1 year)?

 

Thanks for your input :)

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If the overpayment is due to official error and you did not contribute in any way to the overpayment then it is not recoverable. Step 1 your email proves you declared something had changed. The Council failed to act on it so official error seems possible. But then you have to show that even though you continued to get benefit you did not realise you should not get benefit. If you can prove you telephoned them to query payments then you could well have a strong case. Appeal the decision.

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Hi Paul,

 

That's exactly the reason they've given, although they're saying that the claim IS recoverable because of an official error.

 

Do I just stand my ground and wait for them to make their move? For example, explain that it ISN'T recoverable because it is THEIR error?

 

Thank you so much for your help, really do appreciate it guys!

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whilst i dont wish to pour oil on troubled water..i had an overpayment made by council error..and had to pay it back..i even had my mp on my side saying it was not my fault but it didnt matter still had to pay it..i wish you luck but fear you may have an uphill battle..

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whilst i dont wish to pour oil on troubled water..i had an overpayment made by council error..and had to pay it back..i even had my mp on my side saying it was not my fault but it didnt matter still had to pay it..i wish you luck but fear you may have an uphill battle..

 

Cheers for the insight, obviously best to stay grounded and not get too ahead of myself. Sorry they forced your hand.

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Overpayments caused by official error in HB/CTB are recoverable if they are satisfied that the claimant could reasonably have been expected to realise that they were being overpaid. This is provided for under Regulation 83 of the Council Tax benefit regs and regulation 100 of the Housing Benefit regulations 2006.

 

Overpayments for official error not caused in any manner by the claimant for other Social Security benefits are not recoverable. This is covered under section 71 of the SSAA.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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well erika thats a bit of a catch22 statement...how the hell do you prove/disprove that the claimant could have reasonably been expected to realise?...

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It's a balance of probabilities. When the council award housing benefit or council tax benefit, they send an award notice telling the claimant that they are awarded because they are receiving an income based benefit, if it's a linked claim. Otherwise (low earnings or if it is a linked award but there are non dependent deductions, or an LHA calculation or other partial award) they also send a calculation to show how they came to the sum of the award. Further they advise that the claimant must tell them if there is a change of circumstances which may affect their entitlement and give examples of changes that will affect an award: end of linked benefit, increase or decrease in income, someone joining or leaving the household etc.

 

Examples would be:

 

1. Housing benefit is claimed at the same time a claim for Income Support is submitted. The council send the tenant an award notice stating that they are entitled to HB and CTB because they are in receipt of Income Support, and advises the claimant that they must tell them of any change of circumstances which may affect their entitlement. HB/CTB is paid directly to the landlord. Claimant commences full time employment and informs the council of this, and of their earnings which is above the threshold for HB/CTB entitlement. Despite this, the award continues. They continue to pay the Landlord. Now, the landlord is a bit greedy. He is getting the HB and CTB paid, plus the claimant/tenant is paying full rent and council tax - effectively he is getting free money, and he decides to keep schtum about it. During a review, a council official spots that this claimant declared a change in circumstances 6 months ago but the benefit continued to be paid. They send the claimant a letter telling him that they have been overpaid. They accept that the claimant informed them of the change of circumstances but states that the claimant still must repay. The claimant shows them proof that he has been paying his rent to his landlord and council tax to the council himself and states that he had no idea that the benefits were still being paid to his landlord. The fact that the claimant had been paying his rent and council tax and did not himself receive the benefit as it was paid directly to the landlord is sufficient to show on the balance of probability that the claimant did not know he was being overpaid. The fact that the benefit was never paid to the claimant but directly to the landlord, and the fact that the landlord never contacted the council and did not appear to contact the claimant about the doubled amounts of rent received, shows that the claimant could not have reasonably realised that they were being overpaid, and has not benefited from the overpayment. The overpayment is not recoverable.

 

2. In the same situation except that the HB/CTB is paid directly to the claimant, it would be harder to show that the claimant could not have realised they were being overpaid. They were advised on the award notice that commencing employment and an increase in income could affect their entitlement and showed that they understood this in declaring the change. They continued to be paid the benefit for 6 months and did not contact the council in that time to make any enquiry about it. The claimant could reasonably be expected to know that they were being overpaid and the overpayment is recoverable.

 

Obviously it wouldn't always be as straightforward as that but it gives an idea of how the law might be applied.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Erika.

 

It seems I find myself in an interesting predicament.

 

I was told not to worry, that the payments would stop when they were supposed to. The problem is that I did this over the phone and have no record of it. Naturally this will then be difficult to prove.

 

Obviously I don't mind paying back what I'm not entitled to (of course, I'd rather not!) but my main concern is that because I'm returning to university, I will have very little, or zero income. If I do need to pay this back, does anyone know how one could perhaps deter any payment until I have an income?

 

Sorry to be a pain, I'm really worried about this and don't want to be in a situation where I can't go to uni.

 

Thanks again for all your help.

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Most Councils use Customer Relationship Managers now to record contacts between customers and the Council. Ask to see any records including computer records from their Housing Benefit and Customer Services teams.

 

If a record exists of your phone call and it shows that you were told not to worry about the money being paid out after you started working then this will go a long way to proving that you were not to know that you were not entitled to the money.

 

Not sure if they would allow you to defer it. The main problem with this is that they can automatically take money out of any future payments to you to pay off overpayments. So if you leave Uni and need to claim while looking for work then they would make deductions at that point and you would have to make up the rest of your rent while on Benefit.

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It's a balance of probabilities. When the council award housing benefit or council tax benefit, they send an award notice telling the claimant that they are awarded because they are receiving an income based benefit, if it's a linked claim. Otherwise (low earnings or if it is a linked award but there are non dependent deductions, or an LHA calculation or other partial award) they also send a calculation to show how they came to the sum of the award. Further they advise that the claimant must tell them if there is a change of circumstances which may affect their entitlement and give examples of changes that will affect an award: end of linked benefit, increase or decrease in income, someone joining or leaving the household etc.

 

Examples would be:

 

1. Housing benefit is claimed at the same time a claim for Income Support is submitted. The council send the tenant an award notice stating that they are entitled to HB and CTB because they are in receipt of Income Support, and advises the claimant that they must tell them of any change of circumstances which may affect their entitlement. HB/CTB is paid directly to the landlord. Claimant commences full time employment and informs the council of this, and of their earnings which is above the threshold for HB/CTB entitlement. Despite this, the award continues. They continue to pay the Landlord. Now, the landlord is a bit greedy. He is getting the HB and CTB paid, plus the claimant/tenant is paying full rent and council tax - effectively he is getting free money, and he decides to keep schtum about it. During a review, a council official spots that this claimant declared a change in circumstances 6 months ago but the benefit continued to be paid. They send the claimant a letter telling him that they have been overpaid. They accept that the claimant informed them of the change of circumstances but states that the claimant still must repay. The claimant shows them proof that he has been paying his rent to his landlord and council tax to the council himself and states that he had no idea that the benefits were still being paid to his landlord. The fact that the claimant had been paying his rent and council tax and did not himself receive the benefit as it was paid directly to the landlord is sufficient to show on the balance of probability that the claimant did not know he was being overpaid. The fact that the benefit was never paid to the claimant but directly to the landlord, and the fact that the landlord never contacted the council and did not appear to contact the claimant about the doubled amounts of rent received, shows that the claimant could not have reasonably realised that they were being overpaid, and has not benefited from the overpayment. The overpayment is not recoverable.

 

2. In the same situation except that the HB/CTB is paid directly to the claimant, it would be harder to show that the claimant could not have realised they were being overpaid. They were advised on the award notice that commencing employment and an increase in income could affect their entitlement and showed that they understood this in declaring the change. They continued to be paid the benefit for 6 months and did not contact the council in that time to make any enquiry about it. The claimant could reasonably be expected to know that they were being overpaid and the overpayment is recoverable.

 

Obviously it wouldn't always be as straightforward as that but it gives an idea of how the law might be applied.

 

I have a similar problem to the one on this thread in that i was receiving both job seekers and housing benefit and when i found work i told the job seekers office that i no longer needed benefit. i assumed that this would also cancel housing benefit believing they were both linked. Erika youve talked a lot here about them being linked. do you know if the housing benefit should have been stopped when i told job seekers that ive found work? ie is this an administrative error or is it my responsibility to cancel housing benefit as well?

failing that, does anyone know if there is a minimum amount for which the council will bother taking you to court for ?

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I have a similar problem to the one on this thread in that i was receiving both job seekers and housing benefit and when i found work i told the job seekers office that i no longer needed benefit. i assumed that this would also cancel housing benefit believing they were both linked. Erika youve talked a lot here about them being linked. do you know if the housing benefit should have been stopped when i told job seekers that ive found work? ie is this an administrative error or is it my responsibility to cancel housing benefit as well?

failing that, does anyone know if there is a minimum amount for which the council will bother taking you to court for ?

 

That's exactly the issue I have. It will almost certainly be their admin error, but they can still claim it back based for the reasons Erika suggests. I'm playing the long game as it stands, I am definitely going to uni in September, so as long as I can at least get out of paying it back until I secure work after my course, I'll be happy.

 

It still frustrates me that I need to pay it back regardless to be honest, I was obviously led to believe that I was entitled to the money. Just makes me angry that I didn't claim from the day I was unemployed as I wouldn't be in this situation now.

 

My current scenario is that I have sent them another letter saying that they have STILL refused to acknowledge my points and as a result I will not be sending them any wage slips/bank statements as I don't believe I should have to pay the money back. I have in my head that sending through the information they've requested would be going a long way to admitting defeat.

 

Again, I'll keep everyone posted and thanks to all those who have provided helpful information.

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Although the DWP usually sends a notification to the LA, there is nothing which states that they must do so. The burden is always on the claimant to inform the LA (or any benefit section) of any change of circumstance.

 

The legislation sets this out clearly and there are also Commisioners decisions which support this, so a person unfortunately cannot rely upon the fact that they believed the DWP would have informed the LA in order to release them from liability for the overpayment.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Your problem is that when you applied for LHA/HB/CT you agreed (on the application form you signed) to inform the council yourself of any changes.

 

No matter what another benefit department tells you, you have agreed and signed on the dotted line to do this. Therefore any failure on their part to inform them is not a clerical error as it's not what you have agreed to do.

 

Although these automatic notifications work most of the time. I think that it is very bad advice for them to be telling you this as if anything goes wrong it is you that is responsible.

 

Until there is a single benefits computer system which controls everything from a single point/reference across all departments this will always be the case. It's not the DWP staff fault either as they are being trained to believe this myth and are therefore giving out advice on benefits they have limited understanding of.

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Aren't Jimmy and Friendly's problems slightly different in that Jimmy appears to have notified the HB/CTB people whereas Friendly didn't?

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Scrub that my mistake for not reading you are correct Paul I got confused!

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So here is where we now stand.

 

I wrote to them explaining that I wouldn't be suplpying my bank statements and wage slips because they have refused to so much as acknoledge two of my points from my first letter. I have of course, referred to these in every letter since. I said that until these points have been addressed I am arguing that I owe anything at all based on the information they provided me when originally cancelling the claim.

 

Anywhere, their retort was somewhat short. They have still in no means ecen acknowledged the points I have repeatedly asked to have explained. Instead they have written to say that I have refused the opportunity to supply the information they requested (wage slips et al (what about the info I have requested, repeatedly!?!?)) and therefore they will not help in trying to make the 'amount owed' any less. In fact, they are taking this to a tribunal and shall be in touch with the date of the hearing shortly.

 

Now, what do I do and where do I stand here? I am starting university in September so getting a day off is out of the questio, I feel I need to tell them this yet again. Also, they still haven't answered my questions. Do I simply wait for the tribunal, or write once again explaining that they have continued to ignore my points and it simply needs for these to be considered making a tribunal unnecessary? I also want to write that the paper trail will back up the fact that they have constantly ignored my first questions since day one and therefore they wouldn't be in a good positions during said tribunal.

 

What do we think? Sorry to be a pain. Oh, and what exactly does a tribunal entail here? My understanding is based on football and fee setting only... would it be a similar case here?

 

Thanks again everybody!

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One of the issues which makes it reasonable to assume that housing and CT benefits will still be paid for 5 weeks AFTER you have gained employment is that it is now a regulation i you have been unemployed for a specific number of weeks and if they get it wrong, it is an official mistake. Erika can probably update you better than I but I woudl suggets standing your ground unless it was for benfits severla weeks after starting employment. Pity the notice was not in writing. We learnt the hard way and nwo everything is in writing.

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the reason they are asking for the statements and wage slips is too see if you are actually entitled to the money they paid in lieu of council tax and housing benefit..it could be even though you were employed you were not earning enough and could have been entitled to some or all of this money..by refusing to supply them you are not giving the council much chance...arguing that you only earn 15k and therefore cannot pay isnt i am afraid going to hold much water...if you believe you have been overpaid suggest you come to some arrangement with them or go to tribunal and see what they say..hey who knows you may win..

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the reason they are asking for the statements and wage slips is too see if you are actually entitled to the money they paid in lieu of council tax and housing benefit..it could be even though you were employed you were not earning enough and could have been entitled to some or all of this money..by refusing to supply them you are not giving the council much chance...arguing that you only earn 15k and therefore cannot pay isnt i am afraid going to hold much water...if you believe you have been overpaid suggest you come to some arrangement with them or go to tribunal and see what they say..hey who knows you may win..

 

 

I understand that much, but as far as I could see, me giving the statements was admitting that I owed them money. They still hadn't provided any acknowledgement of previous points I had raised.

 

So to be sure, you suggest either going to the tribunal, or writing again suggesting we come to an agreement? I guess I provide the details they've requested whilst again making a point of them ignoring my previous questions/points?

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i dont think giving the statements is admitting you owe the money..as i said..you may even be entitled to hb/ct even though you were working..however if you know you werent then given them the statements may not be a good idea...your call i am afraid..

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i dont think giving the statements is admitting you owe the money..as i said..you may even be entitled to hb/ct even though you were working..however if you know you werent then given them the statements may not be a good idea...your call i am afraid..

 

I don't know the maths behind it all, but given my salary has been £15k and I live in London then perhaps I could have been entitled to something, I don't know.

 

Thanks for your help though, I'll let you know how I get on. Think I'll write to them suggesting they answer my questions before we go to tribunal!

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