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NHS BSA PCNs received *** Cancelled***

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I have been sent some NHS PCNs.

A £9 prescription charge has become more than £100.

A £25 charge dental charge has become £250.

I have written to complain.   They state I need to pay.

I can"t.


Historically I have always had Nhs exemptions. 

NHS BSA wrote to me originally to advise Hmrc had informed them I was eligible.  I had received child tax credits and child benefit and working tax credits. 

I was sent a credit card-like exemption certificate which I kept in my wallet.  Then the Nhs replaced that with a paper certificate.  This ripped and tore and got lost. And I forgot about it.  My personal and working life has been tumultuous in recent years and with covid lockdowns this Nhs certificate was not in my mind at all. 


My financial circumstances are worse than they have ever been.   I have been involved in drawn out litigation which has taken up almost every waking hour - for 4 years.   I had no reason to consider I was no longer eligible.


One consolation - I have been working on a project for a friend.  The finished product will be sold and I will get paid a small % of the sale proceeds upon completion.   But until this happens I am working unpaid.  I have just finished the project and am waiting on final sign-off.  With luck I will receive some remuneration end summer.  Because I have always been self-employed and am working all hours - even if currently unpaid - I still claim and am in receipt of WTC.  It is tiny - under £250/month.  But I have no overheads (am living free at a friend's place - i.e. no bills or c tax).


I have not wanted to switch to UC - even though this would give me more £s/m - and I am eligible.  I just do not want to get into battles with the Govt about 'being available for work'.  I understand from colleagues that one has to fill out an online journal and regularly speak to the job centre.  I also understand the Govt stops uc £s if one doesn't accept the paid work they tell you to do. 

I don't want to lose the £s I currently get via WTC.   And I don't want to spend valuable time arguing with the job centre about availability for jobs. 


My legal battles are so time consuming and demanding - but I doubt the job centre would understand or accept that.   However - any one of the legal battles I am embroiled in could result in full restitution and/or a large settlement - which will make this horrible period worthwhile.  I live in hope.  Until that happens I live incredibly frugally.   Does anyone have any experience of the job centre accepting such circumstances as inability to work?


The trouble is that BSA is saying I am no longer eligible for exemption.  My kids are over 16 and I've lost child benefit and child tax credit.  My kids are students with their own student loans and maintenance grants.  But they still turn to me as a parent to provide food when they return to the place where I stay (rightly or wrongly). (They also aren't eligible for uc because they are students).     

BSA have written to say WTC alone doesn't make me eligible for nhs exemption.   I can't afford to pay - I am worse off than when they said I was eligible.  I have also been diagnosed with a health condition which requires meds.  On this basis I can't afford to take the meds.  Which the GP advises is jeopardizing my health/ longevity.  But this condition is not on the list of conditions the Nhs BSA consider for exemption.


Do I just ignore the BSA? 

Or will they continue to write and try take me to court?

So far they have ignored my letters and said I must pay the constantly increasing penalty charges...


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What would taking someone to court achieve?

No assets to grab. No savings. No income. 

The only govt benefit sum is not even enough for food.

In my case -  i thought I was still eligible.

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Thanks. I've read that. 

They say I'm no longer eligible - because Im not disabled and kids above 16.  If one gets working tax credit one has to also have a disability to get exemption or kids in education.   I didn't even think about checking eligibility status as my circumstances are worse than ever.

But looking at their criteria I am not eligible.

The fact remains  though that I cannot pay a penalty charge.  I've told them this. And told them I can't cope. And they just ignore it and say pay by x date or we will take further action.

Further action will obviously make the financial situation worse.  So - what do I do/ write?


On a separate thread last year someone said they have no power to enforce penalty charges - and the person just paid the original £9 fee and ignored the demands to pay the pcn? Does that still work?


Going forward I don't know what to do. The GP has prescribed meds - but I can't afford them.  Nor can I afford to even go to the dentist for checks.  I feel like I've fallen down a rabbit hole.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just as an update.

I chose to ignore the penalties.

Instead I sent cheques for the original fees and wrote accompanying letter on why I was refusing to pay the penalty charges.

Quite surprisingly I got a letter in the post saying they'd decided the mistakes weren't mine and they returned the cheques.

That was an unexpected reply!

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  • dx100uk changed the title to NHS BSA PCNs received **cancelled**
  • Andyorch changed the title to NHS BSA PCNs received *** Cancelled***
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