To be absolutely fucking fuming about tax credits!

(93 Posts)
extremepie Fri 09-May-14 12:54:48

Ok, to be fair it is in part, my own fault for not notifying them earlier, I understand that.

Just had a letter to say that my tax credits are being stopped because my ex and I have split up, fair enough, I forgot to notify them straight away because, funnily enough I had more pressing issues on my mind after my 8yr marriage broke apart and I had to basically give up my job and my whole life to look after my kids while ex fucked off to another part of the country.

Now they tell me it will be 5 weeks to get a new claim form issued and for them to process it. 5 fucking weeks before I receive another payment! Why does it take so fucking long! I asked if they can transfer my details over to a new claim on their system to save me filling it out all over again and taking 2 weeks just to receive the fucking form - apparently not.

What on earth am I supposed to do with no money for 5 weeks? Don't know don't care apparently - me & my 2 children, one of whom has a severe disability, are supposed to just sit in the dark and starve for over a month, including over half term. Fucks sake!

Nightmare. They should backdate it, can anyone lend you any cash for now? Anything you can pawn/sell? CAB might be able to give some advice and a foodbank voucher if you need one.

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:03:57

This is why so many of us who rely on benefits were in uproar when crisis loans were scrapped. The benefit system does fuck you over if you have a relationship end and have dependants. Hundreds of people are left with no income at all while new claims are processed, this is how benefit claimants get into debt, why they borrow money at a rate they can't repay; because for the three-six weeks (depending on LA, DWP or HMRC as all have different time targets for processing claims) or more after they have made a claim they are left with no income whatsoever.

It's a disgrace, truly, and very few people seem aware that it happens. I'm now in debt and still waiting after the council have taken 3 months to process my housing benefit claim. I've paid rent on a credit card and have no way at all of paying next month. People say "can't you explain that you have no income, I'm sure they can rush it through" but it doesn't work like that. It's shit, utterly shit, but you aren't alone. (If that's any consolation)

extremepie Fri 09-May-14 13:04:03

Yes Emmanuel they did say they would back date it but that really isn't any good to me at the moment sad

I can't get a loan (rubbish credit history)

I can't borrow off family (don't have any friends to borrow off either)

I really don't own anything of value that I can sell, apart from maybe my bed and sofa which would only fetch £100 or so but then I couldn't afford to replace it afterwards

Ds has appointments and I have meetings to go to in the next couple of weeks - I'm in a rural area and don't drive, no one who could give me a lift either

I'm totally screwed sad

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:05:43

That's awful phrasing in first sentence, obv if fucks anyone over regardless of whether they have dependants, disabilities or are a single individual.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 09-May-14 13:11:29

No you're not.
Call them back. Stay calm and reasonable (even though you don't feel it).
Apologise for not keeping them updated, and explain why you didn't.
Ask if you can fill the form out with them on the phone.
Even if they sent you another claim form, there is no way it should take 5 weeks. I have been in a position where I was about to miss the deadline for renewal, and have called up and done the forms on the phone.
I know this is a new claim, not a renewal, but I don't see why they cant do this. A lot of the time it depends who you get on the phone.
Don't take no for an answer, but do it with charm not anger, as you are much more likely to get what you want.
Don't panic. Good luck.

I’ve sent you a PM. Are you on a meter for gas/elec? Phone and ask to be put on vulnerable register due to disabled DS. Our elec ran out when we were skint a while ago and they topped us up £20 due to being on vulnerable list at the time.

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:11:51

Try applying for a credit card with very.co.uk. I was approved even though on benefits with a bad credit rating. I'd also suggest trying to get a store credit account with them as they are quite good for any household bits, clothing etc you may need and again I got approved for an account despite bad credit rating.

Food bank vouchers are your friend right now. Is there anything you can make and flog on eBay or (and I know it's not very moral) could you get some stuff on free cycle (I'm thinking appliances, boots more high value stuff) and flog that on eBay. When you can't afford to get a disabled child to medical appointments I think morals need to go out the window tbh!

extremepie Fri 09-May-14 13:11:56

Basically until it gets sorted I have to choose to either pay my bills and not eat or pay for 'immediate' things like food and electric meter and not pay the bills which may result in: my TV getting cut off, my mobile getting cut off (currently my only phone as sky are messing around with my phone line), my Ex's phone getting cut off, defaulting on a loan repayment agreement I already have set up and getting into rent arrears sad

Why are you paying your ex’s phone?

jacks365 Fri 09-May-14 13:13:57

You say you have given up your job, have you claimed either income support or jsa? Not much use right now but when I was in your position I did find that tax credits were sorted quicker than the estimate so you may not have as long to wait. How old are the children? People who can help in a temporary situation like this are social services, sure start or home start.

wightjellybaby Fri 09-May-14 13:14:24

In yorkshire the council do crisis loans instead of the job centre.

You can only get money for gas/electric meterif it is on the emergency

You can only claim an amount for untill you paid next and only once in a 2 week period (so of its Wednesday and you put a claim in but you get paid on friday no matter how much it is youll only get 2days of money and you cant get more for 14days which is crap if you're only gettin £30 on the friday)

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:15:54

My new claim with HMRC was "done on the phone" but all this meant was taking my basic details and then sending the form with basic details on to my address, which took two weeks. I had to fill in additional info, sign and send it back before they would process and then it can take upto 3 weeks to process as I think that's their target. The form will prob come through faster than two weeks, it may not take the full three to process, but ringing back IME won't make much difference.

extremepie Fri 09-May-14 13:18:32

Ashadow I have actually already applied for a very card when I was moving to get some stuff I needed for the house, they said no sad Thank you for the suggestion though smile

IfNot that's why I was getting so annoyed, I have also done renewals over the phone, many many times but the person I spoke to just said they have a different line for it and because the claim has been cancelled and it's now a new claim and it's not within the time limit I can't do it over the phone sad Makes nonsense but he wouldn't budge!

If I did get food bank vouchers, would I also get money for a bus to go and pick it up? My nearest supermarket/town centre is at least 4 miles away so I have no way of getting there sad

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 09-May-14 13:19:30

Really AShadow?? Because I have never had to do that, ever!
Is this a new thing?
I would still call back. Honestly. I am an arch negotiator. My mobile got disconnected today, and I persuaded them to re connect if I paid 5 of the 5 quid I owed, which they did, eventually.

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:20:31

Ok, so you use food bank to cover food to make the money stretch further, prioritise the rent but don't pay everything else for now. You won't be cut off instantly and without warning (mobiles etc), 5 weeks is just over a month, you will just get reminders.

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 09-May-14 13:21:00

x post. Honestly-call back, ask for a supervisor. Be extra sweet. It's worth a try.
At least try and get the form fast tracked to you. Sent as PDF so you can print it?

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 09-May-14 13:22:20

Oh yeah, also call all your utility companies/providers. Pre- empt any letters/demands and explain to them whats going on.
If they have communication from you, they will be much more lenient.

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:24:07

I had to do that every time I've claimed, twice in a refuge with a refuge worker on the line to verify urgency. It still took 4 weeks and me getting a form through to sign and send back.

Would you be able to walk the 4 miles? Cycle? Could you try the old trick of getting on a bus emptying your purse and saying "I need to get to ex, this is all I have, please take me as far as this will get me". Often a nice driver will "forget" to tell you when you need to get off.

extremepie Fri 09-May-14 13:24:16

I am claiming income support but because I get carer's allowance the amount is reduced and because I am paying back a crisis loan that I got with my ex from 2011 (which they take back out of income support), I only get just over £30 every 2 weeks.

I am paying for Ex's phone because I got 2 contract phones, one for me and one for him since his credit rating is even worse than mine (ccj's, basic bank card etc) - I can't cancel it because the contract is in my name and it's the only way he can talk to his kids smile

AShadowStirsWithin Fri 09-May-14 13:25:15

That should say "I need to get to x" as in a place, not an ex boyfriend :D

kappadelta Fri 09-May-14 13:29:35

Hi OP when this happened to me I escalated it and was given an advance on tax credits. I had to go to the tax office in barnsley (next town over) to pick up the cheque. Could you maybe try this?

Musetta Fri 09-May-14 13:29:40

If your ex is not paying any money towards his kids then I would not be putting myself into further debt to faccilitate him contacting them tbh. Sell the phone and pc if you have one.

extremepie Fri 09-May-14 13:30:14

Unfortunately don't have a computer so I can't print anything off, it's very annoying :/

I could potentially walk the 4 miles (bike is broken sadly sad ) but ds2 only does half days at school so I have to make sure I can get back in time to pick him up - plus I would have to walk back up 4 miles of rural Cornish hills carrying food :D

It's difficult but not totally impossible, think I'm just panicking sad

Musetta Fri 09-May-14 13:32:08

How do you manage with a disabled child usually of you have no means of transport?

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