My very own Black Monday involving the police and a noose.

(22 Posts)
siezethenight Mon 29-Jul-13 17:46:56

This belongs somewhere over in chat I suspect only I don't want to get a benefit bashing.
I work part time, a carer for my son who has Aspergers, he is 20. I have a 16 year old daughter also who just left school and is going to college. Tax credits underpaid me 350.00 today so I called them up.
After waiting for flipping ages to talk to somebody who was not automated and going, 'Did you know...' Argh! They tell me this - because my son is 20 he no longer qualifies for child tax credits - yep, this we know and accept, he was 20 in June ffs. A pretty standard procedure to declare a 20 year old as not a child anymore. But because my daughter is 16 their system will not recognise me as having any claim at all until September - I am only getting the bare bones of a working tax credit until then.
I point out that child benefit carries on paying up till the September after the child's 16th birthday? Its pointless, it all falls on deaf ears. Their system is God and that is that. No cash till September and nothing is back paid either. I ask how the system can do this when it has information confirming a college course is starting in September and they are, technically, saying because its school holidays no cash? Do you see my point? No, I have no point to make, she is 16....

I next ring the speeding people as I have a ticket and ask them to please inform me of the procedure to appeal as their van was parked right at the end of a 50mph road as it turned to 30 with no warning signs and I was doing 38mph at the time so, a step off a 50mph zone at 38 is not speeding. I had no time to slow to 30 before they caught me.
I do not frequent this road, I had no idea it was turning to a 30 zone until I saw the 30 sign and the van smack right by it. It was not a built up area.
The woman says to me that if I can not pay then I go to court and the magistrate decided if I can pay in installments or not and how much.
I say, hang on a minute - you are telling me that if a well off person is speeding and can pay the ticket that's fine and dandy but if a lesser off person asks for installments to pay, which I actually did not ask for, but if they do then you take them to court meaning court fees and a possible record of non payment meaning a bad credit reference on file? Punishing the poor while the rich do as they please? She did not answer me. I say, sort of mutter, God get me a noose I have had enough today. As I hang up.
The police came to my house half an hour after to check I was not dead. Seriously they did. I was reported for the noose thing and they came in their bloody lit up car to stop me topping myself.

As tempting as it is,I do not have to find a noose, I will starve to absolute death by September 26th thanks to no food thanks to Tax Credits.
I don't know why I am posting really except to vent off as its been one of those days and soon I am heading for work and all that entails. God, some days you just want to bash heads against walls.
I am not about to top myself so please nobody report this post hmm Honestly... After work I am going through your frugal threads in a bid to feed us all throughout the rest of the summer.

deemented Mon 29-Jul-13 17:52:06

Sounds like you are having a really shite time of it.

I have nothing constructive to add, but wanted to let you know that i'm here to listen. And i won't ring the police either wink

makingdoo Mon 29-Jul-13 17:52:07

I have no practical advice OP but just wanted to respond.

It sounds like you've had a real bugger of a day. I've no experience of tax credits etc so not sure how it all works.

My post is pointless really but just wanted to say that I'm sorry you are having a shit time.

Roshbegosh Mon 29-Jul-13 17:54:50

This is awful seize so sorry and what a bummer to get a speeding ticket right now. Can you perhaps work some extra hours or could your 16yr old try to get something? I know there is little out there and I just don't know what to say except I hope you find a way forward. Please don't get into debt though, it will make everything so, so much worse even if it feels like a quick fix.

Helpyourself Mon 29-Jul-13 17:57:22

Oh poor you. It's called death of a thousand cuts- you feel one more bloody thing will finish you off. I've had a run of small car and personal admin related trials recently and muttered as we passed a speed camera the other day, oh great I might as well drive into the canal- poor dd looked really worried.

deemented Mon 29-Jul-13 17:59:39

Would a meal planner help? Have you a slowcooker - cook job lots and put in freezer, might work out cheaper? Where do you shop? Aldi is really good and much cheaper, i find.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 29-Jul-13 18:02:13

What a shitter of a day, really sorry.

Can you go to the CAB for advice about your tax credits? I think they can refer to food bank as well if things get really difficult.

siezethenight Mon 29-Jul-13 18:16:28

Thanks for the replies. I think trying to fight tax credits is pointless. I asked for everything I was told to be put into writing and sent to me as it was really confusing to listen to it over a phone and got told no, they don't do that sort of thing.
By the time I have gone through a whole appeal process it will be September anyhow and if their system is not recognising my dd as in school or college until then, then what is the point even trying to make them see the sense or the nonsense of it all.
I think its just the inertia of a system that galls me. Its a stupid system and apparently this is not happening in England as the law changed there to make children stay in education until they are 17. We are in Wales.

I will take as much extra work as I physically can do to get us through and have to leave my son with his sister while I work. He can't be left on his own at all. Even with his disability money we will only just make the direct debits and other expenses.
I am going to need food.
Yes I have a slow cooker and I will cook up and freeze lots of things.
Yep, we go to Aldi and we will skip the Asda shop as that really is only for treat like stuff anyhow, we can live without it for a while.

I have money saved but its for Christmas, I go back to college in September and knew I could not save for Christmas as well as work and go to college and look after my son - I loose carers allowance for going to college but am determined to go to get us out of this hole of hell that is little to no money all the time. I don't want to touch that cash, its for the dc's for Christmas. I worked hard for it all this year.
Sometimes its so frustrating, this life thing grin
Thanks for making me feel better.

deemented Mon 29-Jul-13 18:48:28

Ah lovely, where in Wales are you? I'm in Swansea and would love to help, even if it's just to meet up for a natter smile

jchocchip Mon 29-Jul-13 19:02:38

It was the final straw that made you say that, but in a way it is good that they cared enough to report you... sorry but I grin at the police turning up.
Do you get any help from social services for your son? Could you get direct payments to pay for some respite for you/social activity for him?
Its a bugger. Can't really help but angry on your behalf.

Jellykat Mon 29-Jul-13 19:39:24

I am in Wales and claim Tax Credits, my DS2 is 16 next January..

What does your award (2013/2014) say? Because whoever you spoke to is wrong, my tax credits run until the last week in August next year according to my award.. It clearly states 'A child element may be paid for a child until the day before 1 September following their 16th birthday'

Does your award say the same?

thefuturesnotourstosee Mon 29-Jul-13 21:43:26

What an awful day. I hope tomorrow brings better things.

I suppose its nice that someone cared enough to check on your wellbeing but oh dear I don't thik I'd have known whether to laugh or cry when the police turned up.

Do check on what Jellykat says. Looking at what it says on the HMRC site I think she is right. Have a cup of tea take some deep breths and call them back in the morning quoting this from their own website. No where does it say they'll stop it for the month of August!

link here

If your child leaves education or training
Your child leaves education or training in the year they turn 16

Your child might not be staying on in education or training that counts for Child Tax Credit after age 16. If so, your Child Tax Credit payments will usually stop for them on 31 August after their 16th birthday.
Your child leaves education or training after 31 August following their 16th birthday

Your child might carry on in education or training, but leave at a later date - for example at age 18 or 19. Your payments will stop when your child leaves education or training that counts for Child Tax Credit.

thefuturesnotourstosee Mon 29-Jul-13 21:45:04

sorry for terrible typing my one year old ds is trying to help grin

happyyonisleepyyoni Mon 29-Jul-13 23:58:00

Sorry you are having such an awful time OP. please contact your MP to complain about treatment by tax credits people , they have a dedicated MPs hotline so can get things done quicker, as I know from personal experience.

deemented Tue 30-Jul-13 08:25:09

Morning OP.

Hope today is a bit better for you x

siezethenight Tue 30-Jul-13 09:33:50

Swansea also deemented fancy that... Its a small world.

As the police woman knocked the front door my cat vomited at the back door and I was stood there thinking, Argh! What do I do first? Clear up the vomit or let the police person in? I had no idea why she was here at that point so I let her in first. Thought something was wrong with somebody - thankfully I don't think she spotted the cat vomit grin Maybe my dishes piled high was enough for her? We've had no water since Friday, it only came back yesterday late morning, so, you know. Straw like hair, dishes piled high, cat vomit on the floor? I am surprised Social Services have not popped around yet...

Jelly I warn you and please take this seriously - my Dd was 16 in February - they issue you with a tax credit notice that runs from April to August and they stop paying you in July as I have found out, for that child.
I have called them again today and it does seem they have made a foul and they are now paying up something for Dd but it did not happen automatically and I had to make 2 calls on 2 different days to get it. And its not accurate as come September it all changes again and you know these people, it may mean more cash, it may mean less. I have no idea right now where my finances will be for the next 3 months. Its a vile situation to live when you work to a budget and everything needs planning to the last 10p
They gave me no figures yesterday - said they can not guess them. My working tax credit is making up the bulk of the payment I have. There is barely anything for a child tax credit. If I were you, I wish I had done this myself - try to put some cash by for next summer in case you encounter this same situation.
I have averaged 3 hours sleep thanks to work and having to get early enough to call these people this morning. I have to now get on with the food list.
Thanks all of you. Hugely appreciated that there is some place to go to wail then pull yourself together and get on smile

Jellykat Tue 30-Jul-13 18:27:14

sieze I'm really glad you got somewhere, and yes i absolutely hear what you're saying..
I've recently started trying to put by bits anyway, in preparation for when the almighty bugger up known as Universal Credit is introduced, we'll need to ensure we have enough to live on for at least a month.
Thank you for the additional advice, i'll make sure i'm ready for next summer!
Can i just add, if you've a co-op near you, they reduce their bread etc to silly prices after 6.oo (particularly towards the end of the week).. if you've got a freezer its a good idea to load up whenever possible.
Good luck!

34DD Wed 31-Jul-13 18:37:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cazboldy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:19:23

I'm waiting for my new award notice to see if something similar has happened to me......

I'm £230 worse off this month after renewing, even though income was not vastly different last year.

I have told them ds1 is staying on at 6th form (he will be 17 in Oct) but when i renewed she said they stop it then start it again in september...... but never said anything about getting nothing for july and/or aug

wondering if this is why, or if it's just because of the cuts!?

Can't afford to lose that much with no warning thoughsad

MissMarplesBloomers Sat 03-Aug-13 18:07:34

Something def wrong, my DD was 16 in Feb too & is returning to 6th form in September. I also have an 18 yo who finishes FT education this year & goes to Uni hopefully in October so I wanted to check when hers would end or I'd take a huge drop.

I spoke to HMRC about the family allowance & they said it would automatically be shown on the TC's records but to check as soon as I got my renewal notice to check they were right.

I was told the payments would run until end of August & then I would have to confirm her starting 6th form in Sept. ( I guess to stop people claiming & then the kids not going to college?)

It's such a huge PITA isn't it? Can you sell anything on Ebay, or local FB selling page or Gumtree? Amazing what you can find when you look round the house, clothes the DC's have outgrown, old toys & books. Don't fetch a lot but every little helps.

Also are you getting carers allowance & attendance allowance for your son?

Sleepyhoglet Sun 04-Aug-13 16:49:13

If he is 20 should he be claiming things direct rather than through you? Your daughter is 16 you say...does she have a part time job?

Do you have any savings or family who could give you a small loan?

Sleepyhoglet Sun 04-Aug-13 16:51:26

I think you might need to use the Christmas money. Whatever you do don't take out a payday loan though.

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