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CTC are withholding my backdated payment

(9 Posts)
RokerFace Fri 31-Aug-12 20:26:05

I went from a single claim to a joint claim in June this year when I got back with my DH after separating for 18 months. Within that time he was made redundant and is now on JSA. From the single claim ending and the joint claim payments starting, I didn't receive any payments for the two months they were assessing the joint claim.

I've now been told by Tax Credits that the £500 they owe me in backdated payments since the joint claim started is being withheld as there has been a significant drop in income since last tax year (due to DH being made redundant) and they are worried about making any overpayments this tax year. Apparently, this will be reviewed when at the end of the tax year and they will then decided whether to pay me the money.

I've always told CTC of all change in circumstances, including a new job where income has changed.

I'm on Incapacity Benefit and DH is on JSA so money is really tight at the minute - no-one told us this could happen. I'm so upset and worried they expect me to write off £500 until next April. Surely when DH gets job they can re-assess the provisional joint claim based on his new income?

Has anyone else come across this? I'm really stressed, I could cry.

RokerFace Sat 01-Sep-12 11:35:21

Any one please?

RokerFace Sat 01-Sep-12 18:02:43

Shamelessly bumping..

mynotfinkso Mon 03-Sep-12 00:39:41

yes, unfortunately I had the same sort of experience a few years ago. Dh's income halved and they wouldn't pay us anything extra in case they overpaid us. It was quite near the end of the tax year for us though, February, if I remember correctly.

They wouldn't be moved on it and we had to wait until we renewed our claim before they paid us. sad We did get the money in the end though.

RokerFace Mon 03-Sep-12 14:46:24

Thank you for your response mynotfinkso - sorry to hear of your experience too. I've put in an appeal but I'm not holding out much hope sad

It's ironic isn't it, your income has reduced dramatically so you need the money and they withhold the money you are currently entitled to in case they pay you too much (surely all you need to do is report any change in circs and avoid any overpayment?).

It all seems so arbitary..

DeclutterQueen Tue 04-Sep-12 19:37:27

Can you speak to someone at the CAB? There must be some kind of appeal process? £500 really doesn't seem to be a massive amount to 'overpay'.

RokerFace Wed 05-Sep-12 14:28:43

My DSil works for CAB and she said there is nothing in rules / guidelines from HMRC which even mentions this withholding of payment as a possibility! She's advised me to put an appeal in writing which I have done. I'll keep you all posted when I receive a reply (if it is successful, you can all have my appeal as a template!)

Mags11 Thu 20-Sep-12 22:31:33

Hi RF - just wanted to say have been left in similar position. They have basically overpaid me this first part of the year, and now even though my hours at work have reduced they say they have to take an 'average' because they were higher last year and they dont want to overpay me.

The fact I tried to tell the advisor that I was going to struggle meeting my living costs due to reduction in income and that they have reduced my tax credits by more then 300 month didnt elicit any helpful advice. She told me I had no right to appeal and that tax credits shouldnt be seen as an income. Eh? I'll just put it all in one big bank account then for a holiday in Barbados if I dont need it?

I intend to write in. Ive always found staff on the phone reasonably helpful but she was just bloody annoying. Cannot face phoning again - all the recording messages make me want to hang up!

Please update with your response - I would find it really helpful
Good luck!

RokerFace Thu 27-Sep-12 12:51:41

Thanks Mags and I'm sorry to hear about your situation with them at the moment sad. You've probably seen this, but their website says you might be able to pay the overpayment back over a longer period of time if you are struggling to pay your essential bills - www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/TaxCredits/Ifthingsgowrong/Overpayments/DG_173371.

Sounds like she was being really harsh with you, you didn't deserve that. And tax credits is treated as income when applying for certain benefits! Let's all go to Barbados for Christmas wink!!!

I still haven't heard anything back about my appeal but I'll certainly keep you posted.

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