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Housing benefit miscalculations

(10 Posts)
Kikikaakaa Fri 24-Feb-17 09:52:52

I don't know if anyone can give me advice. And I really don't want a bashing about claiming benefits. I work full time and am a single mother.

I have been claiming for about 7 years now, over time my claim has reduced and reduced consistently as I try to earn higher and now I am only entitled to a fairly small amount but I still have an active Claim.

I would stop the claim because of all the hassle this claim has and continues to cause me but IMO the council have got me trapped in an overpayment cycle that changes like the wind due to their 'computer systems'. I owe them more now than ever, despite submitting my wage slips monthly on the dot etc. My wages do not fluctuate but I do this now because I am so fed up with 'mistakes' and then being audited like a fraud. They have miscalculated me SO MANY TIMES it is unreal. They once stopped my claim on the hunch I had a secret money in an old account which took me weeks of writing to them and the banks. I appreciate they are doing their job but I feel like a criminal when I haven't done anything.

What has made this worse is that every couple of years, they seem to run computer audits which pick up mistakes (they have made) This then usually causes me to be told I am owing £490 paid back over X months or for them to suddenly credit my bank account with £177 that they owe me and I am too scared to use in case it's not really mine!

I've complained vigorously to them before, after their huge mistake cost me a lot of money. They did not put me down for the 25% single persons council tax discount 7 years ago, when I filled in the forms. It came to light I had been given benefit on 100% rather than the 75%, so I had to pay back a massive amount all backdated for years in council tax. They also once put down that I earn £10,000 a month in error which caused more miscalculations and drama.

Not once have they called me to discuss it nicely, they often don't reply to my letters or emails and if they do, it's very cold and rude and matter of factly and I am made to feel like a massive scrounger or a criminal. They don't offer me any reasonable explanation for mistakes just sent out letters with YOU NOW OWE on them.

I feel like I would like to ask someone more independent to review my case and ensure that I do not owe more scary hidden unknown amounts and that this office has fully trained staff who know how to use the system correctly. I've written to them asking this and had no response.

I no longer trust them and honestly just feel angry for people who maybe are vulnerable and are also probably going through this worse than me.

I'm now claiming housing benefit but almost all of it is going on the repayment and paying almost double council tax per month to repay money I had no idea I owed because they made a mistake spanning a few years.

Shall I just stop the claim and repay and go without it? I'm so much worse off than ever before

kayleighnotts Fri 24-Feb-17 11:31:21

Not Nottingham city council by any chance? they too keep overpaying me when i gave them my wageslips and then sending me "repayment will be accepted without prejudice to any further action dwp may take" letters.

Kikikaakaa Fri 24-Feb-17 13:37:31

No different council!

I hate that I owe 'public money' but am so confused about how it gets quite this bad!

kayleighnotts Fri 24-Feb-17 17:57:27

same here, i also sent an email asking for an explanation as to why i keep getting overpaid despite giving them my wage slips but they havn't responded. I wanted to end my claim and just pay using my tax credits, i live in social housing so its cheap, but they said no because i'm entitled to it and it's not a good enugh excuse to come off!

hmmwhatatodo Fri 24-Feb-17 21:47:29

Hello

I feel your pain. I feel like they want to trap me in a cycle of constantly owing them money. I am constantly worrying about the next payslip I send in and how much they will decide I owe them now. I have no idea how they work it all out. I recently found out I owe them a few hundred more due to an error they made well over a year ago. Its so disappointing. When I asked if it is possible to pay back more and quicker I was told no (!?!) and that maybe I could pay more towards my rent instead so it would work itself out that way (absolutely no idea what that idea was all about but it makes no sense to me). It takes months for them to work things out by which time I am owing them loads of money despite me sending in payslips on time. I would love to leave it but sadly private rent is crazy.

i cant believe they wont let you come off it!

backaftera2yearbreak Fri 24-Feb-17 21:50:15

Does your council have a welfare rights team who can check calculations are correct?

kayleighnotts Sun 26-Feb-17 19:18:53

hmm do they send you your overpayment letters headed without prejudice too? this is what bugs me the most, they basicall saying if i still pay it they can still take further action even though it's not my fault.

Kikikaakaa Sun 26-Feb-17 20:19:03

It doesn't matter what you write to them, they just robotically treat you like a really thick plank of wood angry

kayleighnotts Sun 26-Feb-17 20:31:42

The staff are thick too, most don't even know what they are talking about and don't do their job properly. for some reason they managed to change my earnings of £112 a week to £189. so i was underpaid over £1000 and when they overpay me they scream fraud. i should accuse them of fraud for changing my income details without informing me to pay me less benefit.

Kikikaakaa Sun 26-Feb-17 21:05:53

Same! I fear this problem is terrifyingly common now!

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