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Tax Credits

(7 Posts)
NGC2017 Wed 23-May-18 14:16:22

Hi All

I may be worrying over nothing, but I hate that I am stuck having to receive tax credits to live. No matter how on the ball I am with updates, they always seem to come back telling my I have been overpaid and are taking it back, yet whenever a change is being made my payments are always reduced 'to clear the overpayment i have already had'.

I suffer with bad anxiety and every year it worries me what overpayment they will demand. I have seen some dreadful posts about overpayment demands, some for 10 years ago! I just cannot see how they can do this. Luckily I have all my award notices in order in a file. They did the same to my mom 10 years ago with my sister so I have always been overcautious.

Just so I know, in case I am missing any, is it the 'Final Award Notice' that is the most important one to have a record of?

I know I must sound silly expecting the unexpected, but the last 3 years they have always overpaid me despite changes always being declared and an understanding that payments will reduce because of the changes.

TIA

Everywhereilookaround Fri 25-May-18 06:24:26

Hi, I'm not sure what you can do other than seek advice from CAB maybe? It's a horrible system that punishes people at most vulnerable points in their lives. Have you read the Tax Credit Act? I did after being accused of fraud and threatened with a 3000 pound fine ..all because I increased nursery by an hour and forgot to tell them within 4 weeks (I wasn't asking for more money!)
You are not alone in finding it a nightmare to manage. Is there someone you trust who can help you with it?
The other thing is to stash away (almost impossible here!) A fiver a week or what you can afford so that when they reduce your payments you have something to fall back on.
If you are struggling with money, ask your gp for food bank referral, there's no shame in getting help wherever you can! Good luck x

NGC2017 Fri 25-May-18 08:40:17

Hi
Thank you for writing back.

It's my own problem really with having the anxiety so bad. I know I have never not disclosed anything, always been honest and kept them up to date, but the system always seems to work against me.
In my first year, they had underpaid me by a fair amount. So imagine my surprise when in my 2nd year of receiving TC's I have been overpaid by the amount of the underpayment of the previous year and then some more!
I have always felt that tax credits is a very unfair system. Even if they have been wrong it is you that will suffer. You are made very aware that the vast majority of appeals are not successful. Any one who has to use Tax Credits are not lucky at all. I read somewhere that the system is designed to overpay you and if I am honest in my experience that is very true.
What really annoys me is that when you make a change it triggers a one off payment. I call and they say 'you are entitle to that payment' or 'you are entitled to a 4 week run on'. But it is those payments that F us all up alot of the time!
As I do not trust them I always put these payments aside to fall back on, but for me it is the accusation that I haven't been as honest as I should have been. I cannot be any more honest with them.
In 2016 I was one of the unfortunate ones investigated by concentrix for tax credit fraud with me childcare payements. All because I increased my hours at work which meant I had to increase my childcare. I will never forget that feeling of being told that I had done something I knew I hadn't. And despite keeping within their timelines, it took them SIX MONTHS to make their decision. It was an horrendous time. Also when they say they have overpaid they take it all back straight away so I have gone weeks with no payments at all.
You are made to feel like dirt for needing the help sad

Everywhereilookaround Sun 27-May-18 04:50:37

It is an unfair system!! There's no doubt it's a total mess, chaptic, poorly managed and extremely anxiety provoking. universal credit (*shudders*) is coming in to replace it.

Concentrix took a year of my life accusing me of fraud too..(unfounded)...and I'm also honest and that really put me through the mill, in fact , it shred about tens years off my life with stress, aged my face, hair went grey and Im still traumatized by what they put me through I can even think about it.
They want you to feel shame so they can discredit people on benefits.

Hold your head up high and keep smiling. There's no choice but to keep trying your best to work through a bad situation. You are not alone!!! X

ashamedofthis2 Sun 27-May-18 11:31:37

I was investigated by Concentrix too, twice, and in the end they found I didn't do anything wrong and didn't owe them a penny. Also had payments reduced hugely one year due to an overpayment.

Universal Credit is MUCH MUCH worse though imo.

If not working enough hours (16 if child under 3, 25 if child 5-12, 35 if child over 12) then people have to still sign on and can get sanctioned.

UC claimants have to pay all their childcare costs first and claim them back from uc using receipts. They will only pay out for childcare costs which are not more than what you earn (almost impossible for those on nmw with more than one child, esp during school and nursery hols), and will only pay the percentage towards costs if the monthly costs are under £600ish for one child and £1000ish for 2 or more.

When moving over to uc you don't get any money for 5 weeks. You can get a loan from them but need to pay it back.

The debt repayments ie monies taken from your uc before you see it for old debts are very high. Between £47 and £124 a month.

If someone is paid 4 weekly or fortnightly or weekly, in months with 5 weeks, UC take it as you've been paid twice, so you get no UC the next month.

Payments for disabled people have been slashed.

NGC2017 Mon 28-May-18 07:18:08

Oh my god. That's really worrying. Luckily my son starts school in September so will use family for help during the holidays, but no money for 5 weeks! How do people manage?!
I dont get how this system hasnt been reviewed by now. If you use tax credits/UC it is because you are in a position to need them! I definitely wouldnt be able to live without the top up. I already work full time, have no social life, no holidays, dont drink or smoke, im still wearing clothes from 5 years ago, cut all my bills to just essentials. So it isnt even like I can make cuts.
I also hate how they can calculate your annual entitlement, pay it you, then at renewal say they will determine if you are entitled to it. On a whole most of us are very honest with them as that is our duty, so why should they always get it wrong

Clairenewbie Wed 06-Jun-18 01:33:24

Do you not use the payment scheme to repay tax credits? They overpaid me and I paid back a tenner a month because was 120 overpaid
UC is the worst

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