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DLA and backdating TCs

(2 Posts)
mackerella Thu 20-Feb-14 18:04:10

I'm posting here because SN legal/financial is a bit quiet!

We get some tax credits and, because DS gets DLA higher rate care, we get the disability and severe disability elements of CTCs. DS's previous DLA award was until his third birthday in December, so we sent off the renewal pack shortly before that and waited to hear from DWP.

In the meantime, DLA stopped being paid to us pending a decision on the renewal, so DH told the TC people that DS was no longer getting DLA and they stopped the disability/severe disability elements of our TCs. We didn't hear anything from DWP for ages, so eventually I rang them up towards the end of January ... only to find out that they had made a decision to renew DS's DLA at HR (both care and mobility) only 10 days after receiving our renewal pack! By the time I rang them, it was six weeks since a decision had been made but we hadn't received anything to tell us that. I asked why they hadn't written to tell me about the renewal and they didn't know, although they did admit that they could see that a letter had been generated but was not then sent "for some reason" hmm.

I asked DWP to send a duplicate letter and eventually persuaded the TC people to reinstate the disability/severe disability elements of our TCs. However, they only backdated it to four weeks before the date I told them I had received the duplicate letter, which left a 16-day gap between the date of the DLA award and the date that they'd backdated the TCs to. 16 days doesn't sound like much but it's worth £180 to us!

TC people are refusing to budge on this but have grudgingly agreed to send me a leaflet about the appeals process so I can complain. But they refuse to talk directly to DWP (who admit - on the phone, at least) that it is their fault that I wasn't notified of the DLA renewal until 6 weeks after a decision was made. Had they actually raised and sent the notification letter on the date that it says, then there wouldn't be any gap in out TC payments. TC people say I have to provide my own evidence if I want them to consider an appeal.

Has anyone else been in this position before? I'm half tempted to write the whole thing off as we managed (just) during our 7-8 weeks without TCs and we can't miss money that we never saw in the first place! But the unfairness of this rankles and we're not so rich that we can afford to chuck away £180 just because of an administrative cock-up.

I'm sorry this is so long and tedious. I didn't put specific dates because I was worried about outing myself, but I can provide a rough timeline if it's not clear otherwise. wine to anyone who's read this far without falling asleep!

AgnesDiPesto Thu 20-Feb-14 20:32:49

It sounds as though the fault is actually with dwp. Make a formal complaint to dwp asking them to pay £180 for their error. If they don't go to Parliamentary Ombudsman.
In meantime appeal the tc decision within any timescale if only to keep that option open pending your complaint.
You did the right thing notifying TC and shouldn't be penalised for that!

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