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URGENT the council have fucked my benefit up spectacularly - help me to make them see that they haven't added up properly...

24 replies

colditz · 13/05/2010 11:08

Basically, my CT benefit stopped on 20th march, as it should have done, but they have overpaid for 5 weeks.

they are claiming that they have paid 76 pounds a WEEK CT benefit, and this is what they are trying to claim back from my account.

My CT is 76 pounds a MONTH.

Local council have previous for fuckwittery - how can I keep my cool? Am on hold right now!

OP posts:
Butterpie · 13/05/2010 11:13

Oh, we have had problems with our councils arithmetic as well. Just insist they look again at the figures, if no joy, get your local concillor involved, it only takes an email.

mrsmharket · 13/05/2010 11:21

could you go to local cab colditz?

colditz · 13/05/2010 11:22

they've completley ignored the fact that, as I stred working, I was entitled to a 4 week housing benefit and council tax benefit roll-over

They've paid the housing benefit via cheque and are now trying to claim that back.

It's going to leave me utterly in the shit!


OP posts:
mrsmharket · 13/05/2010 11:38

please go to cab and see if they could help you

colditz · 13/05/2010 11:43

I am still on the fucking phone.

Basically, thy sent me a cheque to cover my rent for the rolloever period - they now want it back.

I am fairly sure I had an entitlement to that money according to what the lone parent advisor at the job centre told me.

i am very careful not to claim for things I am entitled to.

And if they are now saying I am not entitled to that roll-ove and have been misinformed (which I doubt), shouldn't I have been informed before now? I started work on the 20th of MARCH. It was 8 weeks ago

OP posts:
Meglet · 13/05/2010 11:44

surely they can see that you would have to live in a mansion to have £76 a week council tax , I can't see that anywhere would be that expensive. Mine is £90 a month for a normal 3 bed house.

colditz · 13/05/2010 11:58

this is going to fuck me up the arse. I haven't GOT that money. I paid my fucking rent with it.

I TOLD them in March that I started work. they told me i would get a roll over

The man has just told me that housing benefit has been paid twice for that period, but it's not a mistake, but they are insisting on having the money back

I asked him if a mistake has been made in the processing

he denies a mistake has been made in the processing

I asked him to explain how I have been sent housing benefit twice for the same period without a mistake having been made somewhere along the line

He says the account was updated and the cheque sent out the smae day

So I said - so someone has made a mistake?

No, he said. We have not made a mistake.

I asked him to explain why, if a mistake has not been made, he is asking for the money back.

he told me we are going round in circles and I don't seem to understand what is occuring.

I asked him for his name

he stuttered "I'm going to speak to the manager" and he has put me back on hold

And now I am FUCKING FUMING oh please mumsnet don't fail me now, please please help me to resolve this without shouting swearing or being aggressive verbally as this will get me nowhere. Please.

OP posts:
colditz · 13/05/2010 11:59

they basically want to recover housing benefit from my council tax account

OP posts:
colditz · 13/05/2010 11:59


OP posts:
expatinscotland · 13/05/2010 12:02

Write a letter now. Bullet point it, a la, a) visited lone parent advisor, who said i was entitled to rollover HB/CTB week of . . . b) started work c) cheque paid d) got all fucked up e) rang council on 13/5/10 at 11.08AM and later asked for employees name . . .

Send it to your MP and your local councillor and copy in the council.


They need to know now this is why so many lone parents cannot afford to return to work; a months' council tax or rent is a fortune to many people.

expatinscotland · 13/05/2010 12:04

And yes, make an appointment to see CAB, too.

A friend had a similar prob with HB and her fucking landlord, a HA no less, was constantly sending her letters and even knocking on her door to get her to sign a rent arrears agreement.

When she had no rent arrears.

smallishsheep · 13/05/2010 12:07

You need to get to the CAB as soon as it opens tomorrow morning. Which may well mean gettign there an hour before it opens to ensure you get seen.
The council fucked up my benefit royally, I could get no joy from them at all and spent a good week in tears. One call from the CAB and it was all sorted

colditz · 13/05/2010 12:17


have just spoken to the manager.

manager explained that there was a system error, resulting in a cheque for housing benefit being snet out for the same period for which the council had already sent housing benefit to my landlord (the rolloevr period), and that she apologises for the mistake.

She has told me that although they need the money back, she understands that I have now paid that to my landlord and can't retrieve it, however, she thinks given my hours that I should be entitled to a small amount of housing benefit, and that she can take £9 a week from that or less if it will cause problems for me.

And that "We really need to sort your entitlement for housing benefit out quickly, so bring in your payslip, your tax credit papers and your last bank statement and we'll sort that out on Monday if you can get to us. What time is best for you?"

Do you know, good customer service makes all the difference in the world.

I am happy with that now.

OP posts:
expatinscotland · 13/05/2010 12:18

Well done, colditz!

mrsmharket · 13/05/2010 12:21

yay! well done to you

whyme2 · 13/05/2010 12:22

Can you check with Job centre advisor that you dealt with? Will they confirm what you are entitled to so at least you know your rights.

We had an over payment and we are paying it back in minute amounts. Suggest this - that way you get more time to sort it out rather than them demanding the whole lot back and you being left up shit creek.

ShinyAndNew · 13/05/2010 12:22

Glad it's been sorted. Our council is the same. I am of the opinion that all council workers (particularly the ones in the benefits section) should be fired and replaced with trained monkeys. The monkeys would be more capable.

whyme2 · 13/05/2010 12:23

Congratulations - at least you got to speak to someone sensible in the end!

colditz · 13/05/2010 12:28

And expat yes, you totally get it - a month's rent is a FORTUNE to me

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mrsmharket · 13/05/2010 12:43

i agree with shiny

expatinscotland · 13/05/2010 12:54

a month's rent and council tax here, on a council flat that is £280/month and band B council tax at £118/month.

well, do the maths.

that is huge amount for someone on benefits to have saved.

not to mention also losing free school meals, free dentistry, prescriptions, clothing grant (for school uniforms) and factoring in the cost of work - transport especially.

with this new government's looking to reform the benefits system, the needs of the working poor are tantamount.

mrsmharket · 17/05/2010 10:57

hows thuings today expat?

colditz · 20/05/2010 11:26


I went to the council on Monday, and they rushed through an application for housing benefit (and honestly, if you knew how quick it was to do, and how much unnecessary fannying around with their computers they do whilst doing it, you would WEEP at the times they make you wait 10 weeks before processing it)

Apparently I have been entitled to £37 housing benefit a week since I started working

They are taking £9.90 a week from this, so I'll still be getting £27.10 a week housing benefit.

This may not sound like much, but actually this is nearly half my rent, and if they hadn't messed up I wouldn't have bothered applying in the first place.


OP posts:
gillybean2 · 20/05/2010 11:34

Have you got any childcare costs? They have to deduct part of this from your income so if you have (or do in the future) make sure you tell them.

By the same score any time anything changes (pay rise, child care costs chage etc) you need to tell them straight away as it will vary your caculated entitlement to housing benefit and CT benefit each time

Glad you got it sorted

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