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HOUSING BENEFIT SUSPENDED FOR MORE THAN 3 MONTHS

Questions and discussions about claiming benefits while living and working in the UK

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troubled
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Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm

HOUSING BENEFIT SUSPENDED FOR MORE THAN 3 MONTHS

Post by troubled » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:20 pm

My housing benefit has been suspended for more than three months. I was awarded Child and working tax credits by HMRC and I submitted the award letters on the very day I received them to my council.My benefits went down for few months after I submitted the award letters from HMRC to the council.After few months my housing benefit came back to what I was receiving before HMRC awarded me child and working tax credit.About three months ago I went to the council for different issue and my housing benefit came along during the chat with the benefit officer.She asked if I am receiving child and working tax credit whcih I said yes and even confirmed that I had already submitted my award letter to the council some months ago.Surprising the benefit officer told me that my child and working tax credits have not been taken into consideration when they pay my housing benefits so I have been "overpaid" therefore she will suspend my housing benefit. Ironically the benefit officer who decided to suspend my housing benefit was the very person I handed my awarding letters from HMRC to.I was asked to request new letters from HMRC before they can continue to pay my housing benefit.I did request new awarding letter from HMRC and submitted them to the council again.It is more that three months ago my council has refused to pay my housing benefit.When I call the office they often tell me to give them more weeks to deal with my case.I have complained officially to the council about a month ago but no response.Is there anyway that I can complain to the higher authority instead of the council itself since nobody cares about my situation? If they claim that I have been overpaid then they should tell me how much I have been overpaid and whose fault was that since I submitted all the documents they needed from me including my payslips,letter from employer,HMRC letters etc.Please I need your advice on this issue.
Last edited by troubled on Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

sjimoh112
Junior Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:12 am

Post by sjimoh112 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:55 pm

I would suggest you see your MP about this. They're bound to reply your MP if he gets in-touch with them.
[Moderator Edit]

pads
Junior Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Post by pads » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:46 pm

I would suggest going to your local CAB and see if they can contact the council for you, It sounds to me like the council has made an error and lost your Working tax and Child Tax notification.

You need advice over this.

Love pads x

troubled
Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Post by troubled » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:01 pm

sjimoh and pad thanks for your advice.I spoke to the council last week and they told me the officer who has been dealing with my case was supposed to write to me about weeks ago but hasn`t so email has been sent to the line manager.I did not believe what they told but I am waiting to hear from them this week if not then I will proceed to seek further advice.Nowadays I record every conversation I have with the council on my phone that will be used as evidence if necessary.Most people at the council seem to be dearly beloved,you can see from their evil eyes and remarks.To receive housing benefit is not the best situation to find yourself in but if you are on low income it means life and death to you.They promise to get to me this week so I am waiting patiently before my next move.

adamboston
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Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: Manchester

Post by adamboston » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:13 pm

There is no shadow of doubt about the fact that you have been treated unfairly. As I happen to work in the same sort of setup I've never come across a case where a claimant had to wait 3 months to get their benefits reinstated due to overpayment.

All the overpayments are recoverable apart from the case when it's due to an official error AND the claimant would not have been 'reasonably' aware of the fact that s/he has been overpaid.

I think you must contact your local CAB or welfare rights so they can intervene and get your housing benefit sorted. Even if you have been overpaid HB you are still entitled to the benefit and should you decide with an affordable weekly overpayment recovery. Should you decide to challenge the overpayment, which IMHO you must do, any overpayment recovery would be suspended till the tribunal decide on your case.

It doesn't take 3 months to a benefit processor to draft an overpayment letter and I think there is some sort of communication issue between the counter staff and HB processing section.

You can also approach your local councillor and ask him/her to speak to benefits department. It would be quite interesting to know the name of your council (pm me if you like).

As a last resort and in case of no joy you can take this matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Adam

'To me no human is alien - but to some no aliens are human'.

troubled
Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Post by troubled » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:39 am

adamboston wrote:There is no shadow of doubt about the fact that you have been treated unfairly. As I happen to work in the same sort of setup I've never come across a case where a claimant had to wait 3 months to get their benefits reinstated due to overpayment.

All the overpayments are recoverable apart from the case when it's due to an official error AND the claimant would not have been 'reasonably' aware of the fact that s/he has been overpaid.

I think you must contact your local CAB or welfare rights so they can intervene and get your housing benefit sorted. Even if you have been overpaid HB you are still entitled to the benefit and should you decide with an affordable weekly overpayment recovery. Should you decide to challenge the overpayment, which IMHO you must do, any overpayment recovery would be suspended till the tribunal decide on your case.

It doesn't take 3 months to a benefit processor to draft an overpayment letter and I think there is some sort of communication issue between the counter staff and HB processing section.

You can also approach your local councillor and ask him/her to speak to benefits department. It would be quite interesting to know the name of your council (pm me if you like).

As a last resort and in case of no joy you can take this matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.


Thank you for your excellent inputs.My council has put me and my family in a very awkward situation.All they care about is lining up their own pockets.I am waiting till coming friday and if nothing happens I will follow all your suggestions.

adamboston
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Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: Manchester

Post by adamboston » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:57 am

troubled wrote:All they care about is lining up their own pockets.
Not all though :D . All the best.
Adam

'To me no human is alien - but to some no aliens are human'.

troubled
Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Post by troubled » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:15 pm

WOW!!! "The officer dealing with your case had been on holiday that is why there has been delayed in your HB reinstatement" .Those are the words of the officer I spoke to today about my HB.So if that officer is going to be month or more away,my family and I have to suffer until that officer returns from his or her supposely sun-beach holiday.It shows how insensitive those at my local council are.The game is on now.

adamboston
Member
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: Manchester

Post by adamboston » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:19 pm

troubled wrote:"The officer dealing with your case had been on holiday that is why there has been delayed in your HB reinstatement" .Those are the words of the officer I spoke to today about my HB.
Absolutely ridiculous and diabolical. Didn't they tell you that the officer is on holidays and we are merely acting as flies on the wall. You must go ahead with the complaint and ask for compensation too.
Adam

'To me no human is alien - but to some no aliens are human'.

pads
Junior Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Post by pads » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:29 pm

Yeah love go see your local CAB and get some advice and make a complaint they should be able to at least give you an interim payment while they sort it out.

Love pads x

troubled
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Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Post by troubled » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:00 am

pads wrote:Yeah love go see your local CAB and get some advice and make a complaint they should be able to at least give you an interim payment while they sort it out.

Love pads x

Thank you for your response.I had a letter from my council today and they have reinstated my HB but in the letter they have stated that the council tax has been overpaid and they intend to recover.First I am going to complain about the delay and also appeal against the decision.They messed up with the whole thing not me.

pads
Junior Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Post by pads » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:21 pm

Great news that they have reinstated your housing benefit.

You should still make a complaint especially if they haven't backdated it.

YOu should see your local CAB about appealing the counciltax benefit overpayment as I don't think you have to repay if its not your fault though not entirely sure CAB will be able to advise you.

Love pads x

troubled
Member
Posts: 178
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Post by troubled » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:34 am

I have asked for detail explanation as how they got to that decision.

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