Desperation, I understand why people take drastic action now

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DrapedInDarkness

Distinguished Member
Not sure this belongs here but no idea where else to put it to be honest.

From April and May my work accidentally paid me two months which the benefits people told me about when they sent me a message letting me know my payment from UC would be stopped

I've spent months trying to get this resolved and my work were happy to do a payment plan as I obviously had to use some of that money to pay my rent/food/bills etc, now

During this period my ESA payments were also stopped as an assessor decided I could get another job, this decision was finally reversed a few weeks ago and I was told my payments would be resumed.

The first payment was meant to go into my account on Wednesday but did not, on Friday I was told it would go in Friday and it did not, then today I was told that due to some error by the guy who assessed me that my account has actually been closed, this will now need to be looked into and my account will either need to be rebuilt or a brand new claim will need to be made, what they cannot do is give me a time frame.

Then a message came from UC and I was advised by UC to contact HMRC abut the payments from work, so I called them and they told me they cannot do anything until my work tell them the money has been repaid via an RTI.

I called my work today and they told me they can only do this if I repay the monies immediately which I cannot do as anything else is lying, I've had no income for over two months and I currently have less than £200 in my account due to having to actually pay to live with the biggest expenses being travel to and from my long covid appointments.

With the amount of banging my head against the uncaring wall that is the safety net meant to help people I really do understand how it gets to be too much for people.

I'm under so much stress and pressure already with my illness and the very people who should be helping me are doing everything they can to not help me

Very hard not to be feeling at a very low ebb right now.

The irony is that all the way through this I've done everything right, followed all the rules and regulations and then find out that the people setting those rules and regulations do not see people, they only see case numbers.

The lovely lady who overturned my decision could not believe that although all the information was provided in forms by myself, my dr and the long covid team not one question was asked about anything, all the assessor wanted to do was tick his boxes and move onto the next case number.

EDIT, I think the thread is spelt correctly now ,apologies if you tried reading the first draft I was/am angry and upset.
 
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Anastasia Swords

Standard Member
Hi draped in darkness,

I'm so sorry to hear this as it must be a terrible situation to be in. People usually advise to contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau, but do you have a community hub locally who may be able to help and advise you? Also copy and paste your post and e-mail it as a complaint to your MP's office and ask them to look in to it.
I found this online where you may be able to apply for a DWP loan. Help! I'm broke and need emergency support - The Mix
I hope this helps. Please don't give up hope. Alternatively, call the Samaritans on on 116 123 and they may be able to signpost you to practical advice, as well as listening to you. Take care and keep us posted on how you are getting on.
 

VivaE

Well-known Member
I can't offer any advice but so sorry @OP that you're having to contend with such moronically callous bureaucratic idiocy. I hope things get sorted for you.
 

DrapedInDarkness

Distinguished Member
I can't offer any advice but so sorry @OP that you're having to contend with such moronically callous bureaucratic idiocy. I hope things get sorted for you.

The funniest most horrific thing was a phone call around three weeks ago I think when it became clear my money was not coming through, I called the helpline and spoke to somebody who assured me that Sharon (my case worker) was dealing with it despite not replying to me for almost a month even though there were messages from her colleagues telling her too, I got a little angry and said in the face of such support I understand why people kill themselves, to which she wished me a nice day and asked if there was anything else she could help with.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
I'm aware of your problems from the thread in the Covid section, and I'm sorry you're feeling this way.

May I point you in the direction of this thread, which is our general kind of help each other thread for anyone not feeling themselves. And/or struggling for whatever reason.

A very good bunch of folk frequent in there, with some excellent advice and even just kind words if they are what's needed.

 

OscarZ

Active Member
As above an advice service such as the CAB may help.

Due to having a lot of experience with the DWP I thought I should chip in but I know things have changed since then. Nevertheless it won't hurt to say what I think, but there's a lot I don't understand about the details, as below.

My feeling is that you should make a fresh application for UC but I do know that there may be long delays so that may be impractical. But one thing to note is that once your UC claim is live you should be able to apply for a loan of a few hundred pounds, depending on how much your UC is. I don't know how easy it is to get a grant nowadays but you may not have to be on benefit to apply. Again, the rules may have moved on. Hardship payments - perhaps you may be eligible.

Then a message came from UC and I was advised by UC to contact HMRC abut the payments from work, so I called them and they told me they cannot do anything until my work tell them the money has been repaid via an RTI.

I may be seeing this wrongly but HMRC should have no interest in this overpayment. Technically I would say that you could refuse to pay back the work money on the basis that it has been spent and you didn't know it was an overpayment. Then your work would have to sue you for it. HMRC have no power to make you accept that you ARE responsible for repaying the money unless a legal judgement says so. I would think.

I called my work today and they told me they can only do this if I repay the monies immediately which I cannot do as anything else is lying,

I don't see how the DWP can refuse UC on the basis of a debt to a third party.

I've had no income for over two months and I currently have less than £200 in my account due to having to actually pay to live with the biggest expenses being travel to and from my long covid appointments

Have you done a search for 'help with cost of travel to medical appointments'? May be worth checking.
 

MrFraggle

Distinguished Member
Have you done a search for 'help with cost of travel to medical appointments'? May be worth checking.
You can either claim by post of if the cashiers office is open at the hospital and you have proof, tickets ETC you should be reimbursed there and then though to be honest I have only ever sent the claim by post and can take up to 10 days.
 

DrapedInDarkness

Distinguished Member
As above an advice service such as the CAB may help.

Due to having a lot of experience with the DWP I thought I should chip in but I know things have changed since then. Nevertheless it won't hurt to say what I think, but there's a lot I don't understand about the details, as below.

My feeling is that you should make a fresh application for UC but I do know that there may be long delays so that may be impractical. But one thing to note is that once your UC claim is live you should be able to apply for a loan of a few hundred pounds, depending on how much your UC is. I don't know how easy it is to get a grant nowadays but you may not have to be on benefit to apply. Again, the rules may have moved on. Hardship payments - perhaps you may be eligible.



I may be seeing this wrongly but HMRC should have no interest in this overpayment. Technically I would say that you could refuse to pay back the work money on the basis that it has been spent and you didn't know it was an overpayment. Then your work would have to sue you for it. HMRC have no power to make you accept that you ARE responsible for repaying the money unless a legal judgement says so. I would think.



I don't see how the DWP can refuse UC on the basis of a debt to a third party.



Have you done a search for 'help with cost of travel to medical appointments'? May be worth checking.

So UC stopped my payments because work accidentally paid me two months, because UC is paid a month behind I did not know ujntil after the second payment, despite mt trying my hardest to get it resolved quickly UC took almost as long to advise me that they cannot pay me because of this overpayment, they then told me that HMRC have to remove the RTI so that it shows the money has been repaid, HMRC told me they cannot do this even with my work agreeing to a repayment plan until it is actually paid back.

My work have flat out refused to do anything to help me and even though they are fully aware that I had nothing coming in for two months they want me to start paying the money back now.

So it is not that HMRC are protesting but that UC refuse to allow the payments even with work confirming a payment plan had been agreed.

Thanks for the tip about appointments, ?I;ll look into that tomorrow.
 

OscarZ

Active Member
Sorry but I'm still not understanding why you don't just forget the payment plan and go from there. Obviously UC can only pay you according to your circumstances, which is income - none, and savings - £200 or whatever. They DID have to stop payments once there was an overpayment (because of the extra wages) but your new circumstances have to be taken into account when there is any change, so I'm wondering what would happen if you told the DWP that you won't BE paying back the overpaid wages?

But there's no need to explain unless it moves things forward.
 

spudtator

Well-known Member
UC award is calculated on income received in your assessment period (UC month).
UC receive this through HMRC via a Real Time Income feed.
The only way it can be changed is if the employer amends their information and sends it to HMRC. UC would then receive this information and an underpayment would generate in your claim.
If the earnings received were high enough and you received no UC, your claim would be closed.
I would advise to make a reclaim as soon as possible. As someone previously said, you 'should' be entitled to an advance (loan) when your claim is verified (almost straight away).
I've seen this kind of thing happen very occasionally and the employers usually amend their payroll.
Unfortunately UC work pretty strictly with what they receive from HMRC.
P.s. if you have any questions relating to UC, ask me here or PM me.
 

DrapedInDarkness

Distinguished Member
And just to kep the good news flowing, my work have just finished the meeting by confirming they wuill now look to terminate my employment on capability grounds, telling me if I had said I could return to work on a phased return thry would not be doing it and would instead support my return, I reminded them that they have ignored all except the very first OH referral at the beginning of long covid, all other OH reports highlighted ways for me to return safely and build up to a permanent return.

Then to really smack me in the head they reminded me thatthe money still needs to be repaid and they will look into a way that works for me.
 

OscarZ

Active Member
Then to really smack me in the head they reminded me thatthe money still needs to be repaid and they will look into a way that works for me.

I would tell them to take a hike.

Edit: Better solution - offer to pay back what is owed at £1 per week. This should prevent recovery action because they would not do well by complaining to a judge about the 'nominal' amount if it is actually being paid. If they did the court wouldn't be very happy about it due to your circumstances being such that the amount offered is all you can afford and the fact of it being their error to begin with.
 
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DrapedInDarkness

Distinguished Member
I would tell them to take a hike.

Edit: Better solution - offer to pay back what is owed at £1 per week. This should prevent recovery action because they would not do well by complaining to a judge about the 'nominal' amount if it is actually being paid. If they did the court wouldn't be very happy about it due to your circumstances being such that the amount offered is all you can afford and the fact of it being their error to begin with.

I like that idea thanks, really disappointed in them though, it;s now been over two months and they are only going to have a meeting about it tomorrow.
 

OscarZ

Active Member
I like that idea thanks

In that case the best thing to do next is write a formal letter and get proof of posting. I'd probably send it signed for but POP is enough for court. If you can't be bothered to type and print it just write it out in longhand and keep a copy. It should go like this:

'Dear Former Employer,

Further to the recent overpayment of wages which were paid in error I wish to make an offer of repayment in the amount of £1 per week. I am unable at the present time to pay any more than this due to being unemployed and not yet in receipt of benefit payments. Should this change I may be able to increase the payments at a later date.

Please confirm that this arragement is satisfactory so that this matter may be resolved forthwith. A suitable payment method and payment frequency can be agreed once my proposal has been accepted.

I look forward to your response.

Yours Faithfully'


This basically leaves them no choice but to accept the pound a week - paid monthly, starting at the end of this month, I'd suggest.

If they create a fuss that's fine - let them. If they dared threaten you with court you'd just reiterate the offer. If they actually made a claim despite the offer of repayment it is likely that your representations before allocation/hearing would get the judge to make an order that the parties try and resolve the issue without the court's involvement. Because the only issue to be decided by the court would be the payment timescale for an acknowledged debt, which would be a waste of its time.
 
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OscarZ

Active Member
Just a quick note for future reference if needed:

Because your work seems a bit stroppy I wouldn't rule out them making a claim for what is owed so you should know that if that happens you can send a letter to the judge at any time. Two letters though: one to the judge and another to the Clerk of the Court asking them to make sure the judge gets it.

You won't find this suggestion in any legal literature! And if you were to ever see a judge they'd probably have a lighthearted jab at your lack of engagement with the rules!

But they will ALWAYS read that letter. Who wouldn't?
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
@Anastasia Swords recommended that you contact your local MP. Have you done this yet? A short letter highlighting your situation couldn't hurt and may actually help. I've done this before and although it may not actually fix the problem, it does get the relevant parties attention.
 

DrapedInDarkness

Distinguished Member
@Anastasia Swords recommended that you contact your local MP. Have you done this yet? A short letter highlighting your situation couldn't hurt and may actually help. I've done this before and although it may not actually fix the problem, it does get the relevant parties attention.

I have done this previously and somebody from her office was sympathetic but it is a legal matter not a moral one.
 
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