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Housing benefitCouncil Tax benefit backdated

nikkiandmidgets Avatar
8y, 2w agoPosted 8 years, 2 weeks ago
Just got a letter from council today saying my council tax and housing benefit isnt being backdated....and that I can appeal if I want to which I obviously will....Does anyone know how successful an appeal usually is and how long it takes?

I was late putting my forms in cos my landlord was down on holiday here when I took the lease on so had to wait till she returned home and got the docs. she then sent me one with the wrong dates so had to wait for a correct one to come through. She wasnt as prompt as she could be but her man is in the RAF and is over in Afghanastan and she has a young baby. Me, I was on antidepressants but took myself off them a month ago and was starting to feel I was coping quite well without them till I got this letter.

I need the money from this as they overpaid me 2 weeks money on my old place so they are demanding that back and am sure I will get a demand through for council tax too as havent paid any for this place as expected it to get sorted along with my benefit claim. My last one was paid regularly no hassle and I moved to this place as i couldnt afford the excess I had to pay on last place or the high gas bills - was working when I took it but used all my saving to cover bills and to give my mum some money to live on in return for looking after my kids from 6:30am - 5:30 pm plus to cover any overtime I did.

I owe my mum money too as I borrowed the money from her for my deposit and to help pay the rent. I havent paid Novembers as expected the rent to get sorted soon and didnt want to borrow any more andmy december rent is due on 8th! Am just glad my sister stayed overnight as getting snappy with the kids and its not their fault. At moment I just want to cry and feel like I have taken a backward step and should go back to doctor and try a different type of antidepressants cos didnt like the zombie feeling the last ones gave me along with how they deadened some parts of my senses - struggled to separate sounds etc - the had some long name but when I looked them up they were Prozac.

Any advice appreciated...once i get calm will be heading to council office with my sister..am disappointed as wanted to pay everyone back, not be in debt with council, and maybe use some of the money to get someone to put a bath in my place as my 3 year old hates the shower and landlord says i could.

C'mon, cheer me up, I need it at moment.
nikkiandmidgets Avatar
8y, 2w agoPosted 8 years, 2 weeks ago
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#1
Appeal, but also contact your local councillor, its surprising how a sympathetic councillor can often get things looked at in a more human way. Also after failing an appeal I think you can take it to a panel which will be 3/4 councillors, they take a very common sense approach usually and there is a better chance of success. Good luck, :)
banned#2
Dunno, looks too complicated for me but if you take the corrected info to them, explain why and they might backdate it.
Good luck :)
#3
as jellybaby says defo appeal, they are usually quite mean and will only backdate in exceptional circs. Have you told then that you were suffering from depression etc?
Dont worry too much about any overpayment as you can ask to pay it back at the minimum amount of £3 per week. I think best thing re: appeal would be get help from citizens advice or advice centre and they should be able to write a good appeal letter on your behalf.
I work as a housing support worker during the day and did an successful appeal for backdated housing benefit a while back, I'll see if i can find the letter i sent and let you know
HTH and good luck
#4
Thanks, my sister has just taking the kids out to recycle depot with the plastics and carboard to get them out of my way for 10 mins so had a good bubble and feel much better after reading this. If you can find a copy of that letter that woudl be great. Will go down to the local office and see what they say...my sister will be with me so if I start the waterworks (likely the way I am feeling), she can take over with speaking to them..its just a little place - a small building with an open plan area and 3 desks - one for housing, one for benefits and one for payments so its always the same person though I dont think she makes any of the decisions, just checks the paperwork is all there and hands it into the main office.

Whats annoying is I took this place cos I didnt want to end up in a B&B till the council housed me and with me not working and on benefits there were not many people who woud take me on then a few weeks later someone got back to me to say they had got the hassle with their mortgage lender sorted and they were allowed to rent out their place so asked if I was still interested. It was a really nice place, with no sideways sockets, incomplete diy work, had a door on kitchen (mine doesnt!), no dodgy plumbing and most importantly a bath! And it had a garage I could store my extra stuff in and a garden big enough to put the kids trampoline in - they miss that, and so do I for peace and quiet!
#5
remember to check if you are in the right council tax band too ... I got over £1,500 back & my CT reduced by £10 a month for being in the wrong band for 15 years!!
#6
Go talk to Shelter - they should have a local drop in service - they can tell you how to appeal - the review is internal so if you don't add the relevant information to warrant a change it prob won't succeed
#7
Think the nearest place is about 15 miles away - unless they come to the council office a few times a month and as I dont drive and with my frame of mind at moment I couldnt cope with a long bus journey with the kids or how much they would act up when i was in the offices - they are at that age where they are either best of friends or fighting like cat and dog and with my mood rubbing off on them it will be the latter....
#8
After you see Shelter - you can speed up a review if you state your housing status is at risk due to unpaid rent

Also if on Benefits you may be able to request a loan for unpaid rent - i forget which of the 3 loans or grants are allowable for that - think it's the crisis one - but can get a simple budgeting loan for clothes/furniture if been on benefits 6 months continuously ie income support ??

Good luck
#9
Its a common thing, the times when I was on HB at one point handed in about 8 completed forms and id in 6 weeks each got "lost" including the receipts.

Eventually after threatening them with court they found ALL 8 forms within 10 minutes of the threat.

Saying that though when I got HB last time it was assessed fast(at diff council) apart from rude staff and they backdated 2 months money(similar problem to you)

Also when they similarly "overpaid" for previous address I just told them and they froze the old details so I wouldnt get threatening letters so its worth a try
#10
mmm where dyu live/
#11
Give them a call free??

Housing problems can affect anyone. But many people can find it hard to go for advice or just don't know what help is available.

Shelter provides a free, national telephone advice line staffed by trained housing advisers. We have helped thousands of people, from finding them a place to sleep to suggesting how to handle mortgage arrears.

Ring 0808 800 4444, 8am-8pm seven days a week.

Calls are free from UK landlines.

We will answer your call as quickly as we can and treat it confidentially. The helpline gets very busy at times, but please keep trying. Calls are recorded for training purposes.

Our advisers can:

give you immediate, practical assistance
explain your rights
offer advice and guidance
suggest specialist or local support services to help you longer term.

Shelter's free national helpline is supported by
#12
nikkiandmidgets;3573197
Whats annoying is I took this place cos I didnt want to end up in a B&B till the council housed me and with me not working and on benefits there were not many people who woud take me on then a few weeks later someone got back to me to say they had got the hassle with their mortgage lender sorted and they were allowed to rent out their place so asked if I was still interested. It was a really nice place, with no sideways sockets, incomplete diy work, had a door on kitchen (mine doesnt!), no dodgy plumbing and most importantly a bath! And it had a garage I could store my extra stuff in and a garden big enough to put the kids trampoline in - they miss that, and so do I for peace and quiet!

You would have been better of taking the B&B by taking on a private rented place you are no longer any sort of priority - there arguement will be that you took the place on knowing the rent and if you couldn't afford the rent then you shouldn't have taken it - the fact of the matter is you were overpaid so what have you done with that money - where is the deposit on your original property and why did you not use that to pay the deposit - the fact you borrowed money from your mum will not hold with them either because as far as they are concerned your mum is your mum and should accept responsibility for you (irrelevant of your age) you are told to complete and return the forms even if you do not have all the additional information so again it is your fault that you didn't send the forms back quick enough. You can contact the councillors but they have no power over anything they are just people elected by residents of the borough they can only look into it for you and will make sure that you are treated no differently to any other person. They will be sympathetic to your 'depression' but they will also be more aware that you may not be capable of looking after your children (Harringey council problems) and be more interested in them than you. Try not to get upset (easier said than done I know) but they are hardened to this and feel everyone is trying to pull 'a fast one'
Sorry to sound harsh but these are all things that will be said to you I know this because I work for local government - it is always best to appeal after all they can only say no again but they may find something that they missed before so could say yes - good luck I really feel sorry for genuine people who don't get what they deserve
#13
the council are b******ds to be honest, they don't have a drop of compassion for anyone. A few years ago they told me I had to pay rent, but under my circumstances I was sure I didn't have to, they insisted I did and threatened to take me to court if I didn't pay, so I paid. 2 years later I find out I was right, but they only back dated my money for 12 months. No amount of appealing got me any more of my money back. I've had more problems with them recently that cost me 4K. I hate them. lol
#14
ChipSticks
the council are b******ds to be honest, they don't have a drop of compassion for anyone. A few years ago they told me I had to pay rent, but under my circumstances I was sure I didn't have to, they insisted I did and threatened to take me to court if I didn't pay, so I paid. 2 years later I find out I was right, but they only back dated my money for 12 months. No amount of appealing got me any more of my money back. I've had more problems with them recently that cost me 4K. I hate them. lol


Agree, When I was working part time(no full time work available) they made it so I was £20 a week worse off(if not more) working than unemployed because they said I was earning too much to be entitled to HB(I was getting minimum wage and 20 hour work) they said £99 is the most you can earn before you get no HB, well my wages were about £75 a week after tax but they work it out BEFORE tax meaning I got no help and my rent was £55 a week, leaving me £20 for food, electric, travel etc.

That was why quite a few people who I worked with did 12 or 16 hour shifts and did overtime as then they got full HB
#15
Hi is their a local citizens advice bureau in your area. They are great at helping people in this kind of situation. They can also help with appeals. Its FREE confidential advice they give. You should be able to find their number for your area in your telephone book.
If your visit isn't succesful with the local housing office definatley ring CAB they are used to dealing with kind of thing.
Good luck.:thumbsup:
#16
Yeah but in my old place I had a 2 year lease which my landlord let me out of early cos I could no longer afford it...the council wouldnt give me housing till I got a court order, my landlord had a mortgage to pay and I didnt want to leave him out of pocket by my change in circumstances. When I split with partner and I went to council they said because i was working at the time that I would be better finding a private landlord as otherwise I would have to pay about £1000 for a B&B a month and then have to pay storage costs for furniture and personal items on top and as at that time I had my mum staying with me providing childcare so I could work, i would have had to pay her accommodation too or risk loosing my childcare which would then mean i couldnt work....They said I could be in B&B for months and I didnt want to put my toddlers through that and I knew mentally I wouldnt cope with being stuck in one room with a then 9 month old and a 19 month old as was already coping with relationship breakdown.

And as for council I dont have much time for them. I have been here for 18 months and at my last place my health visitors were great, knew what i was going through as my ex worked abroad most of the time and I had no transport and then during the breakup but I move and they visit once while I was working, checked kids are clean and healthy and at suitable stages for their ages and never visit again, not even when i went on anti depressants, or when i told them I had quit work cos my childcare was returning to full time work. I was in Aberdeenshire but am now in Angus area. When i had to get the form signed by health visitor for getting free tokens for fruit etc she didnt want to sign it cos she didnt know me but then none of the midwifes\health visitors did. she was shocked by this but even after this have had no visits.

Anyway will phone Shelter a bit later and will get a letter from my docs to suport my claim re my state of health..I know I mentioned this to lady when i submitted my forms when i apologised for delay but maybe I never put it in the form?
#17
How did it go?
#18
Not sure where you live but contact Welfare Rights at your Local Authority. They will look at your case and have direct contact with the people who make such decisions. Make sure you do appeal within a month of the decision letter you received.

A formal appeal with a letter from the Landlord explaining the circumstances will apply the mind ... they will not want to go to an appeal if they can avoid it as it's a lot of work involved. As I said, with Welfare Rights support you have an even better chance. Best of luck.

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