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Working Tax Credits....

Discussion in 'Get it off your chest' started by jantar, May 29, 2014.

  1. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    My wife draws Working Tax Credits due to sustaining an injury that pervents her working full time, she is also disabled, as am I and the latest joint award was so wrong she wrote to them and tried to appeal the decision as is her right under their rules. Three times she has written to them concerning this 'appeal'. Read this one more...
    OOPS, the rules have changed again because her letters were unacceptable because she had had the temerity to call her letter and APPEAL....it is now only to be called a RECONSIDERATION and the first step is to either telephone (if you can ever get throught the digital maze and re-directs) and request a FORM, download it if you have the facility, or to write and request one that will initiate the process once you have returned it to them within the time period they set.
    No offence meant but; Am I right in thinking, like many I have spoken to, that there is a special section of that department whose only job is to make the process as unhelpful, difficult and mis-informative as possible? How good is their training?
    Fortunately we have no debt and live within our income! Savings are not the issue either. Considering that our circumstances/income have not changed at all for years and the renewals had always been problem free and straightforward until this one in which they have obviously made a serious miscalculation (but will not accept that they have). I have completed the online form, using exactly the same information we provided on the Renewal Form they had sent us in late May and its results were very close, within a few pounds, to what we had previously been awarded, that only being altered slightly by their own anual increase of miniscule proportion. That would lead anyone to believe that they had made a sertious miscalculation would it not?
    How can we be certain that the Universal Credit which is due to replace many benefits will be accurate and effective when there are so many errors caused by their staff? Computers are not to blame...only the people who put information in and read it back from them. Hthe letter said......Highly trained the letter said........still laughing at that one. Just posted the form off so now we wait....
    Anyone else had a like experience?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  2. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    The answer to your question is NO!

    But with so many drawing a benifit whether it working tax credits or unemployment benifit and many others you are one of millions.
    This must make it very difficult for the system to get it wright every time and I have no illusions that being on a phone pressing numbers and listening to recordings trying to speak to a human voice is very frustrating. I don't envy your task ahead.

    Andrew
     
  3. leaky5

    leaky5 Donator

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    Don't get me started on these.

    A few years back I was unemployed, had been for a few months and no sign of a job when I applied for them.
    I was paid them for a few months, about £1000 in total and I then got a job that paid above the cutoff point for them.

    They were quick enough to spot this (don't remember them being as quick to pay them to me) and told me I had been over
    paid and could they have their £1000 back please.

    Told them I could not afford to pay it back in one go and am now paying back at about £10 a month. Which to their credit
    was quite easy to arrange and they did not dispute the figure.
     
  4. That hurts

    That hurts Barely Active

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    Computer says 'NO !' Bunch of retards, the lot of them and even if a newbie starts with all the best intentions in the world, they are very quickly lobotomised :mad2:
     
  5. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    I forgot to mention that some years ago we had the same problem and it was eventually resolved by them sending us a letter stating that we were due to a back payment of £2452.47 and that it would be paid directly into our bank.
    Lovely jubbly....it did happen.....BUT there was also an additional £2274.60 at the same time as a seperate one! They had not mentioned that one from the year previous to the first one!

    We allmake mistakes....Yes I agree with that but I also think that when there can be so much distress caused by incorrect decisions that the person responsible for the decision that caused the problem ought to be made to pay a substantial personal penalty to the aggreived for their disteressful incorrect decision. Perhaps even a 3 strikes and sacked would also encourage them to get it right the first time. After all, they have all of our details on digitised record and it is all available to them by the push of a button. Why also cannot there be a identity number given to each operative so that any claim can be attributted and traced back to them? A number would not disclose their identity and so would not contravene the dreaded Data Protection Act that Civil Servants all use to hide away from their mistakes
    Even easier...why are the awards not fully checked and certified as being correct prior to the person being sent the award letter which should be signed by the identity number of the checker? No calim should receive a payment until all of the facts have been fully invetsigated leading to the award being a correct one. Once the award is made then there is a backpay system so the claimant does not lose anything. There is really no excuse for any payment being made until it is fully justified.
    They again have a backlog of cases (I though that they always had one).....WHY? A backlog can only occur when the cases they have are not dealt with and have to be added to newly arriving ones. The only way to get rid of a backlog is to ensure that some of the backlog is remedied in addition to the new cases they receive that day. From what I read and hear from others relating to ex staff they seem to leave because of 'pressure of work' or that they do not like being spoken to by angry, frustrated claimants. Would there be any pressure if they got the awards right in the first place and so result in no backlog of award appeals and happy contented claimants? SORRY the new word they like to use in place of appeal is RECONSIDERATION, as though that makes any difference to the fact that the problem was an ERROR caused by HMRC. Perhaps the ones thinking up these new words and other such nonsense would be better employed reducing the backlog!
     
  6. ratman60

    ratman60 Pro Poster

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    hello, the whole DWP system now is a mine field of red tape/more and more forms bamboozeled with different rules and now with the ATOS company brought in to do so much of the screening/medical reports/medicals its quite frankly in meltdown, and like this goverment and others before find it easy to go for those less abled/ sick by work accident/ an every day accident stroke/heart attack/ stess etc etc/ mental health/ young people and EMA and the bedroom tax and unemployed. and redundancy, today you need a degree to understand all the form filling/rules and the DWP hope you will give up before having to give any money and then you have to wait while many then resort to loan sharks etc, its a vicious circle for those affected and can happen to anyone.
     
  7. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    Yes, you so right on all points but the big question has to be....why do they not ever learn from their mistakes? They have all opf the required correct information at their finger tips yet choose not to see it. That is proven when the our decisions have always been reversed when it was 'looked' at again. It is annoying when we have never defrauded or attempted to claim anything we were not entitled to. Also that we had informed them immediately of any change. The 'errors' continue to happen time and time again with the only results I can comment on being that after every appeal (sorry) 'Reconsideration' ours has been reversed. They may have paid the back amount due but never with any interest, explanation or apolgy!
    ATOS....yeh, we have had the same sort of crap from that whobegotten outfit too.
    A degree is not required, only the ability to be able to read the information in front of them from the data that their counterparts have input into the system. Every single error made is wholly down to how the employees of the variuos systems perform their duties to us, their paymasters (via taxes).
     
  8. ratman60

    ratman60 Pro Poster

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    hello, my meaning of a degree is not for those in the DWP departments but the ordinary citizen who find themselves in a position where they have to fill in these forms due to my last thread.
     
  9. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    I do know where you are coming from because I am one of those senior locals who volunteer to help the elderly and uncertain to complete them. You are right in thinking that the forms really do seem to be meant to confuse and deter applicants. Worse still are the questions that they already have the answers to on their inrusive big brother system but cannot be bothered to read. Its easier for them to click a button and send yet another pre-wriiten form letter requesting yet more information! Seems to me that if any of them had to apply for jobs in the real world their cv's would read like they were all experts. On the other hand if they were employed they would soon lose it once they showed how incompetent they were. Looks like only the government and civil service tolerate slackers........
     
  10. edtwozeronine

    edtwozeronine Donator

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    All I can recommend is seeing someone at the citizens advice bureau.
     
  11. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    CAB....Yes they are good and we did visit them the FIRST time we had problems and after they told us how to handle it we have stuck to their advice each year. This will now be another future back payment and no apolgy event. In the meantime we will have to get by and very fortunately we can, not like some who will be so badly affected their lives break down totally. This latest is far from the first and yet the same errors just keep on happening year after after year.
    Surely it is time that those who did the job should be made accountable for their actions or booted out?
    More annoying is the idea that they probably go home at night really believing that they have done a good days work!
    From what I read/hear on the news or forums they wonder why the public in general think so little of them or have respect. Surely they cannot be that blind or impervious to opinions?
    Most importantly....how would they feel if they were the Victim? Would that then become an urgent priority?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  12. keithy

    keithy Keyboard Hero

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    Hi I would guess that reconsideration will go to the sorting dept who decide if your dispute is an appealable issue( ie an overpayment goes to a different department). when i used to work for tax credits the help line were forever telling people to appeal incorrectly. The system is incredibly complicated and to cap it all they change the appeal rules every other week! which drives the staff mad. When working on an appeal the staff member who is dealing with your appeal has to check EVERY last piece of information WTC has on you such as DLA JSA income support child benefit p60 immigration status etc etc (there are many many more other checks). This is before he can start to sort your problem out. A typical turn round is three months as request for info ply back and forth between customer and WTC. Although mistakes still happen on both sides the system now runs very well. But they now have decided to set up Universal credit!! Bear with them they will sort your problem out and give you an explanation eventualy!
     
  13. ratman60

    ratman60 Pro Poster

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    hello, it is not the people on the phone system of this departments they are just as frustrated as the person they are tryng to help, it is the goverment ministers of the those such as the DWP etc telling their opposites in those goverment departments to make it as hard as possable for people to get their tax benifit or DWP benifit so in the end they give up or wait for months to get some money. and bringing in a company like ATOS who are a complete shambles did not help.
     
  14. tombillings916

    tombillings916 Donator

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    To be honest, doesn't this whole sad situation just about sum up the way our country is being run? The needy are classed as second class citizens, those who have never attempted to work get everything they want and those who do work are taxed to the hilt when all they've done is to try and better themselves, MPs can legally steal and when caught out just pay it back (imagine that being you or I) truly... the lunatics are running the asylum :eek:
     
  15. keithy

    keithy Keyboard Hero

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    Goverment ministers meddling has and will always be a problem, unfortunately they will not listen to the staff when we complain about the latest flawed procedure and tell them they are going to cause more problems! If they listened to the people doing the work instead of consultants who are only after a quick buck and in whos interest it is to keep their job going, then we could have a simpler and more efficant benefits system.:mad:
     
  16. ratman60

    ratman60 Pro Poster

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    PLEASE do not blame the workers dealing with these claims as a lot of them recieve tax credits. benifits to, they are told by their managers who in turn are told by their heads of department who in turn are told by the ministers office officials. yes the CAB are very good, in oxford there is a welfare rights office who help people in the area with claims and tribunals so worth a look in your area.? but i hope all goes well with you.
     
  17. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    Some type of news received........hang on to your hats......they have admitted that NEITHER of our disability components should have been removed which is the reason for the lowered payment award! There is no indication though of just when the 'error that should not have happened' will be corrected!
    All that does for me is to reinforce my opinion that staff who make this type of error should be retrained immediately, made to pay the shortfall from their own pockets (definitely, so they learn the hard way) and then be sacked if there is a repeat of the same error in any other future case they deal with! All of the information was there in front of him/her on their screen and all they had to do was read it. As they now admit that there was an error then that is proof in itself that the information was readily available in the first place.
    We pity those who now will struggle to have theirs corrected and really are short of money, paticularly any kids.
    Sun shining again so its into the garden I go (with brolly) :rolleyes:
     
  18. sneakysniper

    sneakysniper Donator

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    Hold your horses now people.

    First of all the tax credit SYSTEM is a difficult one. The very way it works, relying on previous years income details supplied by the claimant, sets itself up for potential errors.
    As for staff experience, this time of year it is all hands on deck with staff being drawn in from all areas of HMRC, they are certainly NOT all experts.

    As for universal credits, well we all know it's already well behind schedule so read into that what you like.

    PS - I do not work there, but i do know people that do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  19. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    Thats ok sneakysniper. We too know many who have worked there, some prior to its takover and some whom have left because they felt that their colleagues were not pulling their weight, lacked training or just could not be bothered after the 'night before'. Their words and not ours because they worked there and we did not!
    Your other comments are fine except for;
    I had already posted the exact circumstances of our claim in the original OP, that the claim has remained unaltered for many years (all paid without problem until this time) and that all of the information they had been given each year was absolutely correct in all aspects.
    The problem on this occassion was that someone had not looked at the details on the screen in front of them and noted that we ARE BOTH listed as requiring, and being entitled to the Disability Component of the award. This time the person checking the straighforward renewal had not noted that it was clearly displayed for all to see on our files.
    Subsequently we have now been informed that they 'have made an error in our award amount calculation' due to the fact that they had omitted the Disability Component of both claimants. Not surprisingly though there has been no apology or indication of when it will be put right and the payment reinstated with the back payments added.
    No-one can excuse or adequately explain why that person made that simple error. Lack of concentration? High workload? Rushed it through? None of those are acceptable. Do they think of the stress they cause by their actions to others who wonder where their next rent payment or food is coming from, its called empathy and is obviously absent from their minds. Would they like it to happen to them?
    As for fraud, any defrauder who knowingly defrauds the system should have their benefits lowered right down to absolte basics until the overpayment was recovered, then any furure claim not paid until all information provided had been fully investigated. Needless to say there should also be a long, a really long, mandatory prison sentence meaning the time is spent behind bars and not on some community scheme or as a suspension. Maybe then the lesson will be driven home to them and they will decide that honesty is the best poicy after all.
    Its also a fact that there are 3 homes being looked at very close to us by a gent sat in a car at regular times watching their comings and goings. Our neighbour was curious and so went out to ask what he was doing or she would telephone the police....and that is how we know.
    No government will ever be able to rectify this type of situation until they are made responsible for their own individual actions. I would dearly love to see the name of the person dealing with each case listed as the case worker so any problems can be backtraced to its scource, even if that is a number to keep within the Data Protection rules. The name to number relation being held in a confidential file so the public cannot see the persons name. Will that simple thing happen....not likely.
    Wonder what the post will bring tomorrow?
     
  20. jantar

    jantar Donator

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    Now we are getting somewhere at last.....
    Today we receiving visitors, namely our local Councillor, our local MP and the person who holds the government 'portfolio' in relation to alll matters relating to the Working Tax Credits system. This is following some long detailed telephone conversations during which I explained the whole scenario we were in, and referrred to quotations from the documentation we had received from the HMRC in respect of our claim.
    I explained to her, the Portfolio holder, that we had sent numerous letters and had many telephone converstaions without any heed being taken of the proofs we are able to supply. We told her that we definitely not had any changes in our income and because of that we had completed their 'Are you due to Working Tax Credits' online application to discover if we were elligble. We completed and retained copies of the applicatons of both types of claim, one without the Disability Component (the result of which was the amount we are now granted) and the next with the Disability Component added (which was the ammount we had previously received for many years). The difference was as if the Disability Component which we are due to and both are elligble for had been disregarded. Unbeknown to us they had both had telephoned the HMRC anonymously later on and by using our income and health details attempted to see how it was dealt with.
    The telephoned me the following day and informed us that the manner in which they had been dealt with was unsatisfactory and so had requested to speak to a supervisor to whom they then informed their correct identity details and that a formal complaint was to follow. They refused the offer of apologies.
    Once this mornings visit is over we have been assured that the matter will be raised with the Minister responsible.
    We shall see what happens next....but if this does get something done to ease the distress of other claimants and prevent other silly errors when correct information was given then it was was worth the effort we have put into this.
    The only persons we blame for this fiasco are the individuals who either cannot or will not do their tasks efficiently and accurately. It is not the 'system' or the governments fault. Errors in the allocation of benfits are made by the individuals who use the information they have readily available to process the claims. As in our case that information was both accurate and up to date then there is NO excuse for their shortcomings and disciplinary action should follow.
    Fingers crossed..........;)
     

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