A few years ago I was made redundant from my part time job. I claimed JSA for 6 months. Then I got a full time job. Around that time, my hubby stopped work due to ill health. At some point, it was suggested that I could claim Working Tax credits.
I filled the form in but wasn’t really hopeful, but because it’s based on the previous tax year, our annual joint income was below the low income, so we did get credits for a few months.
However when the following tax year came round, I didnt claim because I knew we would not get anything. They still sent a renewal form, but it assessed, correctly, that the amount we would receive would be Zero.
Today I have had a letter from the taxman saying I owe them money for an overpayment that they made to me, in the tax year 16/17. I was sure I could not owe them money as I knew they had sent a letter saying they were not paying me anything for 16/17. I even dug out the letter this evening. I checked my bank statements too. And there, I found that in April/May 2016 I received 2 small tax credits which add up to the amount they are claiming I owe them back.
Well that’s my evening totally well spent! Not. Can I claim compensation? I didn’t ask them to pay me and didn’t realise they had – or if I did, I thought it was still part of the previous year’s money that they were still paying.
I am so glad I don’t have to depend on support. The new Universal Credit payment system still isn’t working properly for some people, and people are accruing debts and at risk of homelessness. Its probably costing more in administration to sort out the mess than will be “saved” at the end of the day.