Meanwhile I’m dog-tired

When Mood Music
2006-02-08 00:58:00 bleurgh Two Pints Of Lager & A Packet Of Crisps-Splodgenessabounds-Teenage Kicks

I phoned the Inland Revenue Tax Credits helpline on Susan’s behalf yesterday afternoon. Following that conversation and examining the documentation Susan’s retained there appear to be two problems:

  • In the middle of 2005, Susan received a letter saying thank you for completing your 2003-4 Tax Credits piece. I now intend to query it: please provide evidence that you are still disabled.

Susan appears to have responded but not in the required way: there’s a further letter saying you haven’t provided the evidence I asked for. I am therefore removing the severe disability element of your tax credits.

Of course, since Susan had already received this money, the Inland Revenue wants it back. Similarly, they want back the severe disability element of her 2004-5 tax credits. They’ve just sent her ‘notices to pay’ back these sums, totalling over £1400. (I imagine they’ll also want back the severe disability element of the tax credits she’s received in 2005-6.)

  • Tax credits are state support for people on low earned income or with other needs. The Inland Revenue carried on paying Susan tax credits after Morrisons dismissed her. The Inland Revenue will want that back. It’s unclear whether they’ve paid her the severe disability element but from the very low amount of the 2005-6 ‘award’, I think not.

So I’ve written the bones of a letter on Sue’s behalf which

  • makes it plain that we have no quarrel with the amount of tax credit the IR say she’s received in 2003-4 and 2004-5 – it’s all there on her wage slips (when tax credit was paid via her employer) or in her bank book (when paid direct by Inland Revenue)
  • appeals the decision to take away the severe disability element in these two years. After all, her condition is congenital and irreversible: it won’t get better. In fact, in 2004, the Department for Work and Pensions wrote to Susan, saying ‘we accept you have disabilities and will continue to do so until at least 2009’.
  • asks for a blow-by-blow account of how and when the overpayments occurred because the amounts of overpayment appear to vary from document to document
  • points out that because of her disability Sue doesn’t know what to do with official letters and so asks for leniency and tolerance in her case. (She has until 27 February 2006 to appeal the amount of her 2005-6 tax credits award but I don’t know if she can still appeal about the earlier years.)
  • asks that they hold off attempts to recover tax credits paid to her after Morrisons dismissed her because it’s quite likely that once the Tribunal process has finished, she’ll be reinstated and paid for the time she hasn’t been working
  • asks that if she hasn’t been paid the severe disability element in 2005-6, that she should be.

I wanted to write it while the conversation with the helpline worker was still fresh in my memory and so got to sleep around 3 am. So after the grievance hearing I went to bed and slept until the early evening.

I’ve emailed the draft to dad and Sue’s mencap worker so they can add tact and take into account whatever the Inland Revenue say in the ‘how to appeal’ piece they’re sending to Susan.

Meanwhile a huge Thank you! to everyone who’s sent encouraging words and thoughts, via LiveJournal or otherwise. It’s meant a hell of a lot to me and my folks.

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