As a the pregnancy sank in so did the realisation that we would take a financial hit as a family of three – with another three on the way. We felt it wise to ask for help from the Government as my wife would be unable to continue her work,
We applied for universal credit unsure of what we were entitled to. And as we were eligible for help proceeded to make a claim. Any young family in our situation will have done the same. And sadly many young families like us will now be financially suffering the consequences of this shambles of a scheme.
This isn’t a rant. I don’t like to publicly rant about anything. But I do feel it necessary to raise a little awareness of what others may be facing who are using this financial help scheme.
In short we filled in the forms, included all our information about my earnings. Made sure we gave them every relevant piece of information about our income as we know that overpayments can create unwanted debt.
An amount was settled based on our income and our family situation. We questioned on more than one occasion that we were receiving the correct amount. We were honest and transparent from the start. Over the last 18 months I have contacted them twice to inform them of the pay rises I had received to ask how they would affect our payments. My enquiries were discussed and cleared up.
I contact them this week to inform them of my change in circumstances as I will be facing back surgery and unable to work for the recovery period. It was during this call they realised they hadn’t included my income from our original claim. They somehow missed it due to a human error on their part.
As a result of this error on their behalf we were overpaid a staggering £13.500.00 which we have been told is our responsibility to pay back, and with me now facing back surgery and an uncertain future within my chosen profession it is a massive blow to my family. I was offered an apology and told the debt management team would be in touch.
As a family we will do what we need to get by. But we have been let down by the scheme that was supposed to give us support when we needed it. It’s why I pay my taxes and national insurance. We had no other choice but to apply for their help.
If you are a family using this scheme I really hope it works for you. But for us, now with a huge debt and a big drop in income. We have been failed badly through no fault of our own.