Posted on | August 27, 2009 | 3 Comments
My run ins with the Manchester city council Revenues and Benefits Unit have sadly been many and incompetance is the most I have learned to expect from them over the years.
You do not believe me? I previously told the tale of how they stopped my benefits while querying a large sum in my bank account – the large sum being a backdated payment from themselves. Not backdated because I was trying to claim for more than I was currently receiving mind; backdated because they kept losing my information (and I had receipts proving the information had been handed in) it was not an easy time.
Forward to a little while back when I was living in Swinton; I had to pay the best part of £300 in over payments because I couldn’t prove that almost 10 years previously I’d not been paid income support (I hadn’t kept the ‘sorry you’re not eligible’ letters) this experience has led to much needed storage space in my flat being taken up with paperwork dating back almost a decade in case I got stung again.
I am so glad I have this paperwork because ONCE AGAIN Manchester city council are trying to force me to pay money I do not owe despite having lived outside of Manchester since July 2005.
I have received a letter informing me that in November 2005 I had a liability order for £232.71 in unpaid council tax. they want to send in the bailiffs in 14 days to reclaim it. Of course I rang up to query this.
I was told that because I’d not informed them I had left the property in question (remember this bit) I was obviously being held responsible for the amount up until the new tenant took over (01/04/2005 – 28/02/2006)
He said, so long as I could prove I’d not been in the property when the summons was sent (11/10/2005) they’ll take off the court costs. He also said that Salford council would not inform Manchester council of my move, I would have to do that myself and as I obviously hadn’t this was the result.
I was pretty certain I’d done so when making my final payments – whenever I move, the last day is spent with a long list of phone numbers and my debit card ensuring everything is stopped or transferred, I can’t think why this one move would have been handled differently, but.. benefit of the doubt as it was during the onset of the ME/CFS and my cognitive abilities were a tad impaired back then.
Anyway, having gone through all my documents I can prove that I moved out of that property in July 2005 (tenancy agreement and rent invoices) but on top of that..
Now.. Remember the little bit above about not informing them of my move..?
I have letters from the Revenues and benefits office addressed to my new place telling me that my benefits have stopped for the property in question due to moving outside of Manchester.
These are dated 20/07/2005
If I had not informed them of my move I would like to know how they managed to send these letters to my new address 2 days after I moved into it? Especially if the 2 councils do not communicate with each other – who but myself would have informed them of my move and my new address?
You know what the most disgusting thing is? If I had not kept these letters, I would be expected to fork out the best part of £200 for a debt I don’t owe. Again.
Once again, proof that the only thing you can expect when dealing with Manchester city council is incompetence.
..backdated no less.