Live chat with money management expert
Posted 13 August 2010 - 11:15 PM
The loans recently contacted me to ask me to contact the loan company. I daren't.
As the government want to reduce short term prison sentences , does this mean I will have to go to a labour camp to pay off the debt?
Posted 15 August 2010 - 06:28 PM
but I keep getting mixed up with all the paperwork needed for auditing
They asked me to repay £970 because my cleaning service was only doing 8 hrs instead of 12 a month
I was saving my hours so I could have two days a week instead of one, can they demand I repay this money?
how do I manage my paper work if I am ill? will they stop my direct payments?
Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:00 PM
Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:24 AM
She will also have something to say about our campaigning around welfare and benefits.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:03 PM
We know that benefits are essential to people affected by severe mental illness, and tomorrow (Friday) Rethink is launching a major survey on behalf of the DBC.
Anyone who claims benefits due to mental health problems should fill in the survey.
We need the evidence from this survey to help us campaign against benefit cuts!
We will publish the survey link here tomorrow.
Sorry I can’t answer questions about this now, I’m just passing this on from our campaigns people!
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:06 PM
The majority of the proposed changes will affect people who rent through a private landlord, not the local council or a housing association.
The Government have proposed a plan to cap Local Housing Allowance, which is the system that is used to work out how much housing benefit someone who lives in a privately rented property can get.
For a one bed roomed property the maximum amount of housing benefit someone could be paid will be £250 per week or £1083 per month.
At present these proposed changes have not been made law.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:08 PM
These are payments which a local authority has discretion over and can be applied for if you need extra help in meeting your housing costs.
So if, for example, your housing benefit doesn’t cover your full rent each week or month, you can ask the local council for discretionary housing payments to make up the difference.
This scheme operates currently but the Government have proposed to triple the amount of money they give to local authorities for the discretionary housing payment ‘pot’,
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:10 PM
Instead of being assessed using the old ‘Personal Capability Assessment’ they will be assessed using the ‘Work Capability Assessment’. If someone is still found to be not well enough to work, they will then be paid Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) rather than their original incapacity related benefit.
It has been the case that the new WCA is harder to ‘pass’ than the old test. The test is being reviewed and Rethink and other disability groups are working together to lobby Government to try to ensure the test is fair for all (see my first post for some news from our campaigns team!)
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:11 PM
You should be able to get some useful information from the charity Taxaid: www.taxaid.org.uk
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:13 PM
Firstly, money that is paid to someone as a ‘voluntary payment’ (I,e, you’re not expected to give anything in return for the money) is not classed as income and therefore doesn’t need to be reported.
However, if your savings go over the threshold (any savings over £6,000 can have an effect on means tested benefits, so in your case Income Support and if you are paid any Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit) then this should be reported as a change of circumstances.
The DWP can request information about income and capital if they suspect fraud dating back to the start of the claim.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:15 PM
To begin with they are trialling the process in Burnley and Aberdeen.
They will then start to move the rest of the population over beginning in February 2011 and aiming to end around April 2014.
When you are reassessed under the new test will depend on when your current IB claim is up for renewal.
When it is, instead of being asked to take the Personal Capability Assessment you will do the Work Capability Assessment. To date the amount of money payable to someone in the Support Group will depend on a number of factors - such as level of DLA and whether they live alone.
There is a commitment however that no one will receive less on ESA than they currently receive on IB.
If you are found fit for work and appeal the decision, you can either claim Jobseeker’s Allowance until the appeal is heard or you can receive ESA at the assessment rate (currently £65.45 per week for an adult aged 25 or over) until the outcome of the appeal.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:18 PM
This might get complicated! But...if you
- have 'old style' (ie pre 1998) loan,
- and a clear 6 years have passed since you last deferred your payment
- and you have not made a payment nor acknowledged that you owe the money in writing
- and the Student Loans Company haven’t got a County Court Judgment(CCJ) against you
then this debt may be ‘statute barred’ under the Limitation Act 1980. Phew!
This basically means the SLC could be 'out of time' to pursue you for the money. More information on this, including a sample letter you can use to send to any collection agency who may contact you about it can be found here: http://www.nationald..._limitation_act
This would also apply to any other credit debts you may have.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:19 PM
If you can let me know who supplies both I can find out and point you in the right direction.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:21 PM
I would advise first of all completing a personal budget sheet, which shows all of your income and takes away just your essential monthly outgoings.
There is a blank one you can fill in here: http://www.nationald...es&time=monthly
Doing a budget is a really good way to see the lay of the land and scrutinise what you are paying for each month.
Remember to factor in the payments you don’t make each month (such as road tax, clothes, haircuts or emergencies).
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:22 PM
If your condition means you have certain care or mobility needs you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which isn’t means tested and you are still able to qualify even if you are working.
More information on DLA can be found in the Rethink factsheet: http://www.mentalhea..._living_al.html
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:23 PM
Unfortunately it does not apply to child maintenance calculations before March 2003.
It could be a useful tool to check how much you are paying bearing in mind your children do stay with you and the current level of income.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:25 PM
Websites such as www.moneysavingexpert.com are good for pointing you in the right direction.
And, if you live alone, ensure you are getting a 25% single person discount on your council tax bill.
Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:27 PM
If your income is paid into one account and all of your essential direct debits or standing orders go out of that account each month, you could transfer over a set amount to a different account which you use to buy food, monthly travel costs etc., ie the more variable payments. That way you can ensure you always have enough to cover the important bills and don’t fall into arrears.
You can also keep the money you set aside each month for the one-off payments, like car tax, in the ‘bills account’ so when the tax is due, the money is there and you don’t have to dip into your food money to pay for it.
This works best if you don’t take the cash card for the bills account out with you, so you’re not tempted to dip into it.