Concentrix say I'm not single

edited 31 May 2016 at 5:17PM in Benefits & tax credits
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JayneairJayneair Forumite
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edited 31 May 2016 at 5:17PM in Benefits & tax credits
Hi, had a letter from concentrix 3 months ago asking for proof of bank statements council tax bills etc to prove I live alone as they had evidence of another adult at my property.
The other adult was my ex who got our daughter a contract phone for her 16th in his name (he pays the bill obviously)
Long story short but they have now written to me saying they don't beleive I am single. I have to repay all of last years award (nearly 12thousand) I have 4 children, 2 disabled so it's a lot.

I understand I can ask for a reconsideration and then an appeal but I was claiming job seekers allowance and obviously council tax benefit etc. Do I know have to call these people to let them know? I have 30 days to pay the outstanding amount according to hmrc so I have no idea what I'm going to do really. They won't let me make another tax credit claim unless it's joint, which I can't do...I'm not sure exes girlfriend would be pleased?
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  • NYMNYM Forumite
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    Did you provide the information they requested ?
  • JayneairJayneair Forumite
    29 Posts
    Yes all of it. It took them 9 weeks to come to the decision. All because it shows on a credit report he has a phone at my address.
    They have told me today they don't know if I can appeal (I know I can) but that hmrc can prosecute even if I pay back the money. its been the most stressful experience of my life
  • edited 31 May 2016 at 6:08PM
    Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    edited 31 May 2016 at 6:08PM
    is the ex an ex-husband or an ex-partner?
    If your ex was a partner and was paying rent/mortgage elsewhere, council tax elsewhere, had car insured elsewhere, doctors/employer etc having other address, driving licence address, evidence of maintenance etc then that should outweigh a phone contract
    there are different rules for married people who separate. If married, you will be required to claim as married unless you can show a permanent separation - evidence such as legal separation or commencement of divorce proceedings

    Usually, you must make a joint claim if:
    you’re married or in a civil partnership (and not permanently or legally separated)
    https://www.gov.uk/claim-tax-credits/joint-claims
  • edited 31 May 2016 at 6:22PM
    Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    edited 31 May 2016 at 6:22PM
    Appeal it.

    Do get help from your local CAB. Enlisting the support of your MP may be helpful.

    Here is some info on the Living Together As Man & Wife criteria used by the DWP (& also for Tax Credits):
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/474014/dmgch11.pdf

    HMRC seem to assume a couple could be living together on the basis of linked financial records at the same address.
    At this stage, they don't really look at the other criteria for assessing if someone has a partner living with them.
    The fact that your ex is in another relationship, and does not live with you, - should be fairly conclusive. Give them all the info you can to show this.
    If your ex can also supply evidence this will help the appeal, plus anyone else who could confirm that you are not living together as Man and Wife.

    There has been some recent caselaw which casts doubt on the HMRC method of using financial info to establish relationship links (because it takes time after to split financial footprints after relationships end, especially when children are involved). This caselaw would help you and the CAB if you need to take it to a tribunal.

    If you were married to your ex, than as Caz3121 has written you will need to show the separation was permanent.

    It is likely that you may have to appeal this decision to the Tribunal Service, as HMRC are fairly intransigent.. Be mindful of the deadlines for appealing this decision and don't give in.

    Good Luck.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • JayneairJayneair Forumite
    29 Posts
    Ex partner, he lived with his parents and was on council tax at their home and paid tax etc from their. We were told they wouldn't except that information though unless it was on appeal. I'm stunned that one phone bill can cause all thIs.
  • Topcat1982Topcat1982 Forumite
    391 Posts
    Jayneair wrote: »
    Ex partner, he lived with his parents and was on council tax at their home and paid tax etc from their. We were told they wouldn't except that information though unless it was on appeal. I'm stunned that one phone bill can cause all thIs.

    So what address does he use for his bank account, credit cards, employer?

    To take out a contract mobile phone you need a recent bill as proof of address plus passport/driving license. He must be using your address for other things as well
  • JayneairJayneair Forumite
    29 Posts
    He uses the address he lives at. He gave his actual address for the mobile but had it billed and delivered to mine. There is nothing else. I know I can appeal but I'm stuck now with no tax credits, unless I make a joint claim and I'm assuming now, no jsa
  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    I don't see why your JSa would be affected.
    Why are you assuming it will be?

    For Council Tax support (and Housing Benefit if you receive it) it may be sensible to let the local authority know of your reduction in income.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • Topcat1982Topcat1982 Forumite
    391 Posts
    Jayneair wrote: »
    He uses the address he lives at. He gave his actual address for the mobile but had it billed and delivered to mine. There is nothing else. I know I can appeal but I'm stuck now with no tax credits, unless I make a joint claim and I'm assuming now, no jsa

    Ah, I don't see why they have a problem with that. He used the correct address for the credit check and the bill goes to the daughter.

    I would definitely appeal, send photocopies of all the bills/letters to his new address
  • JayneairJayneair Forumite
    29 Posts
    Alice_Holt wrote: »
    I don't see why your JSa would be affected.
    Why are you assuming it will be?

    For Council Tax support (and Housing Benefit if you receive it) it may be sensible to let the local authority know of your reduction in income.


    I have told them I no longer get tax credits, althou they did say they would be informed of any claim ending. My main concern is surely if I'm not deemed single for tax credits and they believe I wasn't last year, then surely the same applies re jsa.
    I haven't received anything from dwp yet. Also if they want me to do a joint claim with someone in another relationship who lives some 250 miles away then I won't be entitled to jsa either?
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