Exceptional Hardship Payments
Can someone please put me out of my misery and answer a simple question that nobody seems to know the answer to?
I’m a 60 yr old widow - and have been registered as ‘severely disabled’ since 1997 when I was given a DLA Lifetime Award and my ESA was ‘topped up’ with the ‘severe disability premium’. So when it comes to paying my Council Tax I have always paid the reduced amount - which is around £270 per annum.
But in Jan 2018 the DWP made a huge !!!!!! up and took away my DLA before I’d even been assessed for PIP.
It took the DWP 8 months to correct their mistake - during which time I was forced to sell the contents of my flat & anything of any value - including my late husbands wedding ring - just so I could eat.
So I applied to my Council for an “Exceptional Hardship Payment”. And the Government rules regarding an EHP are very clear
“If your application is successful you will receive the money directly into your bank account”.
“An EHP can NOT be used to pay off any Council Tax debt you may have”.
So when I heard nothing back after 8months I asked my MP to find out what had happened. And I was told that I had already been paid my award. But that was a lie. So I asked for proof of this so called bank payment - which was about £1,500. Of course they had no proof - so they changed their story & said they had used my ‘award’ to pay off my Council Tax debt.
But I wasn’t in debt!!! And I don’t pay the full amount of £1,500p.a. Council Tax anyway!!
So WHO STOLE MY EHP?
I complained to my MP and he apologised for the
‘mix up’ and told me to apply AGAIN for an EHP and he would make sure it was ‘fast tracked’ into my Bank.
So I did - and guess what?
They stole THAT award as well - using the ‘we paid your Council Tax debt for you’ excuse AGAIN!!
The Council insist they CAN do what they like with my EHP - and they refuse to explain WHY they used MY award to pay off a debt that didn’t even exist!!!
Someone must know the truth - many thanks.