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  • FIRST POST
    • didsy1
    • By didsy1 15th Apr 18, 7:24 PM
    • 21Posts
    • 6Thanks
    didsy1
    Autism mum/Carer needs help
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 18, 7:24 PM
    Autism mum/Carer needs help 15th Apr 18 at 7:24 PM
    Hi
    On behalf of my step daughter.
    She basically has got herself into a mess.
    This is what I have managed to work out from her situation.
    The local water authority passed her areas to a company who took the case of monies owed to county court,
    She agreed a payment plan with them.
    She sincerely believed that this the only money she needed to pay to the local water authority.
    Then she started getting letters direct from the water authority stating she owed them money.
    So she phoned them up and told them that she was already paying money for water rates to someone else, they obviously donít accept this. So she done the worst thing she could of done. She stopped the money for the CCJ and has paid nothing to southern water since she has ignored every letter sent out and HCEO contacted her on Friday to give her seven days notice To collect the payment in full.
    She has other debts and has not been able to manage her money.
    I have been on step change today they recommended bankruptcy or IVA but this does not take care of HCEO. It does leave her £286 per month to pay towards the enforcement.
    She didnít have this money before but was last week awarded £330 per month for her 5 year olds severe autism she has coped with out this money for 5 years. The total amount to clear the debt is £1846. Her husband works she cares full time for the 5 year old. Is she allowed to use this money to pay the HCE and how likely is it they will accept instalments of £286 per month
Page 1
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 15th Apr 18, 8:09 PM
    • 19,220 Posts
    • 19,730 Thanks
    jobbingmusician
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:09 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:09 PM
    Firstly, I am by no means a debt expert. Secondly, I don't really understand your post. So bear with me while I explain why I'm confused, and then with any luck your answers to my confusion might help others to give you good advice.

    My biggest question is - are you saying that you've contacted Step Change and your SD's circumstances have changed since you spoke to them? (with the new allowance she is getting for her disabled child)?

    Are you/is she going to get a back payment with this new allowance, or just extra money per month from now on? Is it worth trying for a back payment?

    In answer to your question, I do know enough about debt (and about how the world works!) to know that companies usually accept a reasonable proposal to pay off a debt in preference to the possibility of if having to be written off. Step Change will be able to advise you further, though. It does sound as if you need to talk through your family's (new?) circumstances with them ASAP.
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    • didsy1
    • By didsy1 15th Apr 18, 8:26 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    didsy1
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:26 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:26 PM
    Thanks for your reply
    The first contact to step change was today and the new benefit was included in the debt remedy
    Although she thought there may have been a back payment one never materialised as she had buried her head so deep into the sand she hadn!!!8217;t even applied for it. Her sons diagnoses as took the best part of two - three years.
    My opinion is back payment would come too late to meet the high court enforcement officers demands
    • Ames
    • By Ames 15th Apr 18, 9:20 PM
    • 17,430 Posts
    • 30,690 Thanks
    Ames
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 18, 9:20 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 18, 9:20 PM
    Is this her only debt? Do they own their home or rent?

    If this is all she owes then bankruptcy seems a drastic step. Perhaps posting on the debt free wannabe board on here would help, they know about debts and how they can be enforced.

    But to answer your question - if you're talking about DLA then there are no checks on what it can be spent on. I imagine that in a lot - maybe even most - families it goes into the pot with all other income and is used for household expenses, including those for the disabled person.

    She should be getting a backpayment to when the claim was started.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • didsy1
    • By didsy1 15th Apr 18, 9:28 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    didsy1
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 18, 9:28 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 18, 9:28 PM
    Thanks for reply There are debts amounting to around £4000.
    They don!!!8217;t own the house.
    I!!!8217;m hoping she can make enquiries about a back payment and thanks for your advice
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 15th Apr 18, 10:18 PM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 3,085 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:18 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:18 PM
    Thanks for reply There are debts amounting to around £4000.
    They don!!!8217;t own the house.
    I!!!8217;m hoping she can make enquiries about a back payment and thanks for your advice
    Originally posted by didsy1
    Back pay for DLA is automatically paid shortly after the award is given. In fact it usually goes into the bank account before the award letter is received.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 16th Apr 18, 3:16 PM
    • 5,537 Posts
    • 7,780 Thanks
    deannatrois
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:16 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:16 PM
    Do stepchange even know about the HCEO? Will they negotiate with them? Its worth a phone call to ask.

    Do you have a paper version of what Stepchange recommend and what she is expected to pay i.e. have you looked it over and can you see if it is acheivable?

    A lot of water companies run funds that can be used to pay arrears. Look on your daughters water company's website. It won't help immediately but if you can get Stepchange to talk to the water company, you/she might be able to get time to apply for help from something like this while paying something off the arrears. Having a child with ASD should put the family in the 'vulnerable family' category. Using that phrase can be helpful when dealing with utility companies.

    The DLA payments/back payment can be used to pay off debts because without this the child will also be affected by the things that will be taken if the HCEO do come visiting. But obviously its not the preferred way to spend the money. If she has problems with other sizeable debts, which sounds likely, it might even be better to spread the back payment amongst all the debts. I would imagine your daughter had to pay one amount to cover the arrears and another to the water company to cover current use. Normally if you are on benefits, places like water companies will get the money paid to them directly from benefits/DWP, or they used to. Why wasn't this done? She could also get a water meter put in and reduce her water useage. I managed to halve my useage this way but I was pretty stringent about water.

    I'd speak to Stepchange.

    However, if your daughter is careful, things will get better. I know when I started receiving DLA for my oldest son, it meant no more scrabbling in sofa cushions for lost change when he would only eat shop bought sandwiches. It doesn't make you rich, but it does mitigate the extra costs involved with caring for a child with ASD. I know at the point DLA was decided upon, I had more broken things in the house than working (that I couldn't begin to replace).

    You might find that step change don't take this money into account when calculating what to repay debts at all, normally it is money that is regarded as only to be spent directly on the child. But not always.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 16-04-2018 at 4:57 PM.
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