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Please help - Single, student mum owing £3500 in housing benefit overpayment

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  • Please help - Single, student mum owing £3500 in housing benefit overpayment

    Hi there, I am really hoping that someone may be able to help me at all as i am so worried.

    I am a single mum and I am in my third year of my degree course. I have just received a letter that housing benefit has been overpaid to me since 2014 and i now owe them £3500! They never took into account my student loan and this is why I owe this much. I have always sent them everything that they have requested from me and i can not understand why they never took into account my student loan. i have searched online and it says that housing benefit will always take into account your student loan, even if the student decides to not take it out as it is still an income and a way that they can reduce housing benefit payout costs.

    I spoke to an advisor today and explained that this is the the worst time to receive this kind of news because of my impending dissertation etc. I noticed that they have disregarded £10 a week for the whole period. However, they have not disregarded fixed amounts for academic books, travel costs and equipment as this would really reduce the bill that I owe. I have read online that over £300 a year for books is taken off and also over £300 a year taken off for travel costs.

    When I queried this on the phone, the man just stated that they can not back date what they owe me and can only do that if I was claiming to be a new student now and then they would go back 30 days.

    I am just so upset and feel really rubbish to be honest. I am under a lot of stress to successfully complete my final year and to make a better life for my little one and myself. I do not know how housing benefit work out their costs etc but I do know that I have always sent them everything and that I did not decide myself how much I would be awarded.

    I know that I owe this money now and will just have to accept that. But I wanted to know if there is anything that i can do about the amounts that should have been disregarded off their total bill such as, books, travel, equipment and childcare?

    If you think that there is no point me wasting my time writing to them or arguing this then please tell me as I do not have a lot of experience with things like this and i can't afford to waste time on something that is just not going to work.

    I really appreciate any help and advice.

    Thank you x

  • #2
    Re: Please help - Single, student mum owing £3500 in housing benefit overpayment

    best to agree a small repayment agreement otherwise will no doubt cost you a lot more in the end. just my thoughts, we had to repay in the past and after about 60% repaid told no more needed to be paid. ???

    sure others may be able to advise also!
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