I've been in the same job on the same wage with the same organisation, working the same hours, for a decade now. Recently, due to governmental reforms, I've seen my income plummet after DLA was scrapped and PIP implemented. As a result of this, for some complex reason, my Working Tax Credits were also stopped. I spent a long time on the phone to HMRC trying to find out why this was, to no avail, then I got some pretty clear answers from a Welfare Rights officer. Also, over the last two weeks I've met with my manager, visited Get Oldham Working, an organisation who 'can help you get the skills to secure the career you want,' and I've visited Positive Steps, an 'integrated support services for families, young people and adults.'
Everyone I've dealt with has been hugely helpful. Positive Steps have arranged another meeting with the Citizen's Advice Bureau- hopefully it'll be a day I can do, although in all honesty I'm not sure what I'd be talking about- not much has changed since my last CAB appointment.
Positive Steps also explained:
· Job centre advisors unfortunately only work with people who are unemployed.
· There is a careers fare at Oldham Library on 14 April 2018
· Get Oldham Working are running a Raise Programme which you can get in contact by email. firstname.lastname@example.org (I've done this.)
In a separate meeting with my manager, we used an online benefits calculator that suggests I should be in receipt of over £200 a month in Tax Credits. After logging into my account it showed that HMRC couldn't deal with my claim online, but that they received something (it isn't clear what) in February. Something is being processed and I should receive more information by the 5th April. It's probably the letter I sent them asking about why my Working Tax Credits were stopped, and complaining about the horrendous procedure I've been thorough when asking for information.
That said, Citizen's Advice told me that my letter has probably been ignored as it isn't on a 'dispute form,' something NOBODY told me anything about- certainly not anyone at HMRC.
I guess I'll find out after the 5th. I'm meeting Get Oldham Working again next week.