Following my previous posts about my HMRC Working Tax Credits situation, I have had a promptish reply to my Mandatory Reconsideration appeal. From the reply they have clearly done nothing but cast a cursory glance over the information that I sent them. The have glanced at it, ticked or crossed whatever boxes they have, and stayed with their original decision.
Since talking about my situation I have learned that I am far from the only person that this is happening to. Tax Credits seem to be targeting self employed people – I suppose we are nice easy targets for them to knock of the government expenditure bill. I wonder what happens to the other people. Myself – it has definitely affected my health adversely, so I could claim ESA, but that would take months and involve degrading assessments where assessors routinely ask claimants questions such as “why haven’t you killed yourself?”. This has recently been exposed by the media but friends have verified that such questioning is standard.
My alternative would be Jobseekers Allowance, but I work too much to find the time to jump through the hoops required to qualify for their contract. I have had experience with DWP staff and the experience is always difficult, stressful and degrading.
What this means for me is that my son and I will be living in poverty for a lot longer. The law is on my side, but they have failed to understand the nature of my business or – I might be so bold as to state – of any business even. I have to appeal to an independent tribunal who I am relying upon to be a little more educated on the matter. I have been informed that the tribunal can take between four to eight months to be heard. That takes us to November. It’s a good job I have a food bank I can use bi-weekly here.