Single mum’s benefits stopped because council thought she was dead

September 8, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A hard-working single mum is struggling to feed her two boys after bungling Government officials cut her working tax credits because they thought — SHE WAS DEAD.

Natalie Williams, 35, works part-time to support herself and two sons Samuel, three, and Charlie, two, but relied on tax credits to get by – until they suddenly stopped in June.

She rang the council to investigate only to be told the £190 weekly payments had been scrapped after her DEATH on June 7th.

To add insult to injury her £251 fortnightly housing benefit was also halted because she is unable to provide accurate information about her income.

Frustrated Natalie, from Bradley Stoke, Bristol, is now struggling to feed her children and has intimidating bailiffs visiting her home to collect on unpaid bills.

She said: ”I’m at the end of my tether. I’m a single mum with two children and I work part-time as a care assistant and get working tax credits.

”I realised after a couple of weeks that my payments had stopped so rang the council who told me the payments had stopped because I had died on June 7th.

”I told them I was very much alive but they said I had to go to the council offices with identification to prove I still existed.

”I have been ringing them every single week to get this sorted but nothing has happened.

”I am not a benefit scrounger. I am a hard-working single mother who is doing her best to look after her children.

”If this was my mistake I would understand but this is their fault and I am suffering because of their cock-up – it’s not right.”

Natalie, who earns £500 a month working part-time as a carer, noticed the payments had been cut in early July.

After discovering the morbid reason they had stopped she presented herself at her local Inland Revenue office with identification to prove she was indeed still breathing.

She was told her weekly £190 payments had stopped on June 7th, when the council believed she had passed away, and they agreed an error had been made and the credits would be reinstated.

But after two months there is still no sign of the money and Natalie has been put on emergency payments as a stop-gap.

The mistake means her housing benefit, a fortnightly payment of £251 pounds, has subsequently been cut because she cannot provide the necessary information about her income.

She estimates she is owed around £1,700 – and is fearing for her home after bailiffs began knocking at the door this week.

A spokeswoman for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said the situation was under investigation, and that they were sorry for any inconvenience caused.

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