I’ve received a threatening letter from Birmingham City Council (dated 28th Sept 2016), telling me I’m £200+ in rent arrears. Letter declares: “YOUR HOME IS AT RISK IF YOU DO NOT CLEAR THIS DEBT”.
So I phoned Birmingham City Council’s Rent Service, “Q” said I’m now £300+ in rent arrears. I explained the DWP benefits issues, and that I’ve got a work-focussed interview/appointment at Erdington Jobcentre tomorrow, for my new Income Support claim (3rd claim).
“Q” asked me if I could make a payment now. I replied that when I’ve previously paid with my credit card, it takes 8 to 10 weeks for the money to be refunded to me by Birmingham City Council, once my Housing Benefit has been backdated. By then, I could be incurring overdraft charges!
How can any Council justify a delay of 8 to 10 weeks to refund a person that felt pressured into paying, while they were waiting for their Housing Benefit to kick in?
“Q” advised me to take my Income Support benefit award letter to Erdington Customer Service Centre when I get it. [On phone for 10 minutes]