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RJM Law
RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4256
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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During the pandemic I was forced to close my Business (Gym)

Customer Question

During the pandemic I was forced to close my Business (Gym) during the national lockdowns. At the same time my wife was furloughed, due to a loophole in goverment support I was unable to receive any self employment grants so was told to claim Universal credit which my wife and I did. Eventually our work routine returned back to normal and we was receiving less.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I Was told about a phone appointment on the "journal" that Universal credit use for communication. But I was working, they rearranged, again for a time where I was at work. As a result of missing both of their calls my account was closed, at the same time my wife manually closed hers as we was back at work and no longer needed to claim UC. The next thing I know, we receive a letter that we need to repay back the whole amount we was "overpaid" totaling to nearly 10k! Because I missed a phone call! We was not jobseekers, we had to earn less as a result of covid and lack of support, so to demand the benefit back because of 2 missed calls is disgusting, at the same time we are trying to get a mortgage and I fear this unjust debt is going to affect our chances of this. I live in Buxton/Derbyshire (High Peak)
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I called them and was told I have missed the deadline to send a mandatory reconsideration however, I cant begin an appeals process until I have done that. So I printed the form and sent it to the address and have heard nothings since, but I have 17 days until I have to pay this unlawful repayment and I want to appeal it before a CCJ is issued which we cant have on our names whilst trying to secure a mortgage
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 5 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  RJM Law replied 5 days ago.

Hello, and thank you for choosing our service today. I am the expert who shall assist you with this opportunity

Please note, our service is conducted through emails and from time to time there may be a delay between answers and responses, this is due to the expert availability at the time.

If you do not receive a response immediately, please be advised I may be working through other matters however you shall receive a response as soon as I am finished with any live. However please be assured I will get back to you.

I will be able to provide you with guidance in relation to your question which should assist in clarifying matters and navigating the legal system. However, please note this does not form a professional client relationship.

I look forward speaking with you and providing help.


Expert:  RJM Law replied 5 days ago.

I am sorry to hear about this, do you have a copy of the letter I could look over?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
This is the overpayment letter they attached to the journal that we was no longer using considering we was receiving no payments anymore, no mail, no phone call, just a pdf on a website portal
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
As for the letter we received through the post from the debt management, I will have to take a photo of that when I get home but that was received last week, that's 4 months later! UC never thought to contact me via phone or mail to make me aware of it since March 15th
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
to suggest that I am ineligible for the benefit from 2020 when I claimed because I missed 2 calls (as I was at work) is absolutely disgraceful, If I had 9 grand to pay them I would never have had to claim to begin with.
Expert:  RJM Law replied 4 days ago.

Thank you.   So if you feel you have the grounds to appeal this decision you can do so.  You will want to provide anything to show why their claims would fail.  I.e there was a medical reason or they did not contact you etc.  If you appeal the decision and the appeal is then rejected and they retain the same position, you can look at a benefits tribunal.  What I would suggest doing in the absence of instructing a solicitor (which always an option), you should approach your local citizens advice bureau.  The reason for this is that they provide a free service, however they also have benefit experts.  They can help with your claim and usually understand the legalities of these.  In addition if you require to go to a tribunal, sometimes they can provide you with representation.  However, the first thing you need to do is appeal the decision, and again, the CAB or a solicitor can assist in creating your appeal.  

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area. This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful. You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ (England)

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/ (Scotland)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Find-a-Solicitor/Solicitor-Firm-Search/ (Ireland)

https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors (N. Ireland)

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further questions for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.