Homeowner wins £1,300 benefits payout

Kathleen Clark

Kathleen Clark

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A woman has finally received £1,300 in overdue benefits after fighting since February to be paid.

Kathleen Clark, 46, of Mendlesham, was denied jobseekers allowance by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) because it argued she was in a relationship with the man she was living with.

Kathleen had been in a four month relationship with Barry Briggs eight years ago and had bought a house in Mendlesham with him.

But when they split up in 2005, they found they could not sell the house due to the slump in the property market.

Their home had been put on the market through three different estate agents but a buyer could not be found.

Since her ex-partner also lives in the house, Kathleen’s income-based jobseekers allowance was cut leaving her with no money at all.

On July 17, Kathleen won a tribunal in Ipswich and on Monday the DWP finally sent her the £1,336 she was entitled to.

Kathleen said she had faced months of worry trying to keep creditors off her back.

“It is disgusting how I have been treated,” she said.

“I have had to live hand to mouth since February.

“I have managed to get a part time job recently but if it wasn’t for that I would have found it difficult to survive.

“They should have investigated better before they put sanctions on me for no reasons. I had been honest with them from the beginning but they treated me like a liar.

“I would like an apology from them, but I doubt I will get it.”

Kathleen’s mother had written a letter of complaint to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith.

A DWP spokesmans said: “The vast majority of benefits are paid correctly and on time and where backdated benefits are due we endeavour to resolve this as quickly as possible”