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Paperwork error lists man as dead - and he's not!
9:30am Saturday 11th August 2012 in News
A DELIVERY driver and his family face eviction after he discovered he was listed as dead when he tried to claim working tax credit.
Matthew Jay was left in shock after weeks of trying in vain to apply for the payment for people on a low income.
The former firefighter was told there had been a verification error because his previous employer had sent the wrong details to HM Revenue and Customs.
Mr Jay, 33, and partner Katrina Johnson, 28, were served an eviction notice by their landlord as they struggled to pay bills and buy food for their two children.
He said: “I tried to claim for six weeks but every time they just came back and said it was still being processed. We finally went to the Citizens Advice Bureau and that’s when we found out there was a death certificate against my name and National Insurance number.
“I was shocked and annoyed as we are living on my wages and I have not been able to pay for petrol or insurance to get to my work in Stanford in the Vale which is well away from the bus route.
“We have been given an eviction notice and I also risk losing my job because I am absent without leave. It’s frustrating.”
The family, who live in a private let in Old Town , have since been given an emergency payment and will be paid the backdated credits on Monday.
Mr Jay tried to claim after moving in with Miss Johnson in June.
Miss Johnson said: “At first they said it was a verification error, then they blamed Matthew’s previous employer for ticking the wrong box. At no point did they apologise.
“In the meantime we have been left to try to survive and we were worried that we would be left homeless.
“It’s almost as if it’s easier to exist completely on benefits rather than try to pay your own way.”
The couple, who are being helped by South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, have got five weeks to move out with their children Courtney Johnson, one, and three-year-old Jacob Jay.
A HMRC spokesperson said: “When errors are made by others or by HMRC we correct them as soon as possible.”