Sheffield Council sends pensioner a debt demand for 10 PENCE

Pensioner Mavis McLennan has said a debt recovery letter sent by Sheffield Council for 10p has left her stressed
Pensioner Mavis McLennan has said a debt recovery letter sent by Sheffield Council for 10p has left her stressed
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A PENSIONER has accused Sheffield Council of causing her unnecessary stress with a debt demand for 10 pence.

Mavis McLennan, 70, received a letter saying she owed the money because she had been overpaid in housing benefit.

She went to Sheffield City Council’s offices to hand over a 10p and says staff were “shocked” she had been sent a letter for such a small amount.

The correspondence was sent after changes were made by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mrs McLennan, of Ridgeway Road, Gleadless, Sheffield, said she had not been made aware of any changes to her state or private pension.

And she added that she had received no “proper answers” when she tried to ask why she had been sent the letter for such as small amount.

She said: “I don’t understand it, it’s cost more to send the debt letter out to me than what I’ve got to pay back.

“I think it’s ridiculous sending all this out for 10 pence, the letters I’ve been sent didn’t make any sense.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if more people have received these letters asking to pay back these sums.”

She added: “It’s caused me a lot of stress, I know it’s only a small amount but it’s intimidating when you get a debt recovery letter through the door.”

Mrs McLennan said the stress had caused her to develop an adult form of acne.

It is the second time in three years she had received a debt demand for such a paltry sum.

In 2013 she received a letter demanding 50p back due to overpayments by the council.

Sheffield Council said: “We have to write to people when their benefit entitlement changes and if they’re overpaid, and this includes details about how to pay.

“Mrs McLennan’s letter said that the ten pence overpayment would be recovered from her entitlement.

“We’ve been trying to reach her to explain this is normal and to ease her concerns.

“We know that benefit matters can sometimes be confusing so if you’re worried about an overpayments or have any questions please get in touch with us.”