Doncaster ‘billionaire’ in benefits blow over benefits

Melvin and Marina Logan, of Armthorpe are unhappy that they have been refused jobseekers allowance after receiving a letter saying they have capital assets of �999,999,999. Picture: Andrew Roe
Melvin and Marina Logan, of Armthorpe are unhappy that they have been refused jobseekers allowance after receiving a letter saying they have capital assets of �999,999,999. Picture: Andrew Roe

A jobless Doncaster lorry driver fears losing his house - after a council benefits bungle mistook him for being a billionaire.

Melvin Logan, of Larch Drive, Armthorpe, received a letter from Doncaster Council rejecting him for housing benefit. It wrongly said he had £999,999,999 in assets.

The unemployed 59-year-old says the blunder has left him unable to afford to keep a roof over his head.

Mr Logan has had his housing benefit stopped because the cut-off point is £16,000.

He said: “At first I thought it was really funny. I hadn’t realised I was practically a billionaire.

“I was planning to go out shopping, get myself a Jag and a helicopter and all sorts.

“But because of their mistake I’m now in danger of losing my house due to rent arrears.”

Mr Logan has lived in the same council property with wife Marina for 19 years.

He receives £110 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance, but says he is struggling to cope without the extra £50 a week he received in housing benefit before the error.

He is re-applying for the benefit which will take several weeks to process.

“By the time I’ve paid out the bills and food shopping there’s no money left to live on,” he said.

“I keep getting further into debt and I’m struggling to make repayments.”

He added: “I only wish the bank had made the same mistake.”

Simon Wiles, the council’s director of finance, said the mistake was a ‘clerical error’ and apologised.

“We are working with colleagues at St Leger Homes to support Mr Logan and make sure he receives all of the benefits he is due,” he said.

Judith Jones, deputy chief executive of St Leger Homes, which runs the borough’s 21,000 council homes, added staff had provided support and ‘that at no point was anybody’s home at risk as a result of this mistake’.