A Johnstone mum has hit out at the Department for Work and Pensions following a dispute over child maintenance payments.

Karen Gallacher claims she is owed 12 weeks' worth of benefits due to "a human error" made by the Child Maintenance Service Team.

The 46-year-old told The Gazette: "In May, my son decided to move in with his father but he only lived there for two months and decided to come back home.

"I contacted the Child Maintenance Service Team in July to say that was my son home again and I was told a claim would be put in.

"They were meant to send a letter to the paying parent when the claim was made but they have not done that, so it's their error, not mine."

The Gazette:

Karen claims that, after raising the issue, she was told by the Child Maintenance Service Team that she would not be reimbursed for the missed payments.

She said: "They've said, 'All we can do is apologise,' but I want the money that was supposed to be given to me.

"It's around £980, which is a lot of money. The reason I claimed the maintenance was because my father died and I need the extra income.

"I'm a single parent with two kids and an apology isn't going to cover my household expenses."

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Karen said she felt "disgusted" by the Department for Work and Pensions over their handling of the situation.

She added: "I did everything by the book, with my tax credits and child benefit being paid back to me right away after my son was back home.

"It's frustrating because I don't know where to go, I don't have any parents or anybody to help me with my situation and I'm not happy with an apology.

"They want me to just accept this but I'm not going to. I wonder how many other mothers are out there who have been told 'Sorry,' after waiting three months for a claim."

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We have apologised to Ms Gallacher and are dealing with her case as a priority."