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    • niallmitch
    • By niallmitch 14th Nov 17, 2:41 PM
    • 67Posts
    • 22Thanks
    niallmitch
    Overpayments of benefits from 1994?
    • #1
    • 14th Nov 17, 2:41 PM
    Overpayments of benefits from 1994? 14th Nov 17 at 2:41 PM
    My wife had had a letter claiming an overpayment of benefits - just called and told this is from 1994? Surely this can't be right?

    She has no way of knowing whether this is right or not, it predates the time when we met and she can not recall having ever claimed benefits. Presumably the 6 year cut off doesn't apply?
Page 1
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 14th Nov 17, 2:45 PM
    • 1,627 Posts
    • 3,354 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #2
    • 14th Nov 17, 2:45 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Nov 17, 2:45 PM
    They cannot pursue the debt through the courts, but they can still do an attachment to her wages. Can she recall what she was doing in 1994, was she on a liveable income, did she move and need help with costs?

    How much is the debt for?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Nov 17, 2:49 PM
    • 4,086 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #3
    • 14th Nov 17, 2:49 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Nov 17, 2:49 PM
    The first thing she needs to do is ask for all the evidence they have of the debt.
    • Darksparkle
    • By Darksparkle 14th Nov 17, 3:20 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
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    Darksparkle
    • #4
    • 14th Nov 17, 3:20 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Nov 17, 3:20 PM
    What benefit?
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 14th Nov 17, 3:33 PM
    • 35,640 Posts
    • 45,878 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #5
    • 14th Nov 17, 3:33 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Nov 17, 3:33 PM
    I would think they would have to provide evidence of the drbt
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
    • trigger fish
    • By trigger fish 14th Nov 17, 3:50 PM
    • 256 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    trigger fish
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 17, 3:50 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Nov 17, 3:50 PM
    In historical terms on these pages 1994 is the oldest I've seen.

    I make that 23 years ago-almost a quarter of a century.

    Force them to take you to court.

    It'll never get there and even if it did it would only give the judge a laugh.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    • 4,086 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #7
    • 14th Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    In historical terms on these pages 1994 is the oldest I've seen.

    I make that 23 years ago-almost a quarter of a century.

    Force them to take you to court.

    It'll never get there and even if it did it would only give the judge a laugh.
    Originally posted by trigger fish
    It won't need to go to court. Unless it's challenged, the debt will be recovered from any other benefit they are in receipt of.
    • trigger fish
    • By trigger fish 14th Nov 17, 6:06 PM
    • 256 Posts
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    trigger fish
    • #8
    • 14th Nov 17, 6:06 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Nov 17, 6:06 PM
    It won't need to go to court. Unless it's challenged, the debt will be recovered from any other benefit they are in receipt of.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    I'd be challenging it.

    Wouldn't you?
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 14th Nov 17, 6:21 PM
    • 2,965 Posts
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    Nick_C
    • #9
    • 14th Nov 17, 6:21 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Nov 17, 6:21 PM
    They cannot pursue the debt through the courts
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    Wouldn't that depend on when the debt was identified? If information has only recently come to light to show that someone was not entitled to benefit they were receiving 25 years ago, surely it is recoverable? Isn't the six year limit a limit on taking action?

    I know it's unlikely, but surely they can go back more than six years to recover a debt they have only just identified. Of course, they would have to prove that there is a debt.
    • niallmitch
    • By niallmitch 14th Nov 17, 7:12 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    niallmitch
    So a bit more information after my wife called them today.

    The letter is from contact centre Trafford debt management who are trying to claim social fund loans £40 from March 1994, £34.83 and £33.50 from October 94 and 39.50 from May 95. After having to call them, then DWP and then the contact centre again (with an extra helping of rudeness from the CC worker on the third call) it is now o hold pending us writing formally disputing and asking for evidence.

    This alleged debt is from when she was 24 and working so doesn't make sense. She can't recall ever needing or asking for such a loan.

    However the major irony is that she actually worked for the dwp social fund for a few months around 2001! She seems to remember that there were rules around the frequency of loans and repaying them so doesnt understand the frequency of these. She also recalls the systems were chaos and in 1994 I'm sure they wouldn't have been fully electronic.

    The letter states on the rear that they can enforce the Direct Earnings Attachment without applying to a civil court - extraordinary.

    Will update when get a formal response. Thanks
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 14th Nov 17, 7:39 PM
    • 8,511 Posts
    • 5,041 Thanks
    teddysmum
    A number of years before the 90s, I worked in a tax office,along with other school leavers waiting to go to college etc.


    This was when people's details were kept on cards which were manually filed. A card covered 5? years and our job was to copy the last entries on cards onto the front of another 5 year card.


    The work was very repetitive, extremely boring and seemingly endless, because as soon as the end of a box was in sight, you were presented with another. I'll bet many a mistake was made as your brain went into auto mode.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 14th Nov 17, 8:54 PM
    • 1,627 Posts
    • 3,354 Thanks
    IAmWales
    Wouldn't that depend on when the debt was identified? If information has only recently come to light to show that someone was not entitled to benefit they were receiving 25 years ago, surely it is recoverable? Isn't the six year limit a limit on taking action?

    I know it's unlikely, but surely they can go back more than six years to recover a debt they have only just identified. Of course, they would have to prove that there is a debt.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    No that's all wrong. Assuming the OP is in England or Wales, the six year period runs from when the debt was last acknowledged by the debtor.

    The law does differ in Scotland.

    niall, when she writes to them give details of what she was doing that year, where she was living and so on, so as to demonstrate she would not have had need for a loan.
    Last edited by IAmWales; 14-11-2017 at 8:56 PM.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 14th Nov 17, 9:03 PM
    • 15,275 Posts
    • 21,783 Thanks
    antrobus
    No that's all wrong. Assuming the OP is in England or Wales, the six year period runs from when the debt was last acknowledged by the debtor.

    The law does differ in Scotland....

    .
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    The Limitation Act only applies to court action.

    HMG has other ways of recovery.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 15th Nov 17, 8:00 AM
    • 4,086 Posts
    • 4,214 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    Back in the mid 90's the vast majority, if not all, records would be kept manually. I'd be amazed if they are able to show an unbroken paper trail to prove that the OP's wife is liable. They seem to hope that people will just pay up and go away.
    A friend of mine was a Decision Maker who worked on this area for a while. He threw the vast majority back at the Debt Recovery section because their were gaps in evidence. He said not everybody checked as thoroughly as he did because the work was so boring.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 15th Nov 17, 8:05 AM
    • 9,041 Posts
    • 11,963 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    The Limitation Act only applies to court action.

    HMG has other ways of recovery.
    Originally posted by antrobus
    Exactly: they can recover from other benefits, if necessary waiting until debtor gets state pension.
    • Bogof_Babe
    • By Bogof_Babe 15th Nov 17, 9:31 AM
    • 9,983 Posts
    • 15,730 Thanks
    Bogof_Babe
    When I read the heading I had visions of benefits being consistently overpaid for 23 years, and many thousands of £ now being reclaimed. It sounds like the claim is only around £150 in total even if it does turn out to be proven, so not too life ruining!

    Iím thinking itís probably a case of mistaken identity in the benefits office records, and itís up to them to prove their case.
    I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe


    • Robbie64
    • By Robbie64 16th Nov 17, 4:34 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 791 Thanks
    Robbie64
    Could it be possible that they were Crisis Loans? Ask your wife if she ever applied for one (or more) of those as it was possible to be paid one while in work, if there was a crisis and a person did not have sufficient funds to meet day to day expenses. Also given that all 4 payments are for roughly the same amount and as your wife was aged under 25 I've worked out that a 14 day Crisis Loan payable in March 1994 for someone that age (for living expenses) would be just over £40. The other 3 payments are slightly lower, but could she possibly have recieved further Crisis Loan payments for slightly shorter periods of time?

    If she was in work in 1994 /1995 and therefore not on Income Support then they can't be Budgeting Loan payments so they must either be Crisis Loan payments or the DWP have made an error in allocating a Social Fund debt to your wife.
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