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  • FIRST POST
    • Smark67
    • By Smark67 7th Feb 17, 5:31 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 10Thanks
    Smark67
    Massive ESA debt recovery amount!
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 17, 5:31 PM
    Massive ESA debt recovery amount! 7th Feb 17 at 5:31 PM
    Back in July 2013 my wife had her ESA stopped because she missed a compliance meeting (she had not received a letter about it) and then she appealed, with this going on for months, with the DWP losing her appeal form, making mistakes (as admitted by one of their employees) with her eventually giving up her appeal (and claim) in March 2014. Because of her physical and mental health issues she just couldn't cope with the stress it was putting her through, and also me as I was dealing with it mainly on her behalf (because of the above).

    At that time we weren't living together as we had separated, although it was amicable and therefore I was representing her as her advocate.

    Subsequently she moved back in with me, and with her having no more to do with the DWP (with us living on my income only) she felt no need to advise them of her change of address.

    A week or so ago we received a letter from the debt collecting agency Advantis saying they were acting on behalf of the DWP claiming back an overpayment of ESA from her of £17,618.63! This was covered a period from May 2009 to August 2012 and November 2012 to July 2013. Yet we had had no previous notification from the DWP as to what this was for.

    It was only through contacting Advantis that I found out any of this, saying they had been instructed as from March 2015 (I think or that's when the DWP made their decision). They are saying it is because of capital she had during this period but she had no capital at all. I did have (when we were separated) due to an inheritance from my father, all of which I fully declared to the DWP as I am on long-term disability benefits (DLA & ESA), but I used that to purchase a property so I don't even know how they could even include that?

    I/we don't know what to do. They are demanding the money yet we had no inclination of us owing anything to even appeal against it, because they had been sending everything to her old address. The lady at Advantis said I should contact the DWP Debt Management team who then advised that it was too late to do anything really, but suggested I contact the ESA people to ask for a Late Mandatory Reconsideration Appeal which I'm going to do tomorrow.

    But would really appreciate any advice because as you can imagine, we are both distraught!

    Thanks in advance…
Page 1
    • Bogalot
    • By Bogalot 7th Feb 17, 6:16 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 2,580 Thanks
    Bogalot
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 17, 6:16 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 17, 6:16 PM
    It sounds like the compliance meeting was about this capital, and with her failure to attend they decided on the information available to them that the money was jointly yours. Is that correct?

    What dates were you separated? Are you able to evidence that you were no longer a couple for the period in question?
    • MissTasmanian
    • By MissTasmanian 7th Feb 17, 10:35 PM
    • 677 Posts
    • 306 Thanks
    MissTasmanian
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 17, 10:35 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 17, 10:35 PM
    I am sorry but surely you can see why they might be suspicious? You're really going to have to work hard to provide enough evidence to show that you were separated at the time.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 8th Feb 17, 3:11 AM
    • 16,265 Posts
    • 28,409 Thanks
    Ames
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 17, 3:11 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 17, 3:11 AM
    OP I think you need proper advice from CAB or another welfare rights specialist.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 8th Feb 17, 7:22 AM
    • 15,811 Posts
    • 39,525 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 17, 7:22 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 17, 7:22 AM
    This was covered a period from May 2009 to August 2012 and November 2012 to July 2013.
    That doesn't make sense. If you received your inheritance and bought a house when you were separated in 2013, then why would the overpayment go back that far?

    Even if it is related to this inheritance and you buying the house, the fact you were not divorced mean that she potentially still had a right to that house and therefore access to capital. If their investigation concluded that you were not separated from the purporse of claiming benefits, ie. she still had access to joint accounts.

    There is likely to be a lot more to it, but either way, it sounds like they investigated and had enough evidence to conclude that she was overpaid.
    • ukwmo
    • By ukwmo 21st Mar 17, 10:19 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    ukwmo
    • #6
    • 21st Mar 17, 10:19 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Mar 17, 10:19 PM
    Could you explain how you got DWP to cancel this debt so quickly ?

    I only ask because a mate has recent experience of a mandatory reconsideration on an outstanding debt. He was overpaid benefit but disputed why the overpayment had happened. He submitted a mandatory reconsideration request in October 2016, it only being considered by DWP last week (his reconsideration request was successful, btw).

    Yours seems to have been dealt with a whole lot faster.
    • Lioness Twinkletoes
    • By Lioness Twinkletoes 22nd Mar 17, 2:12 PM
    • 1,070 Posts
    • 3,465 Thanks
    Lioness Twinkletoes
    • #7
    • 22nd Mar 17, 2:12 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Mar 17, 2:12 PM
    Could you explain how you got DWP to cancel this debt so quickly ?

    I only ask because a mate has recent experience of a mandatory reconsideration on an outstanding debt. He was overpaid benefit but disputed why the overpayment had happened. He submitted a mandatory reconsideration request in October 2016, it only being considered by DWP last week (his reconsideration request was successful, btw).

    Yours seems to have been dealt with a whole lot faster.
    Originally posted by ukwmo
    Could be that he is not telling the truth..


    Just saying...
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