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  • FIRST POST
    • Peter6268
    • By Peter6268 31st Mar 17, 7:47 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Peter6268
    ESA Overpayment despite informing the DWP (Twice)..
    • #1
    • 31st Mar 17, 7:47 PM
    ESA Overpayment despite informing the DWP (Twice).. 31st Mar 17 at 7:47 PM
    Hi,

    I am new here but loooking for a bit of advice.

    I claim Contribution based ESA in the Support Group since being transferred from Incapacity Benefit about 8 years ago (I think it was).

    Anyway, last December I was awarded an Occupational Pension on the grounds of permanent disability. On the day I was informed about the award of the pension, I sent a letter, enclosing a copy of the award letter showing the amount of pension, to the DWP address in Wolverhampton as I know it will lower my ESA (it is well over the allowed £85 per week). I sent the letter by Royal Mail Special Delivery and it was signed for the following day.

    However the DWP continued to pay me the full amount of ESA. So, in very late January I again wrote to the DWP by Special Delivery, I enclosed copies of the previous letter I had sent and a copy of the award letter again and the posting certificate and copy of the proof of receipt. I asked them if they could expedite the matter as they were overpaying me. The letter was signed for the following day (I have a copt of the proof of delivery).

    I have also twice tried to ring them but after 45 minutes of Vivaldi I gave up (My itemised phone bill shows the calls and their length).

    Anyway, guess what? The DWP carried on overpaying me. So, at the end of February I wrote to my MP at the House of Commons. I sent him full copies of all the correspondance I had sent to the DWP together with copies of the posting/proof of delivery etc. I asked him if he could persuade the DWP to stop overpaying me. My MP was pretty quick at replying to me, agreeing the DWP had been somewhat 'tardy' and said that he had 'made representations to the DWP on my behalf and would reply once he had received a response from them'.

    The DWP have carried on paying me the full amount still (the latest went into the bank yesterday 30th March). I have kept all the overpayment amounts in a deposit account incase they ask for it back, but I am getting a little frustrated at their lack action in this matter.

    I rang my MP's office today to see if there was an update, ie if he had recevied anything from the DWP but his assistant said they had not recevied any responce as yet.

    My query is really, have I 'done enough' to inform them (written twice by Special Delivery and written to my MP about it and two aborted phone calls) or might they (eventually) say I should have done more and fine me or something?

    In anycase the overpayment is going to cause me problems with HM Revenue and Customs with Income Tax as the ESA is taxable but no Income Tax is being deducted on the overpayments. So eventually I will get a bill from the 'taxman' over it (I do pay Tax on the Pension as it is over the Personal Limit).

    I just want things 'to be right' and for the DWP to stop overpaying me to the tune of around £50 per week. Is there anything else I can do to stop these overpayments?

    Many thanks,

    A very frustrated Peter
Page 1
    • Kesi
    • By Kesi 31st Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Kesi
    • #2
    • 31st Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    This happened to someone I know. They also informed them about the overpayments. So they saved the extra so as to be able to pay it back eventually. When the overpayment was finally noticed they were informed that no repayment would be necessary 😀
    • Carrieanne
    • By Carrieanne 1st Apr 17, 12:13 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    Carrieanne
    • #3
    • 1st Apr 17, 12:13 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Apr 17, 12:13 AM
    OP, no reasonable person at the DWP or elsewhere could possibly say you haven't done more than enough to rectify the problem. Getting your MP involved was an astute move. With any luck once resolved the overpayment will be written off as an error.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 1st Apr 17, 12:14 AM
    • 1,535 Posts
    • 1,640 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #4
    • 1st Apr 17, 12:14 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Apr 17, 12:14 AM
    This is from https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Benefits-Overpayment/Will-I-have-to-repay-the-overpayment#guide-content

    "What if I did not misrepresent or fail to disclose?

    If the benefits office decides that the overpayment was not caused by your misrepresentation or failure to disclose, the overpayment will not be recoverable and you cannot be made to repay it.
    No civil penalty can be imposed if the overpayment is not recoverable.
    However, even if an overpayment is not recoverable the benefits office may ask in their letter whether you want to pay it back anyway. If this happens, seek advice from a benefits adviser."

    Turn2us have a printable guide to overpayments.
    If you google 'recovery of eas overpayments' you should find it.

    It shouldn't be recoverable, as you have notified them of your change of circumstances. Keep all the correspondence / proofs / etc as the DWP have been known to chase o/p many years after the event. However the DWP are still likely to ask you to repay!!!, but they can't enforce this.
    Sounds like it may be worth keeping your MP in the loop.

    Note: These recovery procedures are due to change, so an o/p is always recoverable!! But the date for this is not yet set.
    • Peter6268
    • By Peter6268 1st Apr 17, 6:01 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Peter6268
    • #5
    • 1st Apr 17, 6:01 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Apr 17, 6:01 AM
    Thank you all.

    It is very reassuring, however still very frustrating that it is taking this long to sort out what I think is a relatively simple matter.

    I have many read posts on this forum where people do not get paid what they are due from the DWP and I can understand their frustration. However to be continually overpaid is equally frustrating. Also with the country in the state it is in financially, you would think that they would treat overpayment situations with some sort of urgency.

    I have kept full copies of all the correspondance and posting proofs etc and I just hope that my MP has more success than I seem to be getting.

    Thanks again.

    Peter
    • Peter6268
    • By Peter6268 1st Apr 17, 10:45 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Peter6268
    • #6
    • 1st Apr 17, 10:45 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Apr 17, 10:45 AM
    Oh Crikey,

    Just got a letter to say my pension is going up this month (annual increase).

    I will post a copy of this off by Special Delivery to the DWP today. However, going by the fact that they haven't even acknowledged the fact that I have been awarded this pension, god knows how long it will take them to impliment the increase.

    More frustration I fear.

    Peter

    P.S. The Royal Mail must be making a killing with all these Special Delivery letters to the DWP!
    • Peter6268
    • By Peter6268 12th Apr 17, 10:21 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Peter6268
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 17, 10:21 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 17, 10:21 AM
    Just an update to this posting.

    Writing to my MP worked. He responded by letter a few days ago to say he had made representations to the DWP and that the overpayment situation had now been corrected and the actual overpayments I had received have been written off as 'Official Error'.

    I received a letter form the DWP this morning confirming the same.

    I just now have to wait for the DWP to process the annual increase in my pension!.

    It does show though that writing to your MP about the DWP carries more 'clout' than continually sending the DWP letters and is somewhat cheaper as well (no more Special Delivery letters).

    Peter
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 12th Apr 17, 11:24 AM
    • 4,080 Posts
    • 4,194 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 17, 11:24 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 17, 11:24 AM
    Just an update to this posting.

    Writing to my MP worked. He responded by letter a few days ago to say he had made representations to the DWP and that the overpayment situation had now been corrected and the actual overpayments I had received have been written off as 'Official Error'.

    I received a letter form the DWP this morning confirming the same.

    I just now have to wait for the DWP to process the annual increase in my pension!.

    It does show though that writing to your MP about the DWP carries more 'clout' than continually sending the DWP letters and is somewhat cheaper as well (no more Special Delivery letters).

    Peter
    Originally posted by Peter6268
    Sadly that is so true. When I worked on ESA we actually used to tell claimants to get their MP involved when even we couldn't get problems resolved! When I was working on ESA there was a massive backlog of post in the 'Changes' process, some of it going back over 6 months. The simple fact is that there were insufficient staff to do the work.
    Somebody somewhere, had decreed that each staff member could process x pieces of 'change' every day, but that had not been revised when the system changed and simple changes were done by staff at the contact centre. It should have been obvious that only having the more complex changes would affect the number which could be processed, but even local management wouldn't accept that there was a problem.
    • quickstepqueen
    • By quickstepqueen 7th Jul 17, 11:36 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 364 Thanks
    quickstepqueen
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:36 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 11:36 PM
    DWP are indeed very frustrating. After my ESA "medical" assessment I received 2 letters on the same day. The first letter (dated a day before the 2nd) showed they'd put me in the support group. This meant that payments would be higher and when they backdated my pay (as I'd waited months for an assessment) they were calculated using the support group figures. This money was paid direct into my bank.

    The 2nd letter then said I was in the WRAG group (lower amount of ESA, but no mention of backdated ESA). Confused, I rang DWP to query which group I was in and what my weekly entitlement would be. They said that it was the WRAG group, that someone had accidentally put me in the support group, realised the error then corrected it.

    I explained that if this was the case then they had overpaid me. I was told the DWP would write to me in due course.
    I received nothing so some weeks later I rang again to see how this overpayment could be paid back. I had kept this overpayment to one side but I wanted to know what the procedure was. I was kindly informed that it wasn't my responsibility to ask how I pay it back. That it's their dept that has to write to me and say how the overpayment should be paid back. That I shouldn't worry about it. (I do, I don't want hassle years down the line.) Anyway, months later and I've still not heard anything.
    This money, technically, isn't mine, so I don't want to spend it. But how long do I hang onto it for. I've kept a written record of these 2 phone conversations, as evidence, that I informed THEM of their overpayment.

    The problem is that as long as that money sits in my account, it will be treated as MY savings. I recently filled in an income/expenditure form for the Housing Benefit Dept but when they ask for proof of savings my bank statement is obviously going to show the overpayment figure (which isn't my money to spend!) Like others have said, I don't want DWP's error to cost me financially, especially when I have tried to arrange to pay the overpayment back!
    Last edited by quickstepqueen; 07-07-2017 at 11:38 PM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 8th Jul 17, 1:02 AM
    • 1,535 Posts
    • 1,640 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    Quickstepquen,

    If it help backpayments of benefits are disregarded for 52 week for HB capital purposes.

    http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/500180/housing_benefit/4265/how_savings_investments_and_property_affect_your_h ousing_benefit_and_council_tax_support/3
    • quickstepqueen
    • By quickstepqueen 9th Jul 17, 10:43 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 364 Thanks
    quickstepqueen
    Thankyou Alice. I've recently just ceased receiving housing benefit as I've now moved in with my partner. Because of this I needed to set up a standing order to repay a previous overpayment (long story but despite being told by a tribunal that I had indeed been given incorrect information by the Local Authority, I still had to pay it back!)

    Anyway, because I was now with my partner they felt my repayment was too low. I had to fill in an income/expenditure form, which included info on savings. (I'm struggling to pay the repayments now, let alone have an unaffordable increase!)
    I'll wait and see what their response is to my form. If the money in my bank is making a difference then I will use your link to explain it to them. I don't however have a letter from the DWP about this overpayment. Just the letters showing the contradiction and some scribbles on the back of an envelope that I made during the phone calls. I appreciate your reply Alice. That was really helpful.
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