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  • FIRST POST
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 5:19 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 0Thanks
    LGreen
    Query Regarding Benefits
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 17, 5:19 PM
    Query Regarding Benefits 16th Jul 17 at 5:19 PM
    I got benefits some years ago - only for 3 months - in total I got £4000 from JSA and HB.

    They delayed my payment and did all of them during the last (3rd) month because they lost my application and they did several start and stop by their fault.
    Due to this confusion I worked 5 days the second moth and 4 days on the 3rd. For which I got in total £1800.

    When I tried to tell that to the job centre coach during the last month she said that it's too complicated to change that now since I was starting full time.

    I got worried and I returned the 1200£ back to the company and asked them to send them back later.

    The job centre didnt contact me since then but I am very stressed about that and I want to resolve it.

    Is it a good idea if I hire a lawyer to calculate how much I need pay then back ?

    Will they trigger a formal investigation for that i voluntarily tell them that or not?
    Is there any way to do a settlement without being investigated and going to court or Will I go to court ?

    Please advice
Page 1
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    • 1,545 Posts
    • 1,651 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:25 PM
    Your post is rather hard to follow.

    Can you tell us more about what "I got worried and I returned the 1200£ back to the company and asked them to send them back later." means.

    I think:
    It's certainty not worth hiring a lawyer.
    If an overpayment is official error (you seem to suggest it is) generally it is not recoverable.
    You won't go to court, as it doesn't appear to be fraud.
    Had there been a recoverable overpayment, it is likely you would have heard by now.
    HB is paid by your local council, JSA by the DWP. So there are two separate organisations involved.
    If you are worried, I would tend to put some money aside in case either the DWP or your LA do ask you for an overpayment recovery.
    But I wouldn't worry about it overly, as you brought the matter to the attention of the DWP.
    In any case these benefits are both calculated weekly. So if you had 2 weeks work, then only 2 weeks of benefits would be overpaid. Possibly £140 worth of JSa, and maybe the same for HB.

    However, I may not have fully followed your post.
    How many years ago?
    Do keep any paperwork relating to this.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 16-07-2017 at 6:34 PM.
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 8:26 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:26 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 17, 8:26 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I just want to clarify the case because in any way is a bit complex.
    I highly appreciate your help especially I am very distressed and worried.

    I need to resolve this because I need to provide the Bank statement for my wife to get a visa - and it asks for the bank statements during the period that I was getting the benefits where I have the transaction of the money that I got from the company that I did work for 5 days.

    to your reply.

    it wasn't exactly their fault because I did work for 9 days within this 3 months of getting benefits but I didn't tell them that vocally. I did try to tell them in the end but the coach told me that its too complicated now.

    In a nutshell - I got backdated 2 months and 1 month regularly. However, i did work for 9 days during this period (5 days before they made the decision to give me the benefits and 4 days after they did).

    only 1 payment appears on my bank statement during the benefit period.

    on a time - line
    1. It was almost 3 years ago
    2. I got form JSA and HB in total 4000 pounds.
    3. I got the benefits only for 3 months because I got a full time job afterwords
    4. I applied for benefits the 1st month but they did make the decision the 1st day of the 3rd month despite the fact that I was going regularly at the job center because they lost my application and asked me to redo it mid 2nd month.
    5.After they made the decision they sent me the backdated payment for the first 2 months together.
    6.Before the end of the 2nd month I worked for 5 days as a freelancer researcher and they paid me 1200 pounds before just the day before I got the backdated payment for the 1st and the 2nd month of the benefits.
    7.Because I was worried I returned the freelance to the company (after 20days) and told them to send it to me next month because I would not be getting benefits because I would be starting a full time job.
    8.During the 3rd and the last month of the benefit I worked again for the same company for 4 days while I was getting JSA and HB and I got 600 pounds.
    9. I tried to tell them that on the job center but the couch told me that its too complicated to change it now because my case is very complicated coz had a long delay and start and stops which was their fault.
    10. I dont have a proof that I told them that.

    As I said before I need to resolve it because on my bank statement there is a payment for the first 5 days that i worked before the backdated payment and I need to give the bank statement to the visa officers to get my gf visa.

    Questions

    1. Is there a formal way to tell them that I worked for 9 days during this period and I got 1800 pounds as a freelancer voluntarily ?
    2. If I tell them that I worked for 9 days and I want to pay you back will they trigger a process of formal investigation and court?
    3. Is this criminal fraud?
    4. If I do tell them that do I need to do it twice ? once for DWP once to the council ? and is there a risk that I will have a settlement with one of them and the other one will take me to the court?

    Thanks so much

    Please let me know what you think I can't event think properly.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Jul 17, 9:32 PM
    • 1,545 Posts
    • 1,651 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:32 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:32 PM
    My thoughts:

    1) You could write to the DWP, and the Housing Benefit dept at your local council quoting your NI number.
    Give them the dates you worked, tell them you think you may have had an overpayment but because the benefit payment was delayed and backdated for 2 months it all became rather confused.
    2 & 3) I think it very, very unlikely that they would take you to court. It is more likely that they would calculate a benefits overpayment and ask you to make a repayment for benefit paid in the weeks you were working.
    4) Yes you would need to contact both the DWP and your council's HB dept.
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 9:38 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:38 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:38 PM
    Thanks so much Alice.

    Do you think that what happened was fraud?
    I just don't want to over complicate the things. Should I go directly to my Job Center to find my coach?
    • Diary
    • By Diary 16th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 751 Thanks
    Diary
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    You say you're very stressed about this happening 3 years ago. Are you only stressed now because you need a visa or have you tried to contact the DWP before now? If you have contacted DWP before now you need a visa what did they say? Did they reply?
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 9:48 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:48 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:48 PM
    I never contacted the DWP before. The only reason I am stressed is because I need the visa.
    Do you have any suggestions?
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 9:50 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:50 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:50 PM
    I never contacted the DWP before. The only reason I am stressed is because I need the visa.
    Do you have any suggestions?
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 9:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:54 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:54 PM
    of course I want to sort it so I don't have any wrong things in my mind and the visa as well. It just came up because of the visa
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 16th Jul 17, 10:10 PM
    • 1,691 Posts
    • 1,515 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Alice has given good advice, as always! What further advice are you looking for?
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 10:45 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    I agree - its a good advice.

    1. Have you ever heard about similar cases where people voluntarily after years inform them?

    2. I am just wondering whether to go the Job Center and find my coach if is still there or to DWP centrally

    3. whether there is any risk that I will get into trouble if I write them, and they will initiate a fraud investigation or there will just go into a settlement with me.

    4. If I do that with DWP I need to repeat that for the housing benefits, do you think its possible for one of them to settle and the other to do an investigation?

    Thanks so much all of you, you made me feel a bit better
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 16th Jul 17, 10:55 PM
    • 1,691 Posts
    • 1,515 Thanks
    poppy12345
    I agree with Alice that it's very unlikely they'll take you to court. I don't think there's really any need to go and see your "coach" as your claim was 3 years ago. Write to both DWP and housing benefit, or you could ring them but i'd write.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Jul 17, 10:59 PM
    • 1,545 Posts
    • 1,651 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    1. No, usually it is the DWP / HB dept who identify an overpayment and then write to the claimant to recover it.

    2. The DWP JSA dept centrally.

    3. I would think a settlement.
    It's even possible that if they haven't identified an overpayment, they may decide it would cost more in time, effort and manpower to go back through historic paperwork than any possible overpayment recovery!
    But I can't tell you what the DWP / LA decision will be.

    4. Difficult to say. Again I would think a settlement for both.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 16-07-2017 at 11:13 PM.
    • LGreen
    • By LGreen 16th Jul 17, 11:26 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    LGreen
    Thanks so much both of you, you are really making me feel better.

    I was just thinking about my coach because she was a very helpful person - she had taken responsibility through the claim and help me a lot with the housing due to all of these delays etc.
    I remember that she knew someone on the Local council that she was on the HB dept and she wrote to her directly in order to deal with my case. I just thinking to meet her and tell her this even having a written document to give her and to ask her what and how to do it, and potentially she can contact the HB at the council to speed up the process. My intention is to find her tell her to give me a letter that it was mainly their fault and not mine and to give that to the HB as well.

    To my eyes is the only person that knows how complex the case was and I am worried that if a central DWP person goes to try to find out what happened in my case they might get lost and just trigger an investigation.

    1. Do you still believe its a bad idea to meet my coach? you dont agree with the strategy above?
    2. I understand for the court - but is there a risk to make an investigation for fraud? I read online that if the overpayment is more than 2000 pounds this could be a case that goes to court.
    3. Regarding the cost etc i agree with Alice, do you think that I should calculate how much this could be and send them a check or let them do that?
    4. My understanding was that whatever the DWP was doing with the JSA the HB was following, also I read online that since august 2015 the investigation for HB are not happening anymore from the councils but from the DWP centrally. Hence I am thinking to contact the DWP and then after the outcame to contact the HB mentioning the DWP - if I have a settlement with them. Because out of the 4000 pounds only the 1000 is JSA very small amount.

    I promised these are my last questions. Thanks so much again.
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