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    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 4th Jan 18, 9:17 PM
    • 423Posts
    • 208Thanks
    Marco84
    Possible ESA overpayment
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 18, 9:17 PM
    Possible ESA overpayment 4th Jan 18 at 9:17 PM
    Am I screwed?

    We got a council house in November, so I phoned up to change my address, they didn't know I am married for 3 years to a non EU citizen and that she has a part time job for 2 years. They sent me a change of circumstance form. I filled it all in and sent it back.

    Today I got a change in rate payable letter back and my money went down from £250 a fortnight to £21 because of my wife's earnings and some savings.

    Does it mean I've been overpayed for 2 years? If so what will happen? It must be many £1000s if so! I already got bad mental health problems and now I'm scared to death. I assumed they would have known I'm married since I claim child tax credits and as my wife can't claim any benefits as a non EU citizen I thought it wouldn't effect my benefits, what a big fool I am.
Page 1
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 4th Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    • 4,421 Posts
    • 4,645 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    Yes you have been potentially been overpaid for the period your wife has been working. Although she has no entitlement to benefit, her income will be taken into account if your claim is Income Related rather than based on your National Insurance contributions. It is your responsibility to inform ESA of any change of circumstances and I presume you didn't inform them when you married.
    I would advise you to get in touch with Citizens Advice as soon as possible and get their assistance in contacting ESA to clear the whole situation up.
    How long have you been claiming ESA?
    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 4th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Marco84
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    I've been claiming since 2003. I honestly didnt know that I had to inform them.

    What will happen? Will have to repay them or go to prison?
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 4th Jan 18, 10:46 PM
    • 1,911 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:46 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:46 PM
    Am I screwed?

    We got a council house in November, so I phoned up to change my address, they didn't know I am married for 3 years to a non EU citizen and that she has a part time job for 2 years. They sent me a change of circumstance form. I filled it all in and sent it back.

    Today I got a change in rate payable letter back and my money went down from £250 a fortnight to £21 because of my wife's earnings and some savings.

    Does it mean I've been overpayed for 2 years? If so what will happen? It must be many £1000s if so! I already got bad mental health problems and now I'm scared to death. I assumed they would have known I'm married since I claim child tax credits and as my wife can't claim any benefits as a non EU citizen I thought it wouldn't effect my benefits, what a big fool I am.
    Originally posted by Marco84
    If you're claiming housing benefit/Council tax reduction then there could pentially be an overpayment of there too. You need to ring them tomorrow and tell them you're married and your wife works. You'll also need to tell HMRC you're married, if you haven't already done this.

    The onus is on the claimant to report ANY changes of circumstances when claiming ALL means tested benefits.
    • venison
    • By venison 4th Jan 18, 11:00 PM
    • 1,491 Posts
    • 1,624 Thanks
    venison
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:00 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:00 PM
    I've been claiming since 2003. I honestly didnt know that I had to inform them.

    What will happen? Will have to repay them or go to prison?
    Originally posted by Marco84
    Almost every letter you get from the DWP tells you that you must inform them of ANY change in circumstances, if you have been overpaid by a serious amount because you didn't inform them then I suggest you get some help and advice either from a solicitor or at least to start with CAB. No one here knows what the penalty will be. i don't want to be the bearer of bad news without knowing ALL the facts.
    I am a BG on loans,credit cards and benefits I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly". Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 4th Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Marco84
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    We were living with parents until November, housing benefit/council tax been set up fine, so has child tax credit ect but I didn't think my disability would come into play
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 5th Jan 18, 6:42 AM
    • 1,911 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 6:42 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 6:42 AM
    We were living with parents until November, housing benefit/council tax been set up fine, so has child tax credit ect but I didn't think my disability would come into play
    Originally posted by Marco84
    When you claimed Income Related ESA (means tested benefit) you signed an agreement that you would report ANY changes of circumstances. This is also written on all letters. You are possibly looking at a serious overpayment amount, plus any fine on top. I have no idea what else will happen. I suggest you take Venison's advice and get some help with this. I think you may need it.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 5th Jan 18, 10:59 AM
    • 4,421 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #8
    • 5th Jan 18, 10:59 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Jan 18, 10:59 AM
    Prison definitely
    Originally posted by _shel
    Don't be ridiculous. The OP married 3 years ago and his partner started working 2 years ago. The likelihood of a prison sentence is very low. Repaying the overpayment plus a fine of some sort is by far the most likely outcome.
    • w06
    • By w06 5th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • 429 Posts
    • 663 Thanks
    w06
    • #9
    • 5th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    Did you declare your wife's income on the housing benefit and council tax claim? I think I'm correct in saying that although she isn't entitled to recourse to public funds her income is taken into account there too as it is household income. You need proper legal advice, urgently.
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 5th Jan 18, 12:24 PM
    • 1,493 Posts
    • 2,995 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    We were living with parents until November, housing benefit/council tax been set up fine, so has child tax credit ect but I didn't think my disability would come into play
    Originally posted by Marco84
    I thought you couldn't get housing benefit if you live with your parents????
    I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 5th Jan 18, 12:26 PM
    • 5,027 Posts
    • 10,199 Thanks
    marliepanda
    I thought you couldn't get housing benefit if you live with your parents????
    Originally posted by Cheeky_Monkey
    I'm assuming he means that once he moved out from the parents the HB and Ctax was set up with full knowledge of the new wife as she predated the move.

    The ESA predates the marriage and he never updated it.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 5th Jan 18, 7:19 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Marco84
    That's right

    I went to citizens advice today and they said they can't help until I been issued a letter about overpayment.

    I contacted the job centre this afternoon and they were knocked for six and clueless about it. They said it will go down good that I came forward and must wait for a call back on Monday afternoon, worrying times
    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 8th Jan 18, 11:48 AM
    • 423 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Marco84
    If someone can put my mind at rest while I wait for that dreaded phone call to sort out the mess I got myself in.

    Since my ESA got reduced is that a reportable change of circumstance to housing benefit or does not effect it as I still receive It? Thank you
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 8th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    • 788 Posts
    • 1,409 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    If someone can put my mind at rest while I wait for that dreaded phone call to sort out the mess I got myself in.

    Since my ESA got reduced is that a reportable change of circumstance to housing benefit or does not effect it as I still receive It? Thank you
    Originally posted by Marco84
    Yes, it is a reportable change in circumstances. If you're still entitled to some income based ESA, and your HB was assessed based on the correct number of people/ rooms, then your HB entitlement will not change, but you still need to tell them.

    (Any entitlement to IB ESA will entitle you to full HB minus any bedroom tax deduction.)
    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 9th Jan 18, 7:51 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Marco84
    Another question on change of circumstance, do I need to let child tax credit know that i was getting a wrong higher amount of ESA? If so will it lower child tax credits? It seems never ending trying to sort this out.
    • epitome
    • By epitome 13th Jan 18, 6:48 PM
    • 3,083 Posts
    • 1,870 Thanks
    epitome
    Tell Child tax by all means but I doubt will have any effect.

    You really have nothing to worry about except that the overpayment will be recovered from you.

    What is likely to happen is that the ESA overpayment will be approximately £24,000 they will add on a penalty of £50 and you will pay it back at £10 or £20 per week out of your existing ESA, they may recover it from other benefits you have and they could possibly recover it direct from your partners earnings or from your earnings if you return to work. Whatever happens the amount recovered won't leave you nothing to live on, so you will be alright. Prison is very very unlikely and will probably never even be considered as an option.

    Don't worry. (except that you will be paying it all back...which of course is only right)
    • Marco84
    • By Marco84 14th Jan 18, 6:22 PM
    • 423 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Marco84
    I'm happy to pay back overpayment as I have no desire for money not in my name. Just the visions of prison won t leave my mind They asked for 3 years of bank statements from the date my wife entered the country a few days ago. I can see last year I went over the savings limit once when we saved for a car, I guess it will make matters worse.

    On the brighter side, I contacted Tax Credits and they wasn't interested in my ESA and in fact found out I wasn't claiming disabled tax credits for my son.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Jan 18, 10:01 PM
    • 4,421 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    Visions of prison certainly should be put from your mind. The likelihood of that being the outcome is miniscule.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 14th Jan 18, 10:21 PM
    • 35,802 Posts
    • 46,093 Thanks
    McKneff
    Stop worrying about prison.
    Iy just wont happen because there is no point in it.

    Good luck x
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
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