Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 6th Feb 18, 5:27 PM
    • 5,423Posts
    • 7,310Thanks
    zaksmum
    Can DWP stop all her benefits?
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 18, 5:27 PM
    Can DWP stop all her benefits? 6th Feb 18 at 5:27 PM
    Friend is nearly 60 and seriously ill, awaiting a transplant.

    She receives ESA and PIP. DWP has just contacted her to say a form she completed in 2015 failed to declare a small private pension she gets - about £120 a month.

    So there has been an overpayment of some benefits which she is more than willing to repay out of her benefits. Various other forms she submitted to DWP after this date have declared the private pension.

    The DWP lady who rang her has left her in a panic. Apparently she aggressively asked the same questions repeatedly and wouldn't give my friend a chance to explain. She finished the call saying that DWP may stop all her benefits while they investigate.

    Can they do this?

    My friend lives alone, is housebound and has no savings. She has carers coming in to help her wash and dress three times a day.

    If all her benefits stop she will have nothing. She worked all her life till she became so ill.
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 6th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    • 5,219 Posts
    • 10,698 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    Her PIP will not stop. Her ESA may well if it was based on income.
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 6th Feb 18, 5:44 PM
    • 5,423 Posts
    • 7,310 Thanks
    zaksmum
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 18, 5:44 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 18, 5:44 PM
    Wouldn't it be obvious there was no intention to deceive if she has declared the pension on all subsequent forms?
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 6th Feb 18, 6:07 PM
    • 4,586 Posts
    • 4,847 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 18, 6:07 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 18, 6:07 PM
    When you say she declared it on all subsequent forms, do you know when she did declare it? If DWP was informed they may not be able to recover the overpayment beyond that date. I believe the rules have changed comparatively recently, but in that situation she should be able to come to an arrangement for the overpayment to be recovered at a rate which she can afford.

    Although there was no intent to deceive, she should have declared it at the time it was received.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 6th Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    • 5,219 Posts
    • 10,698 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 18, 6:15 PM
    Wouldn't it be obvious there was no intention to deceive if she has declared the pension on all subsequent forms?
    Originally posted by zaksmum
    It depends on various things, but they can still want their money back even if the mistake was entirely innocent.
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 7th Feb 18, 2:12 PM
    • 5,423 Posts
    • 7,310 Thanks
    zaksmum
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:12 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:12 PM
    She had recently become disabled at the time of filling in the form, and had no real idea how to complete them. She misunderstood questions and really struggled. There were a large number of forms at that time, which was about two years ago.

    Anyway, she asked a neighbour to help her with the subsequent forms and everything was filled in correctly after that.

    She has since had massive trauma in her life to cope with, as well as worsening health to the extent that her only chance of survival is a transplant. Would any of this be relevant to DWP, and would it help matters if her GP confirmed her ill health to them, or a friend wrote to them on her behalf? Or do they ignore such things?
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 7th Feb 18, 2:51 PM
    • 5,219 Posts
    • 10,698 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:51 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:51 PM
    She had recently become disabled at the time of filling in the form, and had no real idea how to complete them. She misunderstood questions and really struggled. There were a large number of forms at that time, which was about two years ago.

    Anyway, she asked a neighbour to help her with the subsequent forms and everything was filled in correctly after that.

    She has since had massive trauma in her life to cope with, as well as worsening health to the extent that her only chance of survival is a transplant. Would any of this be relevant to DWP, and would it help matters if her GP confirmed her ill health to them, or a friend wrote to them on her behalf? Or do they ignore such things?
    Originally posted by zaksmum
    She will only be asked to pay back whatever she was given over an above her entitlement. She is not going to be punished or prosecuted.

    So no they probably won't be overly bothered about trauma or health, as they are not going to go after her or try to rake her over the coals, but she will most likely have to pay back the money she was given because er initial form omitted the money she was getting.

    I appreciate the forms can be tricky and complicated when there are health issues in place, but there are council offices to help, the CAB to help and a plethora of other places to get help with it. She said she didnt have an income when she did, end of.

    You seem to be posting in a way which seems to be trying to find a get out for her to not have to pay back this money. That is not going to happen if she was the one who made the mistake. Many people are disabled and have trauma and may have trouble with forms. It doesnt mean they can keep overpayments when they are the ones who understated their income.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 8th Feb 18, 9:57 AM
    • 5,127 Posts
    • 7,194 Thanks
    deannatrois
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:57 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:57 AM
    I am afraid there aren't any more. Most CAB's are difficult to get appts at and may not have been an option (going there for help) if she was seriously ill.

    When I was filling in my PIP form, there was only one place in the whole of Kent that could help. All other places said they used to do it but couldn't because of a lack of funding. And there was quite a wait for an appt and I had to redo the form because it still wasn't done right lol.

    I don't know if she has a social worker or support worker. If she does, they can write in and explain the effect on her the questioning has had and the fragile state of her health. I had a HB overpayment written off because of this (although the council also hadn't told me about the overpayment so I lost chance to appeal). No guarantees but they should be able to help. Perhaps your friend might agree to let you phone them?
    Last edited by deannatrois; 08-02-2018 at 9:59 AM.
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 12th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    • 5,423 Posts
    • 7,310 Thanks
    zaksmum
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    She will only be asked to pay back whatever she was given over an above her entitlement. She is not going to be punished or prosecuted.

    So no they probably won't be overly bothered about trauma or health, as they are not going to go after her or try to rake her over the coals, but she will most likely have to pay back the money she was given because er initial form omitted the money she was getting.

    I appreciate the forms can be tricky and complicated when there are health issues in place, but there are council offices to help, the CAB to help and a plethora of other places to get help with it. She said she didnt have an income when she did, end of.

    You seem to be posting in a way which seems to be trying to find a get out for her to not have to pay back this money. That is not going to happen if she was the one who made the mistake. Many people are disabled and have trauma and may have trouble with forms. It doesnt mean they can keep overpayments when they are the ones who understated their income.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    Of course I'm not looking for a get out for her! She fully accepts she'll have to repay the overpayment.

    I'm just hoping they won't stop all her benefits, as they say they might, while they investigate.

    If they do, this will cause financial hardship for her and I really don't think she can take any more distress.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 12th Feb 18, 2:49 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    Appendix 2 has the information you need

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/616116/benefit-overpayment-recovery-guide.pdf

    Someone may correct me but AFAIK its 15% of the benefit lower rate and 40% of the benefit if there has been alleged fraud.
    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 14th Feb 18, 8:26 PM
    • 5,423 Posts
    • 7,310 Thanks
    zaksmum
    She has now received a letter regarding her ESA saying she was given 8 weeks to reply to an earlier letter, failed to do so and is now being issued with £50 fine. This fine will escalate if she still fails to reply.

    She insists she has not received this earlier letter.

    Her affairs are in a total mess and she is very fragile physically and emotionally.

    Is there an appeals department that she might be able to write to?
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,530Posts Today

8,215Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Thanks for all the tweets this week. I'm about to sign off for the weekend. See you next week. Have a good one. Martin

  • RT @TimesMoney: Is this how you feel about your student loan? @MartinSLewis has some advice for you. Read our exclusive interview in @Times?

  • RT @brokenbottleboy: @MartinSLewis I look better now than I did when I was in my twenties. Grey hair has been a good thing!

  • Follow Martin