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DWP want me to pay back 5000+
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# 1
lydon05
Old 01-11-2007, 12:20 PM
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Unhappy DWP want me to pay back 5000+

Hi all,

I previously was on incap benefit due to my contueing crohns disease condition, but after an assessment this stopped in August.

I had a letter from DWP this morning stating they had overpaid me 2 amounts
5244 for may 06 - may 07 and 1378 paid in error by them (which upon telephoning them they informed me I dont have to pay the 1378 because it was their error as they continued to pay this after I had informed them.

I have always declared my earnings form the business (as previously posted by me) and declared the amount I can earn 85 per week, but they say the declaration came too late after may 07 so I need to pay back the whole of the 2006 year 5244.

I still earn 85 but dont understand how I pay back 5000 when it takes me a whole year to earn and live off that.

They say they can look at the decision again if I contact them within one month and would be heard by an independant tribunal.

I wish I had the dates of the letter I sent them declaring as hopefully I can prove I informed them before May this year, as I am sure I have always declared any other income to them.

I understand overpayments happen in the benefit system, but considering my illness and at best I am trying to earn a living I find it a bit harsh to ask for everything back for that year , and I wouldnt be able to pay it back anyway well not all in one go

I would like to hear from anyone else who has been in the same situation and what they did or recommend i should do? should I plough away for ages trying to fight this is
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# 2
cattie
Old 01-11-2007, 1:40 PM
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Generally if overpayments are made because of a DWP error, then the overpayment is not legally recoverable.

If you gave them all the necessary information & they failed to act on it in reducing or stopping your benefit then appeal & in the meantime get some advice from an experienced welfare rights advisor.

If the overpayment wasn't a dwp departmental error & does have to be paid back then dwp are usually happy to agree to a payment plan with you for an amount that is manageable for you & will not cause hardship.

So for instance, if 5 a month is all you could afford, then they will be in agreement to this. All they are concerned about is that a regular payment is made & that the debt will be repaid eventually.
The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
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# 3
lydon05
Old 01-11-2007, 2:10 PM
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Thanks for your reply, I am hoping to get some dates of declartions sent to them. They have told me they only keep information sent to them for 6 weeks, if I can find a date before May 07 I should be on firmer ground I'm just worried I cant.

I would have thought looking at circumstances if I did have to pay back it would be over a time period , or can they seize assets, like take a car or anything you own? that is what is worrying me.

On the plus side, I have contacted the department relating to the correspondance I sent last year, and they are going to send me all the paperwork copies of anything I sent them last year, so if there is anything dated between May 06 - May 07 which does infact state declared work I think I would have a case against that £5000 or part of it.

Last edited by lydon05; 01-11-2007 at 2:52 PM.
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# 4
cattie
Old 01-11-2007, 2:44 PM
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They will not seize assets so worry not. As long as you agree a payment plan with them they will be happy. If you qualify for benefits, the agreed monthly amount will be deducted from your benefit.

If not on benefits then you will be provided, if you ask with envelopes in which to post your cheques to the debt managment department. This will save you on postage costs. If not on benefits & making manual payments in this way then you default on payments, they will probably eventually want to seek a court judgment.

There is no statute period for dwp debts & any outstanding amount, should you die before repayment, is claimed from a person's estate. If no assets on death, then the debt is written off.
The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
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# 5
lydon05
Old 01-11-2007, 4:10 PM
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Sorry what do you mean

"If not on benefits & making manual payments in this way then you default on payments, they will probably eventually want to seek a court judgment."

Does that mean if I am not on benefits now (which I am not) they will seek a court judgement? so they can claim everything in one go

or do you mean if I default on regular payments to them they will seek judgement?
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# 6
actionman
Old 01-11-2007, 4:50 PM
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I think she means if you dont make regular payments they can then take it to court.

I have to go to an interview tomorrow and they are going to readjust my benefit to collect overpayment. She said they are not doing an interview under caution but im still stressed over it.
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# 7
real1314
Old 01-11-2007, 5:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lydon05 View Post
Thanks for your reply, I am hoping to get some dates of declartions sent to them. They have told me they only keep information sent to them for 6 weeks, if I can find a date before May 07 I should be on firmer ground I'm just worried I cant.

I would have thought looking at circumstances if I did have to pay back it would be over a time period , or can they seize assets, like take a car or anything you own? that is what is worrying me.

On the plus side, I have contacted the department relating to the correspondance I sent last year, and they are going to send me all the paperwork copies of anything I sent them last year, so if there is anything dated between May 06 - May 07 which does infact state declared work I think I would have a case against that 5000 or part of it.
6 weeks? That's nonsense. They keep stuff for 14 months. They may not keep it on-site, but they send it off, and "should" be able to retrieve it.
If they can't retrieve it, it's generally their problem, not yours.
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# 8
cattie
Old 01-11-2007, 5:35 PM
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[quote=actionman;6690953]I think she means if you dont make regular payments they can then take it to court.
quote]

Yes, actionman is correct as this is what I meant.
The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
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# 9
lydon05
Old 01-11-2007, 5:58 PM
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That's good to hear about 14 months because that should give access to more letters that I sent them over a longer period of time, he said they will have to dig them out from storage somewhere, and it will take 2-3 weeks.

If I do find a letter of declaration before may 07 I will certainly send a copy to the DWP with a letter argueing the 5000 or part of. if worse case scenario happens do they take all personal savings, then arrange payment plan for the rest ? ie I have 300 in an ISA can they just snatch it , or any rent I pay my parents to live at home?

I really find it all deflating , I understand their point on overpayment which is fair enough if I was now earning 1000 a week , but I dont its 85 it really is a knock back for someone who is trying to earn a living still living with crohns.
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# 10
actionman
Old 01-11-2007, 6:00 PM
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I thought you were allowed to work a certain amount of hours and still get benefits if you were sick.
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# 11
actionman
Old 01-11-2007, 6:06 PM
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They would only make you pay an amount you could afford weekly. If the investigation is lengthy Im sure they will find the info you describe.
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# 12
lydon05
Old 01-11-2007, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by actionman View Post
I thought you were allowed to work a certain amount of hours and still get benefits if you were sick.
You are, it is called "Permitted work" 16 hours a week, which is what I thought the story was with them considering I had told them and agreed permitted work. (at £85 per week for a year then reduced to £20 upon notice, all of which I agreed with)

I think there is some Foggyness between what I thought was agreed / declared with them and what actually has happened, as they obviously think different by wanting £5000 back.

Last edited by lydon05; 01-11-2007 at 6:11 PM.
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# 13
cattie
Old 01-11-2007, 6:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lydon05 View Post
if worse case scenario happens do they take all personal savings, then arrange payment plan for the rest ? ie I have 300 in an ISA can they just snatch it , or any rent I pay my parents to live at home?

I really find it all deflating , I understand their point on overpayment which is fair enough if I was now earning 1000 a week , but I dont its 85 it really is a knock back for someone who is trying to earn a living still living with crohns.

No, they take none of your assets at all. Please promise you'll try to stop worrying. If you do have to repay any of the money they will agree a manageable payment plan with you, no matter how long it will take to pay the money back. They really are very reasonable on this issue.
The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
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# 14
dannyboyyyyyyyyy
Old 17-12-2007, 8:00 PM
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Default DWP blues

Ok Lydin...sorry for the late reply. I may be able to help you.

1) As your debt been referred to a debt centre? If so offer absolute minimum. TRhey will threaten court action but will not take it (people who send in 1p every 3 months will not be prosecuted - policy!!)

2) Is there any fraud prosecution pending? If so...ask for full disclusure of all infomation befotre Interview under caution
3) Did you declare earnings? If so find any evidence (sorry not to helpful!) but appeal appeal appeal!!

4) Would you have been able to claim tax benefits (EG family or disabled) if you had claimed correctly? Try to go for a notional entitlement. This is a recalculation to offset what you would have got if you claimed the right thing

Remember loads more people are underpaid benefit than overapid but dwp do not have call centres open til 9pm to sort that out.... dont be bullied and ask for everything in writing...!!

got that off my chest thanks!!
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# 15
D-Manc
Old 17-12-2007, 11:06 PM
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Go and see a welfare rights adviser as they can do a full assessment and ensure whether or not the overpaymetn is correct. they can also see whether you would have been entitled to other benefits which may offset the overpayment...
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# 16
suelees1
Old 18-12-2007, 6:51 PM
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D-Manc's right. You need to see a specialist advisor. Don't let it drop - you must appeal within the month. You'll then get all the paperwork through in the appeal submission.

however if you've asked for full reasons for the decision within the month then the time limit for appealing is extended.

Any decent advisor will have lot of experience of this sort of thing. Even if yor appeal is dismissed you should only offer what you can afford which on your income is very little. They won't take you to court even if you just make a nominal offer of payment.

The only time bailiffs can come to your home to collect an unpaid debt such as this is if they decide to take it to court and you then ignore a court order. You'd have plenty of warning of this. Anyway it's not going to come to this so stop worrying about them coming to your house. It just won't (and can't legally) happen.
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# 17
lydon05
Old 12-04-2008, 4:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyboyyyyyyyyy View Post
Ok Lydin...sorry for the late reply. I may be able to help you.

1) As your debt been referred to a debt centre? If so offer absolute minimum. TRhey will threaten court action but will not take it (people who send in 1p every 3 months will not be prosecuted - policy!!)

2) Is there any fraud prosecution pending? If so...ask for full disclusure of all infomation befotre Interview under caution
3) Did you declare earnings? If so find any evidence (sorry not to helpful!) but appeal appeal appeal!!

4) Would you have been able to claim tax benefits (EG family or disabled) if you had claimed correctly? Try to go for a notional entitlement. This is a recalculation to offset what you would have got if you claimed the right thing

Remember loads more people are underpaid benefit than overapid but dwp do not have call centres open til 9pm to sort that out.... dont be bullied and ask for everything in writing...!!

got that off my chest thanks!!
Sorry for the late reply, I have bumped this thread.

1) It was originally reffered to their debt centre before the appeal was put in, and they sent letter intending to reclaim/threaten with court etc.

2) No not that I am aware of.

3) Yes I sent them information of declared earnings during the may 06 to may 07 timeline (which is the period they are trying to reclaim) during this time I sent a permitted work form to job centre plus stating "will earn this 50 a week etc" and the bank statements show this amount paid in each month during this period.

I have appealed and the latest on 31st March is a letter from them "we will send your appeal letter and papers giving our reasons and evidence for decision to the tribunal service" it them gives me a list of local organisations like the citizens advice bureau where I can ask for advice.

4) will look into this.
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