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Father beside himself over Income support over payment

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Father beside himself over Income support over payment

2 replies 31K views
lauren1983lauren1983 Forumite
192 posts
Hi,

I hope im in the right place.

Ill try to explain as clearly as i can .

My father is not well in many ways and he is beside himself over a letter stating he owes nearly £3000 due to over payment of income support since 2009.

This is due to a small mineworkers pension he got out of the blue (he only worked at the pit for a year or so and didnt realise he would get anything). I told him at the time that he must contact the benefits office and tell them of these changes. He did this and I was there to help him as he isnt good at explaining and is scared of talking on the telephone.

He was advised that he would be contacted if there was to be any reduction in his current benefits. He didnt recieve anything and payments all continued as normal.

So now after 3 years he is quite worried and upset, he thinks he is going to be taken to court and his name will be published as a benefit fraud in the local papers.

I feel like its my fault because I didnt ring up again and didnt talk to the person on the phone myself.

Has anyone got any advice for me please, Ive never dealt with anything like this.

Thank you

Lauren

Replies

  • cattiecattie Forumite
    8.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Until you get an official Citizens Advice reply I thought I'd just try to give some reassurance.

    First of all, your father can put his needles worries aside. He certainly won't go to court and have his name in the paper.

    If you can somehow prove the phone call was made to notify DWP then the error is theirs and the debt doesn't need to be repaid. However, it is always preferable to notify any changes in writing and take a copy. If you can't be sure just when the call was made and who it was you spoke to, it may be difficult for them to accept it as their error and they will wish to recover the money they say is owed. However, as you were a witness to the call, this will be in your fathers favour

    If it happens that they insist the debt is his responsibility, he can ask DWP for a breakdown of the overpayments if they haven't sent them to him already. Once he has these, if he isn't going to dispute the debt any further, he can work out a figure he can afford from his income each month towards repaying the debt and offer this to DWP. It doesn't have to be a lot, say £5 month if that's all he can manage. Repayments are normally stopped from any qualifying benefits a person receives, such as state pension.

    Fingers crossed they will accept it as an official error though.
    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.
  • Thank you so much cattie,

    After reading your post I feel much better, I dont feel like a total criminal now :)

    I have just spoke to my dad and we are going to look again through all the papers for any evidence of the call and even back through phone bills if we can find them that far back.

    Fingers crossed

    Thanks again
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