Overpayment (DLA)

Hello. I know that maybe this isn't the correct thread for my concern. I am just new here so I am a bit confused on how to do this. I just want to share the story of my husband and hopefully I'll get some advices from you.

My husband (then boyfriend) left UK last April of 2014. But before he left he made sure to sort everything out. December of 2013 when his change of name has been approved by Deed Poll. And he went to one of the DWP Offices (Salford) to inform them. He even handed out his document as a proof but he was told that they didn't need it, and on the next letter his name will be updated. Come February 2014, he made a phone call to DWP once again and asked them if he will continue to receive DLA despite of moving permanently to the Philippines, and they said yes. So on April 2014, he went to the Philippines, and even became a permanent resident of the country via marriage. Please take note that when you acquire the permanent residency in the country via marriage, there's no need for any financial status as long as you can pay for the corresponding amount for the visa.

Every Wednesday, he's receiving the lowest rate of the said allowance for £23. Still thinking that everything is okay. Not until when we were casually browsing last November 8th of this year. We were looking on how to renew his passport while he was abroad. And then we came across to an article where it says that a british citizen who's living abroad and on a non-European country is only allowed to receive DLA for 13 weeks. We were so scared. He doesn't want to commit any offence while he's here. A lot of things came into our mind. That he might go back in UK, or he might get sued. Or it might affect his international transactions such as renewing passport, We immediately reached out to them but unfortunately the number that was posted from their website wasn't intended for an international call. We asked his aunt, and a friend to call DWP on his behalf to ask on what's the best thing to do. They told our friend that we should do it in writing if we want the benefit to be stopped. We tried to communicate with on different platforms. Sending emails, and on Twitter. DWP Overseas responded and gave us an international number. And even a direct person to talk to. We sent them a letter explaining what really happened the same day we talked to them over the phone. We found out that they already sent him a letter and a form to his old address (his mom's). His relative filled out the form on his behalf and immediately sent the letter. We were so glad. We thought that was it. We thought it was over. But we were wrong. Especially that they already stopped sending him the allowance to his bank account. He even told to the DWP staff what's on his letter and she was surprised. As for his change of name, he can only encounter problem if he's claiming two benefits using both of his old and new names. And in his case, he's claiming only one benefit with his old name. And his phone call asking if he can still continue to receive DLA, the person that he talked to should have forwarded the call on the main office.

On the first week of December, he again received a letter, and was informed that he has to pay £6407 or in our currency almost Php 400,000 and that's really a lot. We don't have the means to pay them, He is not working here and supposedly his source of income is that DLA Allowance, Yes, I am working but on a contractual basis and salary is just enough to cover out monthly expenses. And if unlucky, sometimes it isn't due to emergency expenses. We were so lost. A lot of what ifs came into our mind. What if we just ignored it since he's abroad? What if we run for it? But we are not like that. We just want everything to get sorted. In a proper way. We tried to talk to a lot of advisers but they couldn't help us since he's not in UK anymore. All they gave us were contact numbers but advisers online are saying the same thing.

His mom offered a help. £20 monthly. We were having a hard time to get in touch with Debt Management since their lines are always busy. But when we got to talk to them my husband offered the said amount via bank standing order since it's his mom who's going to pay for it. They allowed him to do that. The first payment was made last December 17. He was informed with that the second time he called. And the third time he called, he asked that if his initial payment was considered as the payment for January. Since the deadline of his first payment was for January 2. And they said yes. He also asked, cus the first time he called that eventually he has to increase his payment. He cleared that and the lady told him that after 6 months they will review the situation. And might increase it to £50 if his situation will change.

Even if we have someone to help us, personally I am not comfortable with it. More likely I am so embarassed cus I know his mom has her own life too. Up to this day, I am still thinking on what's the right thing to do. We were thinking of requesting to write it off since we really don't have any way to pay for it. Please try to understand that what happened was really unintentional.

Comments

  • Chie_T wrote: »
    Hello. I know that maybe this isn't the correct thread for my concern. I am just new here so I am a bit confused on how to do this. I just want to share the story of my husband and hopefully I'll get some advices from you.

    My husband (then boyfriend) left UK last April of 2014. But before he left he made sure to sort everything out. December of 2013 when his change of name has been approved by Deed Poll. And he went to one of the DWP Offices (Salford) to inform them. He even handed out his document as a proof but he was told that they didn't need it, and on the next letter his name will be updated. Come February 2014, he made a phone call to DWP once again and asked them if he will continue to receive DLA despite of moving permanently to the Philippines, and they said yes. So on April 2014, he went to the Philippines, and even became a permanent resident of the country via marriage. Please take note that when you acquire the permanent residency in the country via marriage, there's no need for any financial status as long as you can pay for the corresponding amount for the visa.

    Every Wednesday, he's receiving the lowest rate of the said allowance for £23. Still thinking that everything is okay. Not until when we were casually browsing last November 8th of this year. We were looking on how to renew his passport while he was abroad. And then we came across to an article where it says that a british citizen who's living abroad and on a non-European country is only allowed to receive DLA for 13 weeks. We were so scared. He doesn't want to commit any offence while he's here. A lot of things came into our mind. That he might go back in UK, or he might get sued. Or it might affect his international transactions such as renewing passport, We immediately reached out to them but unfortunately the number that was posted from their website wasn't intended for an international call. We asked his aunt, and a friend to call DWP on his behalf to ask on what's the best thing to do. They told our friend that we should do it in writing if we want the benefit to be stopped. We tried to communicate with on different platforms. Sending emails, and on Twitter. DWP Overseas responded and gave us an international number. And even a direct person to talk to. We sent them a letter explaining what really happened the same day we talked to them over the phone. We found out that they already sent him a letter and a form to his old address (his mom's). His relative filled out the form on his behalf and immediately sent the letter. We were so glad. We thought that was it. We thought it was over. But we were wrong. Especially that they already stopped sending him the allowance to his bank account. He even told to the DWP staff what's on his letter and she was surprised. As for his change of name, he can only encounter problem if he's claiming two benefits using both of his old and new names. And in his case, he's claiming only one benefit with his old name. And his phone call asking if he can still continue to receive DLA, the person that he talked to should have forwarded the call on the main office.

    On the first week of December, he again received a letter, and was informed that he has to pay £6407 or in our currency almost Php 400,000 and that's really a lot. We don't have the means to pay them, He is not working here and supposedly his source of income is that DLA Allowance, Yes, I am working but on a contractual basis and salary is just enough to cover out monthly expenses. And if unlucky, sometimes it isn't due to emergency expenses. We were so lost. A lot of what ifs came into our mind. What if we just ignored it since he's abroad? What if we run for it? But we are not like that. We just want everything to get sorted. In a proper way. We tried to talk to a lot of advisers but they couldn't help us since he's not in UK anymore. All they gave us were contact numbers but advisers online are saying the same thing.

    His mom offered a help. £20 monthly. We were having a hard time to get in touch with Debt Management since their lines are always busy. But when we got to talk to them my husband offered the said amount via bank standing order since it's his mom who's going to pay for it. They allowed him to do that. The first payment was made last December 17. He was informed with that the second time he called. And the third time he called, he asked that if his initial payment was considered as the payment for January. Since the deadline of his first payment was for January 2. And they said yes. He also asked, cus the first time he called that eventually he has to increase his payment. He cleared that and the lady told him that after 6 months they will review the situation. And might increase it to £50 if his situation will change.

    Even if we have someone to help us, personally I am not comfortable with it. More likely I am so embarassed cus I know his mom has her own life too. Up to this day, I am still thinking on what's the right thing to do. We were thinking of requesting to write it off since we really don't have any way to pay for it. Please try to understand that what happened was really unintentional.

    Unintentional my backside. I call bull, he knew he shouldn't be claiming outside of the Uk and has been caught. Time to cough up and repay
  • I'm just asking politely what's the right thing to do. I just hope you understand. Thank you.
  • Chie_T wrote: »
    I'm just asking politely what's the right thing to do. I just hope you understand. Thank you.

    There is nothing you can do. He has committed benefit fraud which is a criminal offence and it is possible he will be prosecuted for such.

    The money needs to be repaid.
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