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Overpaid by 14 years !!

17 replies 3K views
We have just had a visit from dwp today stating that my husband has been overpaid on his old age pension by £65 per week which they calculated at the time ,now they have dropped the bombshell that he owes them £38,000 from 14 years ago !! Can this be right ?? We are absolutely devastated as it is their mistake. Anybody else been in this situation? Tia.
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Replies

  • spg1spg1 Forumite
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    Are you definitely sure it was a bona fide DWP person who visited? 
  • PrendiPrendi Forumite
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    Yes it was we had letters a couple of weeks ago stating they were coming.
  • drummersdaledrummersdale Forumite
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    Unless you’ve got £38,000 burning a hole in your pocket it might be worth contacting your MP or coming up with some form of “time to pay” agreement. Good luck, hope you get a workable solution.
  • edited 17 February at 7:15PM
    ShedmanShedman Forumite
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    edited 17 February at 7:15PM
    This does seem grossly unjust...even the taxman can only go back 6 years to raise assessments and that's for 'visible carelessness' (although it's 20 years for deliberate acts).  Is there not a similar statute of limitations that applies to the DWP and overpayments due to their calculation errors?  If not there really should be.

    Also i believe that, in the case of occupational pensions, the trustees can recover the amount by reducing future payments in order to recoup the overpayment but that they can't make the recovery over a shorter time period than the period that the overpayment has been made (in this case they would need to recover over 14 years).  Does something similar apply to state pension overpayments as that would obviously help alleviate the initial issue for the OP ?
  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    Possibly related:

    If you cannot pay the debt in full, contact DWP Debt Management to arrange a payment plan.

    Though I, too, think that wanting all 14 years' worth is a tad egregious...




    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    -o I am humble -o You are attention seeking -o She is Nadine Dorries
  • edited 24 February at 11:00AM
    PrendiPrendi Forumite
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    edited 24 February at 11:00AM
    The lady who came to see us said r they may ask us to pay say £10 a week off it! We will probably be dead by then as my husband is nearly 80.She has taken the details away with her to pass them on to the relevant department and we have to wait another 2 gruelling weeks for a letter to say what their decision is.It was their decision how much my husband got for his pension,he didn’t know if it was too much or too little,u just get what u are given when they have calculated it for u.
  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    Your husband started receiving his pension in around 2005. Did he keep the calculation of the State Pension he would have received from DWP at the time?
    In terms of state pension he  may have had  (as well as Basic State Pension), some graduated retirement benefit (1961 - 1975), some State Earnings Related Pension (1978 -2002), and some Second State Pension.
    Was he ever contracted out?





  • edited 17 February at 8:47PM
    Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    edited 17 February at 8:47PM
    I'd wait to see what the letter is, and then get advice from Age UK or Citizens Advice. I wouldn't be bounced it any action until you are very clear on your responsibilities and rights.
    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/contact-us/

    Does the overpayment relate to the standard State Pension (SP) or Pension Credit (PC)?

    Normally with benefits like PC the claimant has to have contributed to the error (i.e not informing the DWP of a relevant change) for an overpayment to be recoverable.  If an official error then it can't be recovered.
    "For benefits other than under the Universal Credit system and Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, overpayments are only recoverable if they were caused by you misrepresenting or failing to disclose a relevant fact."
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Benefits-Overpayment/Will-I-have-to-repay-the-overpayment

    If SP - then I rather doubt if an overpayment due to official error can be recovered in law (especially one lasting 14 years). But I do recall a few years ago the DWP issued letters rather implying that repayments had to be made, when there was no legal basis for recovery. 
    Again do get advice. And contacting your MP is a very good idea.  Please don't agree to any repayment plan until you know where you stand and have had a response from your MP (after all the it seems to have taken the DWP 14 years to identify an official error!)
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • Alice_HoltAlice_Holt Forumite
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    Possibly related:

    If you cannot pay the debt in full, contact DWP Debt Management to arrange a payment plan.

    Though I, too, think that wanting all 14 years' worth is a tad egregious.
    From the article you quote   "Whilst the DWP has decided not to ask pensioners to repay the overpayments,....."   

    OP, please do not contact the debt management unit at this stage.  The first thing to establish is if any overpayment is actually recoverable. Many DWP overpayments (due to official error) are not recoverable. 

    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    Does the overpayment relate to the standard State Pension (SP) or Pension Credit (PC)?

    Normally with benefits like PC the claimant has to have contributed to the error (i.e not informing the DWP of a relevant change) for an overpayment to be recoverable.  If an official error then it can't be recovered.


    When repayments have to be made

    You may have to pay the money back if you’ve been overpaid. For example, if:

    • the information you gave was wrong
    • you did not report a change in your circumstances straight away
    • you gave the wrong information when you reported a change of circumstances
    • a mistake was made with your payment
    Still. Get advice, as suggested.
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    -o I am humble -o You are attention seeking -o She is Nadine Dorries
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