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  • FIRST POST
    • nicolafrost
    • By nicolafrost 11th Apr 18, 9:25 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    nicolafrost
    Income Support - Direct Earning Attachment
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:25 PM
    Income Support - Direct Earning Attachment 11th Apr 18 at 9:25 PM
    Hi,
    Apologies that my first post is me asking for help but my usual first go to of scouring the internet to find a similar post in a forum has been unsuccessful so I'm hoping somebody here has the right knowledge to help guide me with my problem.

    I'll try my best to write this out in chronological order:

    - On the 06/08/2017 I received a letter completely out of the blue stating I owed the DWP £2723.08 and could I kindly call the number included to pay the amount supposedly owed...
    - I immediately called the number on the letter to dispute which put me through to the Contact Centre Trafford Debt management SF, I stated that I do not acknowledge or have any knowledge of the debt they are stating and could they please provide evidence around payments made, who to & from when they relate to. The adviser informed me they were just the debt management co and the only information they had was that the debt was for overpayment of income support. They informed me that they couldn't accept my dispute and that I'd have to take it up with the job centre, for which they provided me the contact number 0345 604 3719.
    - I then rang the provided Job centre number to query the debt, be sent evidence and to understand the circumstances as to why they are now pursuing me for it. I was put through to the income support department, from which the operator said that they don't store records from so far back and after using my name and other details they couldn't provide any record of me existing within their systems
    - The Job centre adviser stated I'd have to submit a written letter disputing the debt to "the job centre plus, Leeds southern house, Site A mail handling". I put together a letter stating I do not acknowledge this debt and have no recollection of receiving income support and could they please provide all evidence re this overpayment to myself.
    - I then received a second letter dated 27/08/2017 on Saturday 2/09/217 informing me they will be starting a direct earnings attachment repayment plan with my employer.
    - I then rang the debt management company immediately who again said there is nothing they can do, they donít have any evidence to provide to explain the sums owed and that Iíd again have to ring income support.
    - 04.09.2017 I have rung the Income support and discussed the issue with them once again, to which once again no evidence could be provided around the sums supposedly owed be that dates, bank accounts or actual values over any time frame or as to why they are only now contacting me in relation to the supposed debt owed.
    - I then received a letter dated 12/09/2017 from the DWP. The letter said that they'd contacted the debt management on my behalf, who stated the debt is £2,7000 and relates to a period 14/04/09 to 22/04/10 where income support was paid to me which I was not entitled to. I'd supposedly had an interview with a compliance officer on the 12/05/2010 where it was supposedly discovered I'd been working full time at my employer (basic wage shoe store) from 14.04.09 to 22.04.10. The specialist decision maker decided, based on evidence supplied by the compliance investigation which included my interview that I should not have been entitled to income support. On the 20.10.10 the overpayment was calculated and notified to me in writing. Income dispute guidance states I must dispute a decision within 1 month of the original decision, in this case the original decision date was 20.10.10. The letter then states as the original decision is over the absolute time limits I now need to put in writing the reason why I'm disputing the overpamyent and why this dispute is late; the letter would then be passed on to her Majesty's courts & tribunals service to consider if it will be accepted.
    - I then responded to the above letter, stating I did not receive the original decision letter dated 20.10.10. I presented the facts that I've paid council tax, income tax, held a license etc for the past 8 years so have been 'findable' so why only now have they contacted me re the supposed amounts owed. I have no information about my employment from 2009-10, nor any bank statements or even what bank I belonged to (I was very young at the time). I informed them that I'm more than happy to co-operate if sufficient evidence can be provided to myself and asked for the details of the interview that took place on 12th May 2010, I also requested details of where the overpayments went, i.e. the Bank Account details and name to help me find evidence from my perspective. I sent this letter to Leeds southern house job centre, mail handling site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1RW
    - Come the 02.11.17 and I've had no response so I called a new number 0345 608 8545) and spoke to somebody at the stockport office, who informed me of a new address to send the letter to: Doncaster Benefit Centre, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton.
    - Come today 11.04.18, I receive a letter from DWP stating they have been unable to contact my current employer regarding DEA deductions and can I please advise my payroll dept. to contact DWP to enable the charges to begin......If my employer fails to contact DWP in 14 days they will "seek alternative methods of recover" - any ideas what this means? Again this letter was from Contact Centre traffic, debt management (SF) as per my first ever letter 06.08.17.

    So, I have no evidence or information to really dispute what they are saying, I genuinely cannot remember as it was 8 years ago and my life was extremely hectic at the time (not just busy, other problems). All I'm asking is DWP to provide evidence as to where those payments were made, what was said in the interview from which they made their decision and a schedule of said benefits payments over the period but it seems they cannot or do not have this information.

    I'm not sure of what the next steps are to take, as the DEA is extremely punitive and completely un-affordable based off the calculations table contained within some of the letters I've received. Any advice would be greatly appreciated around what to do next or where I stand with this 'debt'
Page 1
    • w06
    • By w06 11th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    • 763 Posts
    • 1,103 Thanks
    w06
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    did you claim income support during the period they're referring to? Surely you know whether and where you were employed 8 years ago?
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 11th Apr 18, 9:35 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,438 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:35 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:35 PM
    Hi,
    Apologies that my first post is me asking for help but my usual first go to of scouring the internet to find a similar post in a forum has been unsuccessful so I'm hoping somebody here has the right knowledge to help guide me with my problem.

    I'll try my best to write this out in chronological order:

    - On the 06/08/2017 I received a letter completely out of the blue stating I owed the DWP £2723.08 and could I kindly call the number included to pay the amount supposedly owed...
    - I immediately called the number on the letter to dispute which put me through to the Contact Centre Trafford Debt management SF, I stated that I do not acknowledge or have any knowledge of the debt they are stating and could they please provide evidence around payments made, who to & from when they relate to. The adviser informed me they were just the debt management co and the only information they had was that the debt was for overpayment of income support. They informed me that they couldn't accept my dispute and that I'd have to take it up with the job centre, for which they provided me the contact number 0345 604 3719.
    - I then rang the provided Job centre number to query the debt, be sent evidence and to understand the circumstances as to why they are now pursuing me for it. I was put through to the income support department, from which the operator said that they don't store records from so far back and after using my name and other details they couldn't provide any record of me existing within their systems
    - The Job centre adviser stated I'd have to submit a written letter disputing the debt to "the job centre plus, Leeds southern house, Site A mail handling". I put together a letter stating I do not acknowledge this debt and have no recollection of receiving income support and could they please provide all evidence re this overpayment to myself.
    - I then received a second letter dated 27/08/2017 on Saturday 2/09/217 informing me they will be starting a direct earnings attachment repayment plan with my employer.
    - I then rang the debt management company immediately who again said there is nothing they can do, they donít have any evidence to provide to explain the sums owed and that Iíd again have to ring income support.
    - 04.09.2017 I have rung the Income support and discussed the issue with them once again, to which once again no evidence could be provided around the sums supposedly owed be that dates, bank accounts or actual values over any time frame or as to why they are only now contacting me in relation to the supposed debt owed.
    - I then received a letter dated 12/09/2017 from the DWP. The letter said that they'd contacted the debt management on my behalf, who stated the debt is £2,7000 and relates to a period 14/04/09 to 22/04/10 where income support was paid to me which I was not entitled to. I'd supposedly had an interview with a compliance officer on the 12/05/2010 where it was supposedly discovered I'd been working full time at my employer (basic wage shoe store) from 14.04.09 to 22.04.10. The specialist decision maker decided, based on evidence supplied by the compliance investigation which included my interview that I should not have been entitled to income support. On the 20.10.10 the overpayment was calculated and notified to me in writing. Income dispute guidance states I must dispute a decision within 1 month of the original decision, in this case the original decision date was 20.10.10. The letter then states as the original decision is over the absolute time limits I now need to put in writing the reason why I'm disputing the overpamyent and why this dispute is late; the letter would then be passed on to her Majesty's courts & tribunals service to consider if it will be accepted.
    - I then responded to the above letter, stating I did not receive the original decision letter dated 20.10.10. I presented the facts that I've paid council tax, income tax, held a license etc for the past 8 years so have been 'findable' so why only now have they contacted me re the supposed amounts owed. I have no information about my employment from 2009-10, nor any bank statements or even what bank I belonged to (I was very young at the time). I informed them that I'm more than happy to co-operate if sufficient evidence can be provided to myself and asked for the details of the interview that took place on 12th May 2010, I also requested details of where the overpayments went, i.e. the Bank Account details and name to help me find evidence from my perspective. I sent this letter to Leeds southern house job centre, mail handling site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1RW
    - Come the 02.11.17 and I've had no response so I called a new number 0345 608 8545) and spoke to somebody at the stockport office, who informed me of a new address to send the letter to: Doncaster Benefit Centre, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton.
    - Come today 11.04.18, I receive a letter from DWP stating they have been unable to contact my current employer regarding DEA deductions and can I please advise my payroll dept. to contact DWP to enable the charges to begin......If my employer fails to contact DWP in 14 days they will "seek alternative methods of recover" - any ideas what this means? Again this letter was from Contact Centre traffic, debt management (SF) as per my first ever letter 06.08.17.

    So, I have no evidence or information to really dispute what they are saying, I genuinely cannot remember as it was 8 years ago and my life was extremely hectic at the time (not just busy, other problems). All I'm asking is DWP to provide evidence as to where those payments were made, what was said in the interview from which they made their decision and a schedule of said benefits payments over the period but it seems they cannot or do not have this information.

    I'm not sure of what the next steps are to take, as the DEA is extremely punitive and completely un-affordable based off the calculations table contained within some of the letters I've received. Any advice would be greatly appreciated around what to do next or where I stand with this 'debt'
    Originally posted by nicolafrost
    You've gone from having no recollection of claiming IS to then not really being sure what you were doing at the time. Be careful not to make false declarations to the DWP, especially when compliance has already been involved.

    What are your memories of the time, you must know if you might have been claiming benefits at the time?
    • John-K
    • By John-K 11th Apr 18, 9:40 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 1,024 Thanks
    John-K
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:40 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Apr 18, 9:40 PM
    H
    So, I have no evidence or information to really dispute what they are saying, I genuinely cannot remember as it was 8 years ago and my life was extremely hectic at the time (not just busy, other problems).'
    Originally posted by nicolafrost
    That is, literally unbelievable. No-one is going to believe such a ludicrous claim, and the system, rightly, will not accept such a !!!! and bull story as a way out of your obligations.

    You need to stop with the woe is me, sit down, and work out what you were doing at the time. I can look back on Facebook, at bank statements, at emails, and if I could not remember before, know exactly where I was every week eight years ago.

    Heck, Imcan remember. Once I realise that I had recently started a certain job then I can remember month by month.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 11th Apr 18, 10:13 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,438 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 10:13 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Apr 18, 10:13 PM
    That is, literally unbelievable. No-one is going to believe such a ludicrous claim, and the system, rightly, will not accept such a !!!! and bull story as a way out of your obligations.

    You need to stop with the woe is me, sit down, and work out what you were doing at the time. I can look back on Facebook, at bank statements, at emails, and if I could not remember before, know exactly where I was every week eight years ago.

    Heck, Imcan remember. Once I realise that I had recently started a certain job then I can remember month by month.
    Originally posted by John-K
    I think OP has been reading the Debtfree Wannabe board, they're all about demanding proof and denying everything, even when they're well aware of the debt. I'm surprised statute barred hasn't been mentioned too
    • venison
    • By venison 11th Apr 18, 10:52 PM
    • 2,610 Posts
    • 2,971 Thanks
    venison
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 10:52 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Apr 18, 10:52 PM
    I can't remember what I had for dinner yesterday let alone what I was or wasn't doing 8 years ago, some benefit of the doubt might be an idea here?
    Looking forward to 2019 after a terrible 2018...onwards and upwards
    • NYM
    • By NYM 11th Apr 18, 11:07 PM
    • 3,641 Posts
    • 6,740 Thanks
    NYM
    • #7
    • 11th Apr 18, 11:07 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Apr 18, 11:07 PM
    .....where it was supposedly discovered I'd been working full time at my employer (basic wage shoe store) from 14.04.09 to 22.04.10.

    That should help you to recall where you were working during the relevant time period.....
    • John-K
    • By John-K 12th Apr 18, 7:15 AM
    • 654 Posts
    • 1,024 Thanks
    John-K
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 7:15 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 7:15 AM
    I can't remember what I had for dinner yesterday let alone what I was or wasn't doing 8 years ago, some benefit of the doubt might be an idea here?
    Originally posted by venison
    I donít believe you. There are records that you can access that will jog your memory,photographs, pay slips, emails, and so on.

    Are you honestly trying to tell me that you could not go away now and work out if you were working, and for whom, eight years ago? You genuinely have no way to find out what your employment status was in April 2010?
    • w06
    • By w06 12th Apr 18, 7:44 AM
    • 763 Posts
    • 1,103 Thanks
    w06
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 7:44 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 7:44 AM
    The thing to do is to start at the beginning, how old were you when you left school? And how old are you now? That gives you a year that you left school, and work forwards from there, what did you do immediately after leaving school? And put the pieces together chronologically from there.

    Social media, bank accounts, friends and relatives may be able to help you put the pieces together. I managed to use Facebook to figure exactly when a friend passed her driving test when adding her to my insurance, it has it's uses.

    It sounds as though the DWP have extensive evidence to support their assertions - not least meeting records, if you're wanting to dispute them you will need evidence rather than not being able to remember.


    Good luck
    • Topcat1982
    • By Topcat1982 12th Apr 18, 8:29 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    Topcat1982
    Do you have a CV? Won't it list this shoe shop if you worked there?
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 12th Apr 18, 8:34 AM
    • 3,966 Posts
    • 3,790 Thanks
    poppy12345
    Did you have children in 2010? If so think back to how old they were then, that may get you to remember where you were working at the time.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 12th Apr 18, 9:29 AM
    • 2,452 Posts
    • 3,461 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Do any of these strike a chord. If so do you remember where you were then

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11812211
    • nicolafrost
    • By nicolafrost 12th Apr 18, 5:52 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    nicolafrost
    I kind of knew people would start to think it ludicrous that I couldn't remember.
    I was moving around a lot at the time due to personal problems which I don't want to go into., ALL my records from that time are gone such as payslips, bank statements etc. I cannot remember my email addresses used or which bank I was even with to begin finding out that information - it's not as simple as just simply thinking about it.

    I know where I worked during that time yes, as to my hours I have no clue. The employer was a small independent shoe store that has now gone.

    My basic question is, where do I stand in obtaining evidence (meeting transcripts, schedules of payments to myself) from them which they must have given they are demanding return of supposed income support overpayments. If they can provide evidence of the payments and that the meeting with said compliance officer even occurred (it was 8 years ago, are you telling me you'd genuinely remember a short interview so far back?) and what was discussed in said meeting and I could actually review that evidence, then if it turned out I had been overpaid then yes i'd pay back the debt.

    I'm not trying to run away from it, it's completely ridiculous how some of you say you'd just accept and pay £3,000 to the DWP with no evidence other than the date of a meeting provided to them? are the above posters saying they'd just accept this? be honest.

    All I'm really looking for is next steps as I'm just hitting a brick wall with the DWP - I just want the actual facts as to what the £2,700 is made up of and what occurred in that meeting that triggered the supposed overpayment proceedings. I also fail to understand how it's taken them 8 years to find me when I've been extremely find-able since those years.

    Thanks for those offering help without judging.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 12th Apr 18, 6:11 PM
    • 1,593 Posts
    • 2,561 Thanks
    parkrunner
    If they can provide evidence of the payments and that the meeting with said compliance officer even occurred (it was 8 years ago, are you telling me you'd genuinely remember a short interview so far back?) and what was discussed in said meeting and I could actually review that evidence, then if it turned out I had been overpaid then yes i'd pay back the debt.
    Originally posted by nicolafrost
    Yes without a doubt as it's something very rare. I do agree however that you should be sent exact dates and amounts of the payments and a reason why it's taken so long to get in touch with you.
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Apr 18, 6:16 PM
    • 12,071 Posts
    • 13,910 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    This is all a bit of a mess and I am not sure what happened after you asked them to look at the decision again. Did you make an appeal to a tribunal?

    I think you are going to need some help if you still wish to challenge this. You need to get this help asap as it seems that they are unable to make direct payments from your employer (are you refusing to co operate with this?) The DWP do have other enforcement powers so this will not just 'go away'.

    So make an appointment with CAB. Take any paperwork with you and write a bullet point summary of dates things happened before you go to make it easier to understand.

    The other thing you can do is to make a Subject Access Report to the DWP to get all the paperwork that they hold on you.

    Use this link:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-request-for-personal-information
    • AG47
    • By AG47 12th Apr 18, 6:35 PM
    • 944 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    AG47
    I did not think they would go back more than seven years with this sort of thing?

    Why did it take so long?
    Nothing has been fixed since 2008, it was just pushed into the future
    • nicolafrost
    • By nicolafrost 15th Apr 18, 8:11 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    nicolafrost
    Thanks for the additional responses.

    My next step is to go see CAB when I can to try and at least get somebody to own the issue either there or DWP to try and get me an exact schedule of payments. As I said, if I owe the money fair enough, but to ask for near on £3k with no evidence other than an interview date I'm just not prepared to lay down and accept it - mistakes can and do happen, particularly when DWP/HMRC are involved! I'm just hitting a complete brick wall when I'm trying to get any more additional information.

    I'll fill out a subject access request to the DWP so thank you for that tip.
    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 15th Apr 18, 8:46 PM
    • 4,383 Posts
    • 6,976 Thanks
    Tabbytabitha
    I can't remember what I had for dinner yesterday let alone what I was or wasn't doing 8 years ago, some benefit of the doubt might be an idea here?
    Originally posted by venison
    I wouldn't remember where I was eight years ago today but I'd certainly remember whether I was working or claiming benefits dat that time.
    Last edited by Tabbytabitha; 15-04-2018 at 8:49 PM.
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