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HELP!! They say I owe £1142!!!!!

(32 Posts)
tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 10:22:12

I got a letter this morning from DWP and they say that they have paid me too much IS from Aug 03 to March 04, as I was paid CTC and IS for the same period which as they were provided for same purpose I was only entitled to one!!! They apologise as they say I may not be to blame but the law says they need to recover the money!!

I was told I was entitled to CTC whilst on IS, and no one has pointed out I shouldnt have it when Ive been to CAB or Job Centre to see Lone Parent Deal Advisor. Please help me, cos I cant afford to pay that back!!!

wobblystarryknicks Fri 28-Jan-05 10:26:47

tb - i'm currently getting CTC and IS and no-one's said that I shouldn't be. Best thing is go to see Lone Parent Advisor or, if you can, your tax credit office and give them hell. There is a form you can fill in that basically says that because you thought you were entitled to it and had no reason not to think so, that they shouldn't be able to claim the money back.

wobblystarryknicks Fri 28-Jan-05 10:27:54

They also don't have a clue what they're doing which doesn't help, I've had letters telling me out of the blue that my tax credits will be stopped but have phoned up to find they know nothing about it and say everything's fine!!!

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 10:28:46

Ive had those problems before. Do you think its worth ringing them up, or just go straight to CAB and ask?

Evesmama Fri 28-Jan-05 10:29:40

tell them you will pay back a pound a week adn they should be grateful for that seeing as its their cock up doing similar to us at min, sending us extra checks, then taking them back again and more from dp's wage

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 10:32:19

Ive just worked out the period theyre on about they paid me too much was when I had just split up with my ex. I rang all the benefits up straight away and told them that we werent together anymore, and exp wasnt giving me maintenance at that time.

aloha Fri 28-Jan-05 10:32:35

Call them first. Don't offer to pay anything back. They make zillions of mistakes. If you don't feel happy with the reply then go to the CAB.

wobblystarryknicks Fri 28-Jan-05 10:37:51

Its their mistake so even if they have overpaid you, if you reasonably thought everything was fine, then you should be able to keep the payments. Try phoning them up but going to see someone usually moves things faster.

StealthMouse Fri 28-Jan-05 10:40:07

Call them, they are entitled to reclaim the moeny but I think in special circumstances they may not reclaim the money, my advice would be to cry and wail a lot. Sob that you don't know what to do and that you don't have any money, how can I pay it back etc

The woman will then probalby explain that there is some procedure for them to assess your abilitty to pay it back or something and how much you can afford. They might make you pay it back £2 a week but chances are you might not have to pay it back at all - although of course I don't want to give you false hope as they are entitled to reclaim the money

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 10:42:41

I just figured something out. When did IS change so that they dont cover the CTC element? Because before that I got about £90 for both me and dd, then IS changed so I only got £50 for me, then I started getting CTC for dd.

Evesmama Fri 28-Jan-05 10:46:54

honey, i didnt even look at the name then
tell the buggers to come and see me, ill sort em out

wobblystarryknicks Fri 28-Jan-05 10:49:05

stealthmouse - I'm not trying to argue because I only know the little I've picked up but as far as I understand it, they've introduced something where you have to fill in a form declaring you had no idea you were being overpaid and cannot pay it back, then that means they're not entitled to claim anything back.

StealthMouse Fri 28-Jan-05 10:56:37

wsk - didn't realise that.

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 10:59:21

do you know where i could find out about that wobbly?

wobblystarryknicks Fri 28-Jan-05 13:12:25

tb, someone put a link to it on MN a while back, it should be in a thread on tax credits. But I think it was somewhere on the tax credit or DWP website. Sorry if thats not very helpful, if no-one finds it I'll find it tonight but am just dashing off to see IR myself so can't do much atm.

MummytoSteven Fri 28-Jan-05 14:40:28

tb - i did a post on it a while back (the one wk was mentioning) - so if you search under mummytosteven you should find it - you can also find some info on this on the bbc web site IIRC

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 19:36:18

hey mts, do you know which topic you posted it in, there are so many to get through.

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 19:44:47

oh i found the news page on bbc website, and where i can get the forms. will go to CAB first on Monday and double check before i start sending off the forms. Thanks everyone

munnzieb Fri 28-Jan-05 19:53:55

all ok now hon?

wobblystarryknicks Fri 28-Jan-05 20:05:31

Glad you found the forms, sorry i didn't have enough time to look them up before but thaey should sort it out for you.

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 20:07:25

thats ok wobbly, wouldnt have known about them if it wasnt for you

hey munnzieb, not stressing so much now. cant do much til monday now, but going to go CAB and double check everything is ok and that Ive got the right forms and that, and see if they can find out what dwp is on about. quite surprised at how calm i am, although i am now worrying about dp as he has threatened to quit his job!

munnzieb Fri 28-Jan-05 20:14:36

well one problem at a time hon, would it be of more benifit if he did quit?

merglemergle Fri 28-Jan-05 20:22:38

1. They are NOT entitled to this money back if it occured as a result of official error, ie their fault. It is official error if you told them about it and they failed to note it/amend records. From what you said, this is exactly what happened. This could also apply if you were wrongly advised eg by the Lone Parent Advisor.

2. They may well actually have a record of this conversation. The letter from them may say as much.

3. These are standard letters. Has it been sent out by Debt Recovery/Overpayments or similar, rather than your local DWP? They often try to recover when they know perfectly well that they are not entitled to.

4. Appeal the decision. If possible get help from a CAB as they are independent of the DWP, unlike the Lone Parent Advisor. The CAB might be able to come with you to appeal (if it gets that far, which it shouldn't), I doubt very much a Lone Parent Advisor can, as they are effectively appealing their employer's decision. You need a form GL24, the CAB should have stocks but if not, the Jobcentre should.

5. It is unlikely to go against you but if it does, you should be able to repay at around 2.85 (can't recall exact current figures) per week.

6. If you end up at appeal it will probably be because they have no record of the phone call. You can substantiate your arguement by producing a telephone bill for the date on which you called the DWP. Ultimately it will come down to whether the Tribunal believe you to be a reliable witness.

7. They should NOT start recover while appeal is underway-ie from time they log GL24 to time appeal is decided (or matter conceeded by them). If they try to recover then call them and point this out.

8. Ask for an appeal not a review/reconsideration as this just makes life easier-with an appeal they give you a review anyway, but you automatically go to a tribunal if they don't award it on review-just makes everything a bit smoother and less chance to go wrong.

HTH.

tammybear Fri 28-Jan-05 20:26:13

wow merglemergle. thanks! Got all my papers out from the time they say Ive been overpaid, and it all looks fine to me. The letter I got today is from debt management, has dwp in top left corner but it isnt my local one. Will definetly go to CAB on Monday Thanks again

merglemergle Fri 28-Jan-05 20:27:02

Also probably better not to speak to them as they will make a record of this and could use it as evidence at your appeal.

I really think-get advice and help. Its quite possible that this can be resolved quite quickly.

DEFINATELY don't offer them money or fill in a sheet with your income/expenditure. Put in the appeal, based on what you have said you have a pretty good case.

Also CTC/IS-as far as I know,you shouldn't have been moved onto CTC unless there was a change of circumstances eg partner moving out? Certainly I have plenty of clients who have not been moved. But this might vary across the country.

And if the CAB is no good, try a Law Centre or independent advice centre-look in the yellow pages or on your council's website.

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