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  1. #1
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Potential overpayment of HB

    Hi

    Maybe one for @Debt Camel

    Can an overpayment of HB be included in BR

    Situation is

    I used to get HB and DLA/ESA. The DLA and ESA ended and so did HB but I told the Local Authority that as I still had Limited Capability for work - which I thought i did, the ESA payments were stopped because I was a student , they continued to make payments for two years.

    They have now stopped HB and I have a feeling from the tone of the letter they will be seeking an overpayment of well over 5K

    It seems that what the DWP could have done is mark my ESA as in non payment but continued to credit NI contributions but they didn't

    I have now made a claim for UC with a request it be backdated to when my original ESA was stopped, based on the fact it was stopped incorrectly

    I really could do without all the crap as I am starting my final year and will struggle to survive without help from others if I don't get HB
    Last edited by Amethyst; 9th October 2017 at 18:27:PM. Reason: fixed tag for ya xxx
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
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    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  2. #2
    Wylderose's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    Quote Originally Posted by warwick65 View Post
    Hi

    I used to get HB and DLA/ESA. The DLA and ESA ended and so did HB but I told the Local Authority that as I still had Limited Capability for work - which I thought i did, the ESA payments were stopped because I was a student , they continued to make payments for two years.

    They have now stopped HB and I have a feeling from the tone of the letter they will be seeking an overpayment of well over 5K
    1. When did ESA end?
    2. When did you get your last payment of Housing Benefit?
    3. Did you have a student exemption for council tax?
    4. When did you inform the LA that your ESA had ended - do you have any record of this?
    5. Who continued to make payments for 2 years, the LA, DWP or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by warwick65 View Post
    It seems that what the DWP could have done is mark my ESA as in non payment but continued to credit NI contributions but they didn't
    The only time DWP mark ESA as in non-payment is if there is an ongoing entitlement review. Otherwise it is "in pay" or "ended"

    Quote Originally Posted by warwick65 View Post
    I really could do without all the crap as I am starting my final year and will struggle to survive without help from others if I don't get HB
    I assume you are at Universty?

    OK a potential overpayment of HBen is not the end of the world as if there is an overpayment you will be offered an opportunity to provide proof of your income over the overpayment period that would mitigate and perhaps reduce the overpayment.

    Give us a few more details as above and I may be able to help

  3. #3
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    Thank you for your comments I have tried to answer below

    Quote Originally Posted by Wylderose View Post
    1. When did ESA end? Mayish 2015
    2. When did you get your last payment of Housing Benefit? About 3 weeks ago
    3. Did you have a student exemption for council tax? YES
    4. When did you inform the LA that your ESA had ended - do you have any record of this? The only records I think I have are when they reassessed my HB each Oct when the new student finance year started
    5. Who continued to make payments for 2 years, the LA, DWP or both? The LA



    The only time DWP mark ESA as in non-payment is if there is an ongoing entitlement review. Otherwise it is "in pay" or "ended"
    This is not what I was told by the guy from the ESA call centre in Sheffield - he told me that when my DLA ended it could have been marked so that I got NI credits . this was also confirmed by disability rights uk. Effectively it wouldn't be ESA but it would continue my LCW


    I assume you are at Universty? Yes final year of a 4 year full time degree
    I also have letters from the then chief exec saying his staff were unaware of the legislation, this was two years ago when they first tried to stop payment

    It is not ESA per se I am after , it is the LCW tag which would trigger entitlement to HB. The LA knew, from the time the payments for ESA stopped that they had ceased. They are trying to hang it on me because I told them I was appealing my PIP but didn't tell them that it had failed. To be honest it was only a couple of months ago that I decided not to follow the appeal through after being refused leave to appeal to the UtT

    I am trying to get the paperwork together to apply to the University access to learning fund and as i said I have today applied for PIP again

    What I have found difficult with PIP is that mostly my OH makes sure I eat etc so it is difficult to be objective when answering the questions however he is buggering off to central america for nearly 3 weeks so I will be able to have a better idea of what food I eat . Sadly, my understanding now is that taking nutrition and preparing a meal have been defined by the UtT as eating any old crap so if I had three bowls of cornflakes a day or beans on toast they would say i could cook a meal.
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
    Any advice is offered without liability
    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  4. #4
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    Sorry for the rant , I find it so distressing. The fact i am at University seems to be used against me - if I can do a degree I must be able to manage my medication and cook a meal

    The last judge even said because he could manage his medication i should be able to - I say Judge but he was a jumped up solicitor dragged from a city nearish by but probably took him an hour to get to sunny Nunny


    There are other reasons why I am a little worried about it all and they are why I have always been honest with them about the income I have from student finance.
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
    Any advice is offered without liability
    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  5. #5
    Wylderose's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    My apologies on the ESA - when I access DWP files, I only see if ESA is in pay, not in pay or suspended. I don't have access into the actual background details of the claimant files.

    OK so you will have your student exemption for CTax again for the next tax year - so either way that is one weight off your shoulders until June next year.

    On a conventional LA claim, PIP should not affect your HB as although this gives you extra benefits for CTax, it is not counted as income for HBen. However to qualify for UC as a student it appears that you have to Limited Capability for Work marker and PIP or DLA in pay.

    One of the changes that came through in April this year was that the Limited Capability for Work element was no longer available for people who claimed UC/ESA on or after 03/04/17. It was part of the government's drive to make ESA pay the same rate as JSA and it filtered through to full service UC areas as well. This will mean that this may no longer be available to you.

    Our LA is not full service as yet, so for people who fail the UC gateway, (are not accepted for UC for one reason or another) we are allowed to re-instate them on LA claims. This may also be an option for you but depending on the value of your student loans for this year, you may receive little or no HBen during the term time.

    Irrespective of whether you can or can't get your housing costs paid via UC or a conventional LA Benefit claim, if you are really struggling to meet the costs of your rent, you an always apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. This is available through your LA even if you receive UC. LA's will always try to protect your tenancy, especially if you receive UC and cannot get the full HB element

    As for your potential over payment, try not to worry about this until such time as it actually happens. If it is that you get an overpayment, you will get a statement of reason with your benefits notification. You should also get a letter offering underlying entitlement which should state what sort of information/proofs are required that may reduce the overpayment

  6. #6
    Debt Camel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    Quote Originally Posted by warwick65 View Post
    Can an overpayment of HB be included in BR
    yes provided it has been assessed (ie they have told you that you owe £54321,76, not just said there will be an overpayment) and it is not being treated as fraud.

    It could also go into a DRO - but I don't know how large your other debts are?

    Have you talked to your uni's student advisers? they are usually very good with benefit queries and there are all sorts of wrinkles with benefits for students.

  7. #7
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    Quote Originally Posted by Debt Camel View Post
    yes provided it has been assessed (ie they have told you that you owe £54321,76, not just said there will be an overpayment) and it is not being treated as fraud.

    It could also go into a DRO - but I don't know how large your other debts are?

    Have you talked to your uni's student advisers? they are usually very good with benefit queries and there are all sorts of wrinkles with benefits for students.
    A DRO would be no good for me , yes I have talked to the SU, we are on first name terms. The problems seem to be that the area is extremely complex and no one is able to fit it all together and that includes the DWP and the council. I am also exploring other possibilities for funding.

    Here is a question for you- would a SB debt have to be included in a DRO or BR as by the time this could become a problem most of my debt will be SB
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
    Any advice is offered without liability
    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  8. #8
    Debt Camel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential overpayment of HB

    All debts are automatically included in bankruptcy unless they are student loans or one of the other rare sort that can't be. SB or not, doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter if you miss one off the application it is still included.

    For a DRO it is more difficult. The advice is to list any SB debts if you will still be under the 20k limit. Otherwise you may have to try quite hard to get the DRO adviser to leave a SB debt off -unless the creditor has confirmed it is statute barred or something like that.

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