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Benefits Overpayment


I'm a District Councillor who is helping my friend Robert with a benefits problem he is having.

Robert has a learning disability and has been in receipt of benefits for a long period of time.

Sometime in 2002 Robert completed a benefit form which would normally have been completed by the Mental Health team. The information Robert supplied led to an increase in his benefits as he became entitled to Severe Disability Premium.

In 2004 it appears that Roberts case was reviewed and it was felt that he was not entitled to this increase and since then he has been paying back the overpayment in installments. This outstanding bill is still in the region of £8,000!

A couple of years ago Robert's sister felt that he should be entitled to Severe Disability Payment and applied on his behalf. This application was accepted and Robert is now in receipt of this higher payment.

This probably means that Robert was always entitled to this higher payment.

If that is the case then Roberts overpayment could be unfair and undue. Does this make sense?

I have organised a meeting between Robert and the vulnerable team lead at our local Job Centre which did not resolve the issue and this led to a meeting which I attended with Robert at the CAB. We were advised that the only option available to Robert was to apply for a Debt Relief Order which would cancel the debt after 12 months.

I would like for someone to take a look at Robert's case to find out whether he was indeed entitled to the payments that the DWP are disputing. It feels wrong that he could be paying back money he might have been entitled to.

The difficulty is the amount of time which has passed and that any time to appeal or apply for reconsideration has long passed. This appears to be the reason I am being given why no help is available.

Could someone please advise on this matter?

Is there any route in which we could request that this case be looked at in detail by the DWP?

Kind regards,

Wes, supporting Robert


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