Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA overpayment

Hi. Can you please help ? I have had a letter to say I have been overpaid by nearly £12,000 , I did phone to say my circumstances had changed, I got married and had my pension due to ill health , I have multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, even though I phoned the lady on the phone said it was fine as I had paid into the system and it was a work related benefit, after some time I had a letter and phoned the compliance officer who wrote to me and said it could be mistake as some staff are not as experienced as others , and not to worry , however I had another letter saying the same thing and phoned compliance officer again , he said because I didn't get a fine it didn't look like freud and sometimes the mistake on their side , however Iam still left with this bill, I receive PIP  and a monthly pension of about £1000, please can you advice or put me on the right track, Iam feeling sick and scared regarding this ,please any help greatfully received
Phil 

Replies

  • janice_in_wonderlandjanice_in_wonderland Member Posts: 265 Pioneering
    Hello Phil 
    I am sorry to read your experience 
    I suggest you ask SCOPE staff rather than the public for help 

    However, I would add a friend had a similar experience many years ago 

    The law may have since changed but as it is not your error as you informed them you are within your rights to complain 

    Please try focus on the fact that you are innocent 

    I hope this helps support you a little bit as reassurance can help well being 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    HI and welcome,

    Firstly, may i ask how much ESA you've been receiving? And how long you've been receiving the pension?

    With a monthly pension of £1,000 even with Contributions based ESA your pension would have reduced the amount of ESA you were entitled to. This is because any pension of more than £85 per week reduces your ESA by 50p for every £1 over £85.

    Did you tell them about your pension when you first started claiming it?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    May i also ask that you have proof that you rang them and told them about the pension?
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • phildb123phildb123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you for your support and comments, unfortunately I don't have proof of when i phoned them ,but will look back at my phone bill to see if I can find some dates ,I phoned in may 2017 the same time I had my pension and diagnosed with cancer , I think I roughly received about £75 a week but don't hold mé to that  and having it from may , I know some people try it on but Iam 100% innocent and obviously in a right pickle 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You say you’ve been claiming ESA from May, will that be 2019? Sorry but it’s not clear when exactly you started claiming the ESA. May I also ask which group you are in? 

    PIP isn’t means tested so your pension won’t affect that. 

    I would also advise you to take all of your paperwork to an advice agency near you for some expert face to face advice. Its extremely difficult to give further advice on an Internet forum because we can’t see any paperwork. 
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • phildb123phildb123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Sorry , ESA may 2017  yes I will go to CAB  ,thanks anyway 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @phildb123! Please do let us know how you get on and if there is anything else we can do to help. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • phildb123phildb123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you ,it's so stressful, it's making me feel ill, 8 know burying my head in the sand won't help ,but I feel like ignoring it, I think sometimes I would rather go to court and prison because I don't know what to do , and talking to what feels like a non sympathetic kid on the phone doesn't help 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Proof of contacting DWP regarding the change of circumstances will be a good start. Some calls are recorded but not all of them are.

    You say you worked all your life but claiming Contributions based ESA is based on your NI Contributions in the 2 years prior to your claim that count. Are you still receiving payments for your ESA or did they stop?

    As your pension is £1000 per month then you should have been receiving a deduction at least because that amount is more than £85 per week.

    £12,000 is a lot of money is that just for ESA or for another benefit as well? If it's just for ESA are they saying all of the money that you received is an overpayment?

    So many question to ask that could potentially take a very long time to advise you and face to face advice is definitely needed here. Put your postcode into this link and it will tell you what advice centre is local to you for that advice.


    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • phildb123phildb123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I have no proof of contacting them ,I tried going through my mobile bills but it doesn't go back that far unfortunately,I have worked for over 32 years and finished on ill health 2017 , I started claiming ESA in 2017 may and is the only benefit ,I am not receiving ESA and haven't Sence 2/7 /19,so from 30th may 2017 to 1/7/19
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    We could be here all night trying to work it out because I can’t see any paperwork it’s impossible. 

    Hopefully some face to face advice will give you some answers but without proof that you reported the changes it will be very difficult to prove you did. Unless the call you made was recorded by DWP. I’m assuming that you didn’t receive a letter about the changes you reported? 
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • phildb123phildb123 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I know and appreciate everything and will go to CAB, but thank you anyway ,a compliance officer did say because I didn't get fined they don't believe it was Fraud and more likely to be fault on their side , great hey  
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. If it was an error from DWP then you should not have to repay the over payment back.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for answering @poppy123456. I hope things sort out soon @phildb123. :)
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    Scope

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