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PIP backpay going to dwp debt management for overpaid benefits?

PrincessRubyPrincessRuby Member Posts: 26 Connected
Hi, I’m new here and this is my first post and really hoping somebody/anybody can shed some light for me?
I had my PIP telephone assessment this morning, hoping for a good result. 
Before I ring next week and get my report sent out to me, I need to ask a question about (at the moment) a hypothetical question.
Last year I was overpaid my ESA payments due to a lapse in payments and my husband starting full time employment - I did phone the DWP and tell them he was starting work etc but the “advisor” never put it on the system!!
Now I’m not in receipt of any benefits, my question is about potential PIP backpay as I applied back in November so hoping I’ll be awarded what I’m entitled to. Will this money be sent to the DWP debt management team to clear the debt? 
Also, does it matter that my ESA claim stopped in October and I applied for PIP in the November so they don’t overlap at all?
Really hope that makes sense and someone can advise me! 

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,159 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi 

    In answer sometimes it is the case that back pay will go to debt management and be used to clear the debt . Whether they are allowed to do this is another matter ? But they do sometimes try 

    Have you had any contact about paying the money back or have any agreed payment plan ? 


  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,749 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @PrincessRuby i'm not clear was the ESA just in your husbands name?
    As @janer1967 says its really unclear if they can or can't do what they might want to and use the money to repay the debt, although it is clear that at some point it will have to be repaid, I've seen examples of where they have done this 20 years after the over-payment.
    Personally my view would be that should your PIP claim succeed it might be a good idea to clear the over payment anyway.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • PrincessRubyPrincessRuby Member Posts: 26 Connected
    Hi, 
    Thank-you so much for your reply.
    Yes, I’ve got a payment plan in place and currently looking into a DRO (which the debt management team are aware of). 
    I know I’m still a long way off getting the outcome for the assessment this morning, but due to my anxiety I try and find out everything before the worst happens, so I can hopefully get some form of plan together. 
  • PrincessRubyPrincessRuby Member Posts: 26 Connected
    Hi @woodbine
    ESA, I was the main claimant and my husband was my partner on the claim. 
    I’m hoping they don’t try and take it as I have zero income now myself, so would be relying heavily on it. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,749 Disability Gamechanger
    A DRO would be the nuclear option to get out of debt with the DWP and it has it's limits and limitations, it will also trash your credit history for at least six years, you need to get some serious advice before entering a DRO 
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,159 Disability Gamechanger
    They wont stop anything from your PIP payments if you get an award just from back pay 

    Did you challenge the overpayment as if it was their error or may not be recoverable have you had any expert advice from welfare rights 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,980 Disability Gamechanger
    Is there some reason you haven't challenged the recoverability of the ESA in the first place? If you're within 13 months of that decision and, as you say, you made a declaration then you have a case for challenging the recoverability and should do so. That would end other aspects of this discussion. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,749 Disability Gamechanger
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,980 Disability Gamechanger
    Largely UC, new-style JSA/ESA and duplication of payments. The rest they have no chance on. Always worth remembering that's guidance though. Guidance is not the law.  
  • PrincessRubyPrincessRuby Member Posts: 26 Connected
    I never challenged the overpayment, as I thought because as I was overpaid (even though I alerted them of the change) I still owed the money. 
    I’ve had advise through a debt charity for debts (as this isn’t the only debt owed) through poor financial decisions when my depression got seriously out of control a couple of years back unfortunately. 
    I haven’t contacted welfare rights, but I will be doing judging by some of the comments about challenging the overpayment. 
    I’m hoping the PIP backpay (assuming I get what I’m entitled to) doesn’t get swallowed by the debt management department of the DWP. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,980 Disability Gamechanger
    Start with this tool. https://advicelocal.uk/

    DWP may try to claw back arrears via the lump sum but they cannot do so if an agreement is place and you should very much look at challenging recoverability. It does not follow that because you have been overpaid you must always pay it back. It certainly doesn't when you made a declaration. 
  • PrincessRubyPrincessRuby Member Posts: 26 Connected
    edited February 18
    @mikehughescq thanks for the link! 
    I have a repayment plan in place if that’s the agreement you mean?
    I’ll definitely be looking in to challenging it!
  • kezdarekezdare Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Start with this tool. https://advicelocal.uk/

    DWP may try to claw back arrears via the lump sum but they cannot do so if an agreement is place and you should very much look at challenging recoverability. It does not follow that because you have been overpaid you must always pay it back. It certainly doesn't when you made a declaration. 
    Hi all - I'm dealing with a very similar case and wondered if anyone knows if there is any legal basis for the DWP not being allowed to automatically put a backdate payment towards arrears when there is already an agreement in place, or whether it is just not the ''done'' thing? All suggestions will be checked so doesn't need to be perfect advice. Thank you in advance!
  • kezdarekezdare Member Posts: 2 Listener
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