Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Overpayment

Hi
Hope someone can help
Have a good friend who makes me smile but recently have received interview under caution note and after that an overpayment letter ( to be paid back immediatly)
DWP are stating that my friend has been living with me from beginning to end of the overpayment period
Problem: my friend is of no fixed abode and has been sofa surfing between family, mine and other friends for the period concerned. I have read that the way to prove that you are NOT living together is to prove use of another home, utility bills etc. etc.
Can't do this as he has no other home, just his family and other friends that can confirm but not prove that he has stayed with them.
Any advice greatly received
Oh and he did stay over at mine on a few occassions to help care for me when I needed the support!

Replies

  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 2,173 Pioneering
    Would ex be able to get letters from the various people has stayed with confirming the temporary arrangements?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • caozziecaozzie Member Posts: 3 Listener
    yes - sent in one letter from his family already but they have ignored that. Thank you for your response
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,591 Disability Gamechanger
    There are three issues to unpack:

    1 - living together as husband and wife.
    2 - recoverable overpayment on the basis of misrepresentation/failure to disclose.
    3 - what is claimed in the interim.

    The answer to 1 swings on multiple factors and not any one thing unless there is another household. The fact he’s homeless does not mean there’s not a household. Where fo his bills go? Where are the majority of his possessions? 

    Outside of that the challenge needs to be explicit about 
    - whether there is a sexual relationship.
    - whether you appear to others as a couple.
    - household arrangements for living, sleeping, eating, bathing, socialising etc.
    - a number of other equally significant factors.

    Detail is your friend. Don’t hold back. Give them everything. Hide nothing.

    You need to get through an MR on 2 ASAP so you can get to appeal. Recovery then stops until the appeal is decided. 

    3 - will depend on which benefit we’re talking about? ESA or UC.

    I would strongly recommend getting advice and assistance with all 3 aspects immediately. 
  • caozziecaozzie Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you so much for your response. Where is the best place to contact for "getting advice and assistance" have tried CAB and they don't appear to be able to help.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 4,114

    Scope community team

    Hi @caozzie

    You may want to give Advice Local a go. :) 
    Online Community Coordinator

    Talk to our chatbot and give us feedback on the community.
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