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Won appeal - but owe money, can they take it

allybongo221allybongo221 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited September 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
hi everyone my partner recently won her pip apeal. i have worked out she is owed over 8000 pounds but she owas dwp money from 10 yearsago and i dont want them to take all this money towards it. i need to provide information on how this would lead to hardship and am looking for any help i can get to streanthen my case.  in april this year a similar thing happened with her backdated esa money.

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,631 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @allybongo221
    Welcome to the community! I am unsure how to advise as I have not had any experience with this however another member of the community may be able to help you and will be in contact with you soon :) 
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    allybongo221,
    Do you know what the money is that your partner owes to the DWP? For example, is it a social fund loan, or an overpayment?

    The broad answer for overpayment recovery (other than tax credits) is that the DWP usually want to take it from arrears of benefit exactly as you fear.

    In order to prevent this from happening or at least ensure your partner gets some of the arrears you'd have to look at the big picture. Are you trying to get the overpayment completely written off, or does your partner agree that she has to pay it back but wants to do that more slowly?

    If she has been put in hardship by waiting all this time for her PIP, does that means that she owes friends or family money? If so, explain this & give as much proof as you can. Explain why she needs the arrears (or at least some of them) to avoid hardship. If her disability is relevant to this, then say so. For example, she has had the extra costs of disability all this time, so it is arguably unjust to use arrears of her PIP to pay a DWP debt when everyday living costs are not the purpose of PIP. The whole point is that a PIP award recognises she has problems with the activities of daily living/mobility which could incur extra costs (although she can spend her ongoing PIP on whatever she wishes to spend it on). 

    I can't immediately see a disability discrimination argument here but it really does depend what the overpayment was as well, so it may be worth mentioning the purpose of PIP when you make your case.

    It is possible for the DWP to completely write off overpayments on the grounds of hardship, but it is very unusual. As it was 10 years ago it would be out of time to challenge the decision on the recoverability of the overpayment, I'm afraid. So it is all at the DWP's discretion.

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • atlas46atlas46 Member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi @allybongo221 & @BenefitsTrainingCo

    Just have a few thoughts, to put to you both.

    Concerning the 10 year old debt.

    The DWP had two ways of collecting this debt.

    1. Issues court proceeding, by a debt collection agency.

    However, the Statue of Limitations Act applies in this case. That is the DWP is Statue Barred after 6 years, following the date of the debt arising, in your instance 10 years ago.

    2. Claim back from future benefits in payment, there is no time limit.

    However  the DWP will know that certain benefits, cannot be used for recovery of overpayments.

    As we all know PIP is disregarded or exempt for counting as income and the like.

    Sadly the DWP cannot and should not attempt to claim any back pay from your partners PIP claim.

    I suggest you contact The National Debtl Helpline 0808 808 4000, this is a charity and it is free, to confirm that DWP cannot touch the PIP back pay.

    Will in your capacity as a welfare rights advisor, no doubt you may wish to contact DWP "Debt Management" team on 0800 916 0647 to confirm same, so you can confirm this to @allybongo221.

    Please let me know if I can assist any further.
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    atlas46 said:
    However  the DWP will know that certain benefits, cannot be used for recovery of overpayments.

    As we all know PIP is disregarded or exempt for counting as income and the like.

    Sadly the DWP cannot and should not attempt to claim any back pay from your partners PIP claim.

    Well things must have changed when DLA ceased and PIP started back in 2013.

    For quite a few years I had a small debt (overpayment of IB). After refusing to repay it initially, they started to deduct it from my DLA at the rate of £5 a week.
    This went on for just over a year until the debt was cleared

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