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TOPIC: Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time?

Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time? 8 years 10 months ago #36927

This is probably going to sound like a strange question.

Around five years ago the Child Element of my wife's Income Support was changed over to Child Tax Credit upon a change in circumstances. This took many weeks for the Inland Revenue to work out and we went without money for the children for around 8 weeks and had to involve the MP. Tax Credit then backdated the money several months (which included a few months when we were actually getting Child Element with my wife's Income Support) so there was an overlap of payment. My wife wanted to get this debt paid straight away and I went to Job Centre Plus to see if we could clear the overpayment with an immediate cheque. It would have been over £1000 but we don't know the exact amount. The lady at the Job Centre said "you can't pay it back until the Overpayments Department contact you themselves, so you'll be able to enjoy the interest on it this Christmas". I believe this was back in 2005 but my memory isn't the greatest. A month later we still hadn't heard anything from the Overpayment Department and we were nervous about having such a large sum sitting in our bank account (incase the Job Centre asked questions or accused me of working or something) but we didn't want to spend the money knowing they could ask for it back at any moment and we would not be able to afford to repay it on a weekly basis; so I telephoned Job Centre and asked to speak directly with someone in the Overpayments Department to try to arrange to pay the money back, they refused to put me through so I explained our situation to the lady on the phone; she said "they will ask you for repayment when they are ready, they have a huge backlog to clear". It seems ridiculous that they would not accept our attempts to return the overpaid money.

Anyway this was around five years ago. Is there a moratorium of time after which they will not be legally able to ask for the overpayment back, or can this be outstanding indefinitely? Also is there a way that I can push them into taking the money so that this is no longer hanging over us. Much as we need the money and would like to use it, we simply cannot do that and risk having them ask for it back as we wouldn't be able to afford repayments.

Snow

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Re:Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time? 8 years 10 months ago #36929

From what I can gather from your post, prima facie it appears to be an official error overpayment.

Before I can give a definitive answer however, could you please confirm the change of circumstances which gave rise to the transfer from the child additions payable with Income Support to Child Tax Credit, and were the DWP notified at the appropriate time of the change of circs?

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Re:Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time? 8 years 10 months ago #36930

  • pata1
Hi Snowbird,

I'm afraid that it's impossible for us to provide advice on individual claims.

In any event, as moderators our expertise is limited to queries on sickness and disability benefits, i.e. IB/ESA and DLA/AA.

See FAQ

You need to seek 'face to face advice'. Your local CAB may be able to assist you, or contact Community Legal Advice who can provide details of advisers in your local area.

Hope this helps.

Pat

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Last edit: by pata1. Reason: Corrected typo

Re: Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time? 8 years 10 months ago #36931

  • Survivor
These are not benefits that we advise on.

However, it would be worth your while to get one-to-one advice on this, as the usual time limits for suing someone do not apply as there are specific provsions for recovering various benefits debts, including recovering them through future benefits payments, and it is also possible to get benefits debts written off.

It may also be worth going to your MP for help getting them written off, but if it were me, I'd get detailed advice first.

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Re: Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time? 8 years 10 months ago #36932

  • Survivor
It looks like we've all tackled this question at once!

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Re: Overpayment outstanding, moratorium of time? 8 years 10 months ago #36934

Hi Pat and Survivor,

Normally I would have taken the same approach as both of you in these circumstances, but if the OP wishes to give the information that I have asked for, I think the enquiry can be dealt with succinctly and quickly.

Regards,

CD

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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Moderators: GordonGaryBIS