Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder sarahj22 Novitiate

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    Default Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    Hiya I have asked a few questions for my friend before who has been prosecuted for benefit fraud.
    The DWP had originally made a decision that she had been lining with a partner from July 05 to July 09. The council took her to court where even the defence said they didn't have enough evidence to get a conviction for the 4 year so they came to an agreement of 7 months and she pleaded guilty to this and received her punishment.

    When the origonal decision came through she appealed it straight away but never heard a thing. Today she has received papers for a tribunal hearing saying they re looked at the case and still decided she was overpaidicon for the 4 years. This second decision was made before she went to court but they never sent her any letters saying this even tho there is a copy of them with the papers she got today.

    So my question is as the defence admitted they didn't have enough evidence to prove she was living with a partner during the dates the DWP decided dose she have a good case to get the desertion changed to the same dates that her conviction in court was based on.
    I'm a little miffed as to how the DWP think they have got a strong enough case to say she was guilty and has been overpaidicon when the defense quite clearly doesn't agree otherwise they would have taken it to crown court and pushed for the full amount.

    Thanks for any advise.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder jabba jones Informative jabba jones Informative jabba jones Informative jabba jones Informative

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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    The court decision is based on what is beyond reasonable doubt & the benefit decision is based on probability.

    She has been prosecuted for the period that can be proved beyond doubt, however this doesn't change the benefit decision & the full overpaymenticon period will stand pending the appeal.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder sarahj22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    Oh I see, Thanks for that information. It's gets me so mad tho that they can lump someone with a huge debt based purely on probability.
    I know she was not living with a partner for the time they are saying tho so I suppose that's why it angers me so much
    I just wounder how many other people they do this to and get it totally wrong.

    Have you any idea how these tribunal things work. Will she be able to call whiteness and provide documents and letters proving her side.

    Are they also based on probability or proper facts ??


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    A tribunal will apply the law to the facts and the decision is made upon the balance of probability of which of those facts are correct.

    That letter about the tribunal hearing - is it from DWP advising they have made a decision and it is going to tribunal or is the letter from the Tribunal Service?

    I ask because, if the first tier tribunal have already made a determination, she can only appeal against that decision to the upper tier tribunal on a point of law.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder sarahj22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    Hiya the letter is from DWP. It says it's a copy of the appeal papers and a copy has been sent to the tribunals service who will get in touch with her to explain what happens next.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    That's fine.

    What will happen next is she will be sent forms from the Tribunals Service about the appeal. They will ask if she wants an oral hearing or a paper hearing. It will also ask her to provide any further evidence she has in support of her appeal to them - she should send photocopies of any documents which support her appeal in good time.

    If she chooses a paper appeal, all of the papers she has received from DWP in addition to any evidence she sends to the tribunal will be considered and a decision made on the basis of all of the facts on the balance of probabilities whether he was living there for the 4 years or for less.

    If she chooses an oral appeal, they will still look at all of the paper evidence but there is also the opportunity for her and her representative (if she has one) to attend and she can answer any questions the tribunal may have to clarify the facts at hand. The tribunal do play an inquisitive role and she will be asked a lot of questions but it's not as formal as a court hearing. Once they are finished gathering all the information they require they will ask all parties to leave the room. Again, a decision would be made on the basis of all of the facts on the balance of probabilities (whether it was more likely than not) that he was living there for the period in question. They will call all parties back in and announce their decision - in most cases. In some cases, you don't get the decision on the day and have to await a written notice of the decision. Either way the decision will always be confirmed in writing.

    It's quite common for appeals to be suspended pending the outcome of criminal proceedings for a related case.

    As Jabba has explained, the standard of proof in criminal law is beyond all reasonable doubt meaning that if there is any doubt whatsoever, the case cannot be proven. In civil law, the standard of proof is much lower, on the balance of probabilities meaning they just need to show it is more likely than not.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
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    If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post






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  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder sarahj22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    Thanks for that info I will pass it on.

    As she has already been to court she will not be taken to court again will she.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    Not for this offence, no. Even if they decide on the balance of probabilities that she was overpaidicon for the full 4 years. The civil case is completely seperate to the criminal case and one will not affect the other.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
    (exceptions for prior authorisation)


    If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post






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  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder sarahj22 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Going to tribunal after court for benefit fraud

    Thank you very much for your help you have been a great help



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