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I have been on contribution based ESA since Oct of 2009 because of sickness from work due to cancer. I had already taken a partial retirement and receiving 75% of pension. I finally retired from work on 30 March 2010. My pension therefore increased to 100%. I notified JC+ by sending my pension statement which clearly stated my annual pension at the top. In a footnote at the bottom it stated Future Payment 24 April 2010 £xxx much smaller than the monthly payment as it was only the amount of the new pension beginning 1 April I.E. for 24 days. I never received this sum as my payment also included a week or so at the previous rate.
JC+ interpreted this as my monthly pension for the whole of the year and set the deduction from my benefit accordingly. Maybe I should have spotted this at the time, but although I have looked up how to calculate benefit and am quite numerate (I used to teach accounts), I have never managed to understand at how JC+ arrive at their figures. I therefore assumed that they would have used to annual pension figure not the 24 day one.
They now want the overpayment back. I have only just figured out what had happened after speaking to JC+ and getting their figures and had no way of knowing how they had arrived at their deduction. I am considering an appeal, but someone told me I must prove it the mistake is wholly theirs.
I am not disputing the amount as I cannot calculate what I should have received.
Cagger since : Feb 2011
Posts : 7,738 (3.52 post per day)
Re: ESA Overpayment
I think the following may help you work out what you should've received and maybe how thye came to their decision:
If you receive contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance and have a gross pension income of more than £85 a week, the amount of benefit payable will be reduced by half of the excess.
The excess is the difference between £85 and the actual pension income. For example, for a pension income of £100, the excess is £15. The amount of Employment and Support Allowance payable is reduced by half of that, which is £7.50.
Cagger since : Dec 2010
Posts : 1,022 (0.45 post per day)
Re: ESA Overpayment
You just have to prove that you gave them enough information for them to reasonably have been able to make the correct calculation. It doesn't matter if you noticed it or not. If you gave them all the relevant info then the overpayment would be official error and you should appeal. However, the way you describe the pension statement suggests some ambiguity - was the annual pension figure you would be receiving on the pension statement clearly? If it was then you have a good case for appeal.
Cagger since : Jul 2011
Posts : 2 (0.00 post per day)
Re: ESA Overpayment
Thanks honeybee. I have asked for a review and written details. Awaiting their reply.
Thanks a lot Nystagmite, I now know how they have got it so wrong!
Thanks leemack. Yes the annual pension is clearly and unambiguously on the the statement they received. I quote "Your annual Pension will be - 2010/2011" followed by the amount. Below that is a table of details of April's pension. Woking backwards it appears they have taken the monthly pension for April as the basis of their calculation. Not factoring in that this refers to a one off of three weeks at the new rate and one at the previous year's (lower) rate; due to the payment date being the 24th of each month).
I have contacted citizens advice and have an appointment for Tuesday next. At the screening interview I was told that I should appeal and that they would help next week.
Thanks to everyone else who has read this thread, but felt unable to advise. The above advice has been invaluable as I now know how there error was made. Thanks again.
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