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JSA Overpayments Penalties Etc

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I wonder if someone would like to advise/comment.

Quick backgound: Made redundant last day August 2008. JSA (IB) ran out 21st March 2009. In Novernber for just under 4 weeks did some part time (10-15hrs pw) 7pm-10pm on line training and got paid. Gave up at the end because the pay is simply unsubstainable.

April 2009 - Under caution interview. Went there and was open and honest and did 'not' (genuinely) know I had to declare this. Decision arrives May telling me £199.60 overpayment. Called to say still unemployed and lady said she'd mark it down as such so no need to worry.

Monday, July 13th letter telling me to pay! Called and entered into a payment agreement for £1 (yes a quid) a month. Wednesday July 15th letter arrives telling me 30% penalty to be added. Letter states an interview for me to sign to accept on Friday 24th July at 10am. Called and spoke to the nice interviewee (by chance) who said she did not make any decisions but just did the interview originally. I protested my amazement and disgust at the whole affair that I consider just so unfair having worked and paid NI and IT for 40 years!

Any suggestions? Should I appeal as I know signing opens the data available to other people like Housing Benefits? Would they actually take me to court (which by the way I'm happy to do)? Having read the sections of SSAA 1992 I can see that whilst one might appeal the chances of winning are about zero aka unfair justice within a democracy (soap box mode off).

 

Thanks in advance

Michael


When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is. (Oscar Wilde)

--I like to be helpful wherever possible however I'm not qualified in this field. I do consider carefully anything important (normally from personal experience) however please understand that any actions taken are at your own risk--

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In all honesty, I think you should work out an acceptable repayment plan and pay off the overpayment. Since it was a genuine mistake, I might be tempted to see if I could get the penalty removed, but doing undeclared work whilst claiming benefits is a big no-no. As such, it seems unlikely you'd win an appeal, since your case could really only be that it was an accident that you broke the law. I hope that doesn't sound too harsh - these things happen, and not everyone is familiar with the benefit system. But I really don't think you'd have much luck in an appeal.

 

As to court, if you repay as agreed it seems unlikely they'd prosecute over £199 (it probably wouldn't be cost-effective), but that's simply my educated guess.


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In all honesty, I think you should work out an acceptable repayment plan and pay off the overpayment. Since it was a genuine mistake, I might be tempted to see if I could get the penalty removed, but doing undeclared work whilst claiming benefits is a big no-no. As such, it seems unlikely you'd win an appeal, since your case could really only be that it was an accident that you broke the law. I hope that doesn't sound too harsh - these things happen, and not everyone is familiar with the benefit system. But I really don't think you'd have much luck in an appeal.

 

As to court, if you repay as agreed it seems unlikely they'd prosecute over £199 (it probably wouldn't be cost-effective), but that's simply my educated guess.

 

Thank you for that! :)

My point is regarding the additional 30% penalty added ON TOP of the £199.60. I've agreed a payment plan at £1 a month for the £199.60. I do not think it fair under the circumstances that I have been charged the penalty amount which comes to an extra £59.88. I wa totally open, honest and genuine in my interview.

They want me to go and sign that document saying I accept the penaly charge. I am also aware that by signing it would mean the data can be used in other departments such as Housing benefits etc.

Michael


When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is. (Oscar Wilde)

--I like to be helpful wherever possible however I'm not qualified in this field. I do consider carefully anything important (normally from personal experience) however please understand that any actions taken are at your own risk--

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Have brought your first post to the attention of the site team, they might have more knowledge.:)


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Have brought your first post to the attention of the site team, they might have more knowledge.:)

 

Erm, no? In fact if we go down the track of DWP it appears that you have 'NO' option but to pay the penalty whatever the reasons of you being paid too much. It's one of those 'neat' laws that are translated to 'you can appeal but you cannot win'. I am however in the process of a letter to DWP to let them know what I think with loads of questions. What amused me was the letter to attend to sign the penalty also included that could answer any questions. In fact they could answer 'NO' questions because they had no answers. When I signed I also put 'Forced to sign under protest' next to my signature.

Michael


When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is. (Oscar Wilde)

--I like to be helpful wherever possible however I'm not qualified in this field. I do consider carefully anything important (normally from personal experience) however please understand that any actions taken are at your own risk--

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