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Overpayment of ESA what do I do?

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I need some advice. Unfortunately due to an error on my behalf I have been overpaid ESA benefit, the amount is just under £2,000.


To fill you in Im chronically sick and disabled. No one knows exactly what is wrong with me, but Im housebound and use a wheel chair. Part of my problems mean I have short term memory issues also.


In December 2008 I was awarded ESA in the support group as I can not work. I recieve full DLA on both componants.


I claimed over the telephone and when I got the declaration statement back it was incorrect. It said that I did not recieve a pension. I rang them back and said that I will be recieving one in the future and was settling this with my employers. I was awarded ESA I rang again to clarify and they told me to notify them of the changes, eg when I recieved my pension.


It was a long hard battle to get my pension out of my employers and I finally recieved it in april this year.


I have been fighting my employers in a disability discrimination case during this time and have been hospitalised 5 times since January this year. I have also suffered a family bereavement.


Last night I woke up in a panic remembering I hadn't contacted the DWP about my pension. Im terrified they will send me to prison.


Due to an out of court settlement I can pay back all funds owed by the end of August.


How do I go about telling them? What will they do to me? Will it affect my DLA? Ive never claimed benefits before and I dont want to go to prison. I dont even have a speeding ticket?


Please help me Im terrified.....

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DLA is not means tested so this will not be affected :)

ESA - when you get your payout, contact DWP & tell them of your error & offer to repay the overpaid amount immediately. You must stress that it was a complete oversight on your part but that you're sure you told them when you claimed that a pension was going to be forthcoming.

Remember - when you applied you were not already in receipt of your pension so you were not lying. Instead you are now notifying them of a change in your financial situation which affects your claim.


Sooo - ring them when your pension comes through & not before & STOP WORRYING :grin:

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As sure as I can be - you signed the declaration that you were not in receipt of a pension BUT at that time, you were'nt!

When you get your pension, ring & tell them because at that point it becomes a fact- not before.


Now go & have a cuppa, put telly on & RELAX and have a great day:smile:

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You seem to have misunderstood my post. I am in receipt of my pension, since April. Thats how the overpayment occurred.


By the end of August I will be in receipt of my out of court settlement for the discrimination case. Thats when I can pay all the money back. Im in a position where I could pay some back now, but not all.


Is your advice still the same?


Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

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Sorry - didn't read you post properly.


Ring them today & tell them about your pension & ask them to recalculate your ESA award. This will then show up the exact amount of overpayment.

When they write to you asking for £x back, ring them & make an offer of payment which suits you ie. monthly amount then, when you get your payout you can decide whether to pay it all off or maintain the monthly payments.

You also need to check whether the compensation will mean that you are no longer entitled to ESA. If ESA is means tested, you may find that you will no longer be entitled to that but that can wait until you actually have the money - as we all know, payments can take much longer than anticipated to be forthcoming!

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thanks for the advice. I have just spoken to one of the operators and Im waiting for a department called processing to ring me back. Having done a quick calculation I think I owe around £1520.


The guy was nice and said "don't worry we will sort this out" but Im waiting to see how I get treated by processing.


Im so sick with worry. I can't believe what a mess I have got myself into.


I will update you with how it goes. Thanks again

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do not worry everyone has and will make a mistake..they will not cart you off to prison the police dont even get involved..you have done the right thing by ringing before they chase you....its not worth the stress honestley they are twice as bad as us and they call themselve a benefits compartment they dobt know what they are giving out or taking back

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thanks for responses. ESA Claims Processing Dept has rung. I have to send off relevant paperwork now so they can assess how much money I owe them. They have suspended the ESA payments now.


They have been very understanding when I explained the situation. Im hoping that it will go as one of you said, that they will write to me to confirm how much I owe.


Thanks again. I feel happier now. The anticipation was worse than the actual event.

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I'm glad you're feeling a bit better about it all now.


One thing though - send the paperwork by recorded or special delivery so it won't get 'lost in the post'!


Hope it works out well for you :smile:

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Yes I will be sending everything by special delivery and photocopying everything before it goes off! My sis has had so much stuff "lost" by DWP its unreal.


Thanks again for your advice and support is meant a lot and I will post again when I have any news.



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