Jump to content


  • Tweets

  • Posts

    • Standing order, payment via a debit card to online account ?  If you are making payment from your end, it is you authorising and not them having your bank details.            
    • You are the OP of this thread. As I said, I doubt the OP of the original question is following this as she has more important things to worry about.   I'll ask you this:   1. have you ever been in a Magistrates' Court when a Statutory Declaration to set aside a motoring conviction was made?   2. If so did you ever see the maker quizzed or questioned  to test their honesty in connection with the SD?   3. Have you ever seen such a Declaration rejected for want of truthfulness (rather than a procedural or administrative error or mistake)?   My answers to the above would be as follows:   1. Yes on, I would estimate, at least two hundred occasions (six or seven on one day last week alone). It may be more, I've never kept a proper count.   2. No, never.   3. No, never.   Now it could be of course that I have been particularly fortuitous and that all the makers of those SDs were paragons of virtue and/or that all the Magistrates concerned were exceedingly gullible and believed everything they were told without question. On the other hand it could be that during their training the Magistrates were instructed that when hearing an SD they were simply witnessing that it had been made before them and that they were not testing its truth. I imagine they were either shown or have probably seen since a copy of this form which is completed before making an SD:   https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/criminal/docs/2014/crim-pr-form-part37-statutory-declaration-revised-feb-2014.pdf   In the "Notes for Guidance" is this:   "Under the Statutory Declarations Act 1835, the defendant’s declaration can be made before anyone who is authorised by law to hear it (e.g. a solicitor), or before any Justice of the Peace (a magistrate or District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts). The person who hears the declaration need not enquire into the truth of it. That person’s function is limited to hearing the declaration, and certifying that he or she has done so by signing it. If the declaration turns out to be untrue, the defendant making it may be punished for perjury."    The bold type is my emphasis so I think I know which of my two scenarios above is more likely. I hope this wasn't too rude or arrogant for you and  I'll leave it at that now. But I will ask you (politely) once again to please stop providing misleading information to people who have enough to worry about. It confuses them, others have to correct it and it leads to unnecessary stress for the posters.
    • Thank you for your help, just to clarify please. In the CPR 31:14  request do I just ask for 1. the agreement .....etc and delete the the items 2. to 6. as listed since these have already been sent to me by the claimant (btw the 'solicitor' is IDEM's litigation dept) or do I ask for all the documents again as they are part of the 'Particulars of the Claim'    Thank you again
    • As its council tax, they have no right of entry, so don't let them in, and they cannot force entry nor  climb through windows, but cn walk through unlocked door  They have no right to snoop into your bank accounts, and would be in serious trouble if they did.  I'm sure others will be along soon with further advice/suggestions.  Did you apply for Council tax Relief, if not do so NOW, and get your local council member involved pronto as in now.
    • Sorry its so complicated right now.... totally temporary but totally complicated.  I just dont want bailuffs knocking in the interim, thats my main concern. The standing order is going out still to Lowell,  what was happening was other things were going out the same date and that was leaving not enough money in the bank to pay lowells SO.....hence it looked like Id just stopped paying, hence CCJ. It went out last month and again this month though.
  • Our picks

moonie

Benefit Fraud Investigation

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 4011 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

I've been helping a friend who was investigated by the local authority for benefit fraud regarding an overpayment of £1500 in Housing Benefit.

 

It's a very complicated matter so I will try to keep this brief.

 

Initially we requested details of everything held on my friend using the Data Protection Act. This provided us with some very useful information and I would recommend anyone in this situation to do the same.

 

From the information supplied to us it turned out that the local authority knew my friend was in receipt of certain benefits 5 months before they took any action to recover the overpayment. They had been informed of this information by another of their departments, a completely reliable source.

 

They claimed that ' although they were aware of this information, it was still up to him to contact them and tell them'.

 

My friend had contacted them and told them, resulting in an amended Council Tax bill, but the person he spoke to didn't enter it onto their 'logging' system. Something they use to record any conversation you have with them for Council Tax, Housing Benefit etc.

 

How can my friend be guilty of fraud if the local authority were already aware of the situation. And how can they claim back overpayments they already knew they shouldn't have been paying.

 

If anyone has any thoughts or knowledge of this I'd be grateful for any help.


:razz:the winner takes it all :razz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When did your friend contact the council? Does the phonecall show on his phonebill. And did he take down the number of the person he spoke to? If so, a simple letter detailing this information should stop them making 'fraud' claims, as a reasonable person would assume that the details would be pased on, although I suspect he will still need to repay the overpayment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, he did contact the Council prior to their investigation and yes this call does show on the phonebill, along with 2 other calls on different days he made to their department.

 

He took the first name of the person he spoke to as they wouldn't give him their surname! (How convenient that they have 2 people with this first name working in that office).

 

How convenient as well, that the person who took the call did not record the conversation, but did the action ie; submitted a revised council tax bill.

 

The council now claim that even though the call took place the conversation regarding his benefits did not.

 

I've read somewhere in a Decision Makers Guide (I think), that if the authority are made aware of a change in circumstances (via a third party), they can only reclaim the overpayment up to the date they became aware of it.

 

Does anyone know if that's true?


:razz:the winner takes it all :razz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt that very much, as it would mean that people who defraud successfully, but then get grassed up, could only brought to account from the date they were caught,and not from when they started defrauding. Put like that, it doesn't make much sense, does it?

 

More to the point, when you say they are investigating him for fraud, are they really? Have they threatened prosecution, etc?

 

In my past experience with local authorities, if the person who has been overpaid makes arrangements to repay the overpayment and sticks to it, they're usually quite happy to do it this way, which means they get their money back, and saves on court fees and time in general.

 

In brief: You are not disputing that your friend was overpaid, do you? Your argument seems to be that the council didn't stop his payments when they should have, and somehow should therefore bear the brunt of that mistake. Please correct me if I understand you wrong. In the meantime, based on that assumption, I have to tell you that regardless of the council's alleged wrongdoings, your friend is liable for those overpayments. Of course, he is.

 

My advice is this: Stop your friend looking for an escape clause, tell him to approach the council with a reasonable offer of monthly (weekly if he gets paid benefits weekly, whatever) repayments before they take him to court and pile on court fees and solicitors fees on top, and get him to set up a standing order to make sure he never misses a payment. And next time, make sure he does everything in writing, so there can be no argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bookworm I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

 

What I'm saying is why should he pay the overpayments AFTER the council became aware they were overpaying him. Otherwise it means the council can sit on that information for as long as they like without contacting him, or investigating it further, allowing overpayments to accrue indefinately?

 

Then turn round to the claimaint and say, "oh btw we're fully aware that we've overpaid you for the past 5 months, but it's your fault for not telling us in the meantime"

 

Is that correct?


:razz:the winner takes it all :razz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Statute of Limitations, I would imagine. 6 years.

 

I recently got grief from my Local Authority, claiming they had sent bills to me for some charges to be paid independently from my council tax. Those bills went back 6 years (just under the 6 yrs), and yes, it took them that long to chase up those payments. They must have known the bills were outstanding, if they'd bothered to check, they would have seen that my council tax is paid on time all the time and maybe wondered how come this particular bill was not, year on, year out. Nope. First I knew, I got hit with the bills + solicitors' costs, which more than doubled the costs. And I had to pay up.

 

So in the case of your friend, yes, that is correct.

 

You're asking: "why should he pay after the council became aware they were overpaying him". The answer is: Why shouldn't he? Was he entitled to those benefits? No. So should he be allowed to keep the money? Er... no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But was he aware prior to the council telling him that he had been over paid? As I can understand where Monnie is going with this and I would feel the same.

 

If he has spoken to the relevant department three times not once, and has received an amendment to his council tax which is in line with his change of situation and previous conversation with said department, then why did the council continue to pay his rent if not to then have him in debt.

 

Isn't it about time the council were accountable for their own mistake? Question... since the amendment to council tax, did he receive anything in regards to his housing? Was he due to be paying part of his rent, and was he paying his half of the rent?? However if he didn't receive an amendment to his housing benefit, he may have thought he was entitled as they would have done both had he not been...

 

If he received an amendment to his housing and was paying as per amendment, then his rent would have been paid twice, therefore there is no overpayment the council have to request the money from the section they paid.

 

Is he a private tenant or council??

 

I have a friend who informed the council when her second child was born and filed in the relevant paper work, her child is now 4 and her third child she did the same, her local council know she has three kids however as she explained it, the local housing office is separate the the central therefore it would seem the right hand does not know what the left is doing, and in the process of then putting her in debt it turns out the council were not aware she had two more children even though she has filled in the relevant paperwork and claims for all three children and the local housing office have her on record as having three children!!

 

But they are quick to drag her through the courts for council tax and have her down as being over paid benefit when they had not been paying enough or acknowledging the fact that she had extra children.

 

Yet another cock up of the council, would you have given the same advice, oh well you ain't entitled to it pay it....she was not aware her other two children were not being counted in her allowance until she went to CAB.


I'm fighting back and ready to go :D who will be my first victim? LBL, Brighthouse.

 

..."If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life."

 

I am not here to insult or offend...just to offer advice and seek advice as all this is a learning experience, such is the cycle of life...for those that would wish to insult me for my thoughts or deeds...Stay Blessed for I know my heart is pure with no ill thought towards YOU. :cool:

Nationwide Won:D Benefits returned £577

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ermm:

 

29th August 2006, 09:24

 

 

:confused: :confused: :confused:

 

But regardless of the revival of this ancient thread:

Yet another cock up of the council, would you have given the same advice, oh well you ain't entitled to it pay it...
The answer is still yes. There are very few circumstances in law where you can get exemption from what you owe because of the other side's mistakes, and as a rule of thumb, once the mistake is discovered, then it has to be remedied. You have the right to expect to be treated sympathetically if the mistake was not your own, certainly, but if you do owe the money, then there is no reason why you should get away with it simply because the other side made a mistake.

 

Say I owe you some money, but I can't remember how much. I ask you: "was it £100 or £150?" You say: "I think it was £100". 6 months later, you find the cheque stub and realise that it was in fact £150. Can I say to you: "Oh well, tough, you told me £100, so that's all you're getting from me!"? Of course not. Why should it be any different for official organisations? :-?

Edited by Bookworm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A situation like this is a mistake of fact. If you are not entitled to it then you can't keep it.

 

Similar would be being paid wages by mistake, you would have to pay back.

 

However, it appears attempts were made to resolve so the LA should accept a repayment timetable acceptable to both parties whilst acknowledging their failures.

 

Don't try and argue that it is thier mistake so you should keep it.

Why contest fact?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
, but if you do owe the money, then there is no reason why you should get away with it simply because the other side made a mistake.

 

 

But in the case of my friend, who was being accused of being over paid had she not gone to the CAB and had they not made a call on her behalf she would not have know, they were not giving her, her ENTITLED allowance for two of her three children....they put her through stress and in debt to find out THEY were the ones who cocked up big time, so is it still ok to reclaim the debt when initial they have not even given her the full allowance or dealt with changes of circumstances when she has told them, one child is 4 yrs old so for the four years he is not recognised as being born even though her local housing office know and her other child is 1 and was also not recognised as being born.

 

The debt that she was paying....was based on the fact she had One child....but because of their mistake they have pushed her into further debt. I cant believe your saying she should still pay it as she isn't entitled to it....and should pay it

Edited by sweetnsexyenglish

I'm fighting back and ready to go :D who will be my first victim? LBL, Brighthouse.

 

..."If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life."

 

I am not here to insult or offend...just to offer advice and seek advice as all this is a learning experience, such is the cycle of life...for those that would wish to insult me for my thoughts or deeds...Stay Blessed for I know my heart is pure with no ill thought towards YOU. :cool:

Nationwide Won:D Benefits returned £577

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The debt that she was paying....was based on the fact she had One child....but because of their mistake they have pushed her into further debt. I cant believe your saying she should still pay it as she isn't entitled to it....and should pay it

 

I think it's the case of what the law says rather than what morally should be done.

 

If it's a mistake then it's just that and the law says it must be repaid.

 

However, there is also the moral case.

 

If I struggled with my own business and employed people but paid double wages one month by mistake then should I go out of business simply because of that?

 

And would you think you can keep the money despite not earning it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you miss the point that ie, debt based on having one child....she has three so they have not calculated the other two children into her entitlment....therefore debt would not have arose had they calculated her entitlement properly nor pushed her into further debt, the law can not excuse such careless actions because at the same time she was not getting her FULL entitlement


I'm fighting back and ready to go :D who will be my first victim? LBL, Brighthouse.

 

..."If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life."

 

I am not here to insult or offend...just to offer advice and seek advice as all this is a learning experience, such is the cycle of life...for those that would wish to insult me for my thoughts or deeds...Stay Blessed for I know my heart is pure with no ill thought towards YOU. :cool:

Nationwide Won:D Benefits returned £577

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But in the case of my friend, who was being accused of being over paid had she not gone to the CAB and had they not made a call on her behalf she would not have know, they were not giving her, her ENTITLED allowance for two of her three children....they put her through stress and in debt to find out THEY were the ones who cocked up big time, so is it still ok to reclaim the debt when initial they have not even given her the full allowance or dealt with changes of circumstances when she has told them, one child is 4 yrs old so for the four years he is not recognised as being born even though her local housing office know and her other child is 1 and was also not recognised as being born.
But presumably, now they have corrected their mistake, adjusted her benefits, and backdated the adjustment? And if not, why not? Surely, that will help removing a great big chunk of that debt?

The debt that she was paying....was based on the fact she had One child....but because of their mistake they have pushed her into further debt. I cant believe your saying she should still pay it as she isn't entitled to it....and should pay it
I'm saying it because based on the information you have provided, that's how it appears to be, yes. If after adjustments of the benefits from the mistakes they made, there is still a residue owing, then it appears quite clear that somewhere along the line, she must have missed payments, does it not? In the same manner, if she had paid in full all those years, after adjustment, she would then be entitled to a refund.

 

You may not like hearing it, but I can't see what other conclusion can be reached. If you think a local authority is going to write off a debt because they messed up in the first instance, I'd suggest you have little knowledge on how they operate. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bookworm, she has only recently found out her two last children were not included so has been under this stress for quite some time, and as for the adjustments, as of the last time I spoke with her, it would seem that one section has made the adjustment but have not sent on the information and while another section have sent out a revised bill however they have not completely dealt with the last 4 years properly, and I also believe she has siad she has been billed twice by two sperate sections for the same bill she has already paid. So it is still to a fashion being dealt with but rather slow


I'm fighting back and ready to go :D who will be my first victim? LBL, Brighthouse.

 

..."If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life."

 

I am not here to insult or offend...just to offer advice and seek advice as all this is a learning experience, such is the cycle of life...for those that would wish to insult me for my thoughts or deeds...Stay Blessed for I know my heart is pure with no ill thought towards YOU. :cool:

Nationwide Won:D Benefits returned £577

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess you miss the point that ie, debt based on having one child....she has three so they have not calculated the other two children into her entitlment....therefore debt would not have arose had they calculated her entitlement properly nor pushed her into further debt, the law can not excuse such careless actions because at the same time she was not getting her FULL entitlement

 

I'm sorry I must have.

Can I suggest she explains her situation to the LA and get it sorted?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now THAT sounds like the way LAs deal with things! :rolleyes:

 

My suggestion is that she keeps a very close eye on the number and how they add up and query everything that doesn't seem to work.

 

Ultimately, if she overpaid most of her bills, then she should come out being owed something, unless she missed out most of the payments in the first place. Does that make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now THAT sounds like the way LAs deal with things! :rolleyes:

 

My suggestion is that she keeps a very close eye on the number and how they add up and query everything that doesn't seem to work.

 

Ultimately, if she overpaid most of her bills, then she should come out being owed something, unless she missed out most of the payments in the first place. Does that make sense?

 

 

 

Erm, actually, is not what you suggest explaining the situation to the LA too?

Edited by Weird Al Yankovic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She has joined up on the site when she has a free moment I will direct her to this thread. As i said up until the last time I spoke with her she was still awaiting them to properly sort things out so she knew exactly what she owed and what she should now be paying but they are taking their own sweet time.


I'm fighting back and ready to go :D who will be my first victim? LBL, Brighthouse.

 

..."If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life."

 

I am not here to insult or offend...just to offer advice and seek advice as all this is a learning experience, such is the cycle of life...for those that would wish to insult me for my thoughts or deeds...Stay Blessed for I know my heart is pure with no ill thought towards YOU. :cool:

Nationwide Won:D Benefits returned £577

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then get her to phone them, at least once a day, and to ask how her case is progressing, how long she can expect before she gets an answer, etc... In my experience, you have to constantly remind them you're there or they'll be quite happy to let things go on and on and on for as long a sit suits them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how long did it take to get the information under data protection act?

 

when you apply for this info do you need to qute any act and do you apply at the address where the letter for interview came from?

 

thank you very much

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been helping a friend who was investigated by the local authority for benefit fraud regarding an overpayment of £1500 in Housing Benefit.

 

It's a very complicated matter so I will try to keep this brief.

 

Initially we requested details of everything held on my friend using the Data Protection Act. This provided us with some very useful information and I would recommend anyone in this situation to do the same.

 

From the information supplied to us it turned out that the local authority knew my friend was in receipt of certain benefits 5 months before they took any action to recover the overpayment. They had been informed of this information by another of their departments, a completely reliable source.

 

They claimed that ' although they were aware of this information, it was still up to him to contact them and tell them'.

 

My friend had contacted them and told them, resulting in an amended Council Tax bill, but the person he spoke to didn't enter it onto their 'logging' system. Something they use to record any conversation you have with them for Council Tax, Housing Benefit etc.

 

How can my friend be guilty of fraud if the local authority were already aware of the situation. And how can they claim back overpayments they already knew they shouldn't have been paying.

 

If anyone has any thoughts or knowledge of this I'd be grateful for any help.

 

Hi, I hope you got this matter sorted, just in case you havent, it looks to me like the authority have failed to act on information recieved this would count as an official error...the The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006

state:

 

Recoverable overpayments

100. —(1) Any overpayment, except one to which paragraph (2) applies, shall be recoverable.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4) this paragraph applies to an overpayment caused by an official error where the claimant or a person acting on his behalf or any other person to whom the payment is made could not, at the time of receipt of the payment or of any notice relating to that payment, reasonably have been expected to realise that it was an overpayment.

(3) In paragraph (2), "overpayment caused by official error" means an overpayment caused by a mistake made whether in the form of an act or omission by—

 

(a) the relevant authority;

(b) an officer or person acting for that authority;

© an officer of—

 

(i) the Department for Work and Pensions; or

(ii) Revenue and Customs,

 

acting as such; or

(d) a person providing services to the Department for Work and Pensions or to the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

 

They had failed to act on information recieved this constitutes an error and makes the overpayment irrecoverable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They use a data matching programme which reconciles things.So if for example someone was claiming one benefit,and claiming something else they were not entitled to,it flags up.They also have access to HMRC data.

 

I am suprised that anyone would get FULL disclosure under the DPA.

The Fraud act 2002 has exclusions for obligations to release data.


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread moved here.

As you will see,there are currently similar threads to yours here.


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...