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Thread started for janiej

 

Originally Posted by janiej

Hello

 

hope you can help me

 

I contacted the child benefit office in august because my son wanted to return to college to carry on with his a-levels. He'd been claiming jsa & the staff at jobseekers said that i could reclaim cb. So I phoned them and they said no. I then called jobseekers again and they said that this is wrong and to contact them again, which i did. Ended up in tears on the phone & the guy said he'd pass it to someone to look at but they wouldn't be able to pay me for the weeks that my son had received jobseekers. It seems that the problem was that he'd turned 19 & because he was going back to college after the break on jobseekers this meant I couldn't claim cb once more (but this wasn't absolutely clear, & i was told different things by different agencies). I told them that i wasn't sure of the date(s) he'd had jsa & i couldn't find the letters, but knew that it was around the time of my birthday- the guy said that they would be able to check the dates.

 

I didn't hear anything so i phoned them again about a week later. Three weeks on i still hadn't heard anything, & phoned them again & said i'd phoned before & that my son had now been back to college for 3 weeks, & the lady said, 'i don't know why they haven't put it through', and she said she'd put it through then.

She said she'd back date it to when they'd stopped the CB back in June (i didn't think on to say at this point what about the weeks he'd received jobseekers) but then I'd told them about this before (3 weeks earlier).

 

fast forward to november, & i was sorting through my documents and came accross their letter & my bank statements, & checked their amounts because i thought i'd had too much. They hadn't taken off the amounts for the 7 weeks that my son had had jobseekers, & i began to really worry, so i phoned them. I thought that I shouldn't have had the money at all, & that it hadn't been looked at the the lady I spoke to at the end of september had just put it through without checking on the previous telephone calls. I asked the guy about the money i'd had & explained that my son had received jsa, and that he is 19 & i asked should i have had this money? he went off the phone to ask someone, & came back and said yes you're entitled to it but you will have to pay back the weeks that my son received jsa and that someone would call from their recovery dept. No-one called me. I received a form to complete, & sent it to them with a letter. someone had ticked a box on the form saying 'your child has left education' , i had to complete some dates regarding when he changed his mind, the details of the college(s) that he'd attended, and the dates and office of his jsa claim.

 

Heard nothing from them so i called them again, & asked about repaying the overpayment, they said that there was no overpayment on the system. I had a payment on monday and i phoned them to ask why are you paying me when i've been overpaid & owe you money. They've reduced the payment to one child, for my little boy, & nothing for the elder one,so they've stopped his CB. I told them that I was really worried & hated feeling that i'd had money that i shouldn't have. I asked about what I needed to pay back and the lady said that it's with the investigation department, i asked when would i hear from them, & she said there's no time limit on it. I am really worried, i'm not sleeping or eating. Does this mean they're investigating me for benefit fraud? i'm so anxious about it, it's making me feel ill.

 

The amount is £308 maximum, that's if they go right back to the middle of june when they stopped it before.

 

I'm so frightened that i'm going to be prosecuted for something, absolutely terrified.

 

I have a little boy and it's impacting on him, I've never felt so worried in my life.

 

I hope you don't mind me sending a pm to you,

 

Many thanks

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Hello Janie and welcome to the forum. I don't think you're heading for court, from what I've read here, and you've tried to resolve this yourself rather than to keep quiet.

 

Someone who understands the rules will be along soon. Don't let this ruin your evening, your little boy needs you. I'm sure you'll have some answers soon.

 

HB x

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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They have no legal right to recover this overpayment. An overpayment of child benefit where the overpayment has been caused by an error on their part and not due to any failure on your part, cannot be recovered unless you wish to volunteer to repay it. Because you informed them of the JSA situation from the beginning, you have not failed to disclose that fact. There has been a very recent judgment on these types of overpayments in the supreme court, made in October of this year. You can read about it here. For the full judgment click here

 

To others reading, please note that this judgment only covers specific benefits, not all benefits. It does cover child benefit so is relevant to this particular thread.

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)

 

 

 

 

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Don't worry you've not committed benefit fraud, from what you've written it sounds like it was their error. The few child benefit overpayments of this sort I've seen they just reduce or stop the child benefit until the overpayment is repaid. They would normally send a letter telling you how much they'll reduce the award for and how long. Edited to say - as erica said you could challenge the overpayment as it was an official error.

Edited by leemack
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Reasonably knowing doesn't come into it for official error overpayments in child benefit anymore. As long as there has been no failure to declare a material fact, or misprepresentation on the claimant's part, they are not able to enforce payment nor make deductions from benefit (at least not legally).

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)

 

 

 

 

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Reasonably knowing doesn't come into it for official error overpayments in child benefit anymore. As long as there has been no failure to declare a material fact, or misprepresentation on the claimant's part, they are not able to enforce payment nor make deductions from benefit (at least not legally).

 

Yep I realised after I posted and went back and amended the post.

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Message from
janiej

 

 

 

Hello

 

I just wanted to thank everyone for offering their help and reassurance with regard to my child benefit.

 

I went to see the CAB last week and have been to see them again today.

 

The lady there phoned the CB office, (they have a different telephone number that can only be used by advisors) not for the public, & she managed to speak to someone straight away, she said before the call that she'd be able to find out a lot more than I would be able to. She talked to a lady who gave her name and explained that they had been in touch with my son's sixth form, & that a decision had now been made.

 

Seems my child benefit for my son has been reinstated; they're paying in some back money in to my account shortly, & I'm to receive a phone call from them (at a time/day to suit me)! to arrange how I wanted to repay the overpaid money for the weeks that my son received JSA- I want to repay the money, I really haven't liked feeling that I'd had some pennies to which I wasn't entitled.

 

They're going to continue to pay CB for my son until next May when he turns 20, he finishes college in June.

 

I had written a letter to them and sent this with the form I completed a few weeks ago.

My son had been assaulted on his way home from his previous college a year ago, he was pulled from his seat on the bus, thrown to the floor & the idiot lad repeatedly kicked and stamped on my son's head, he had multiple facial fractures, severe chest injuries and internal bleeding, he was transferred from our local hospital to Aintree University Hospital a few days later & placed under the care of the maxcillo facial surgeons. The idiot who hurt my son was a student at his former college, he was charged and pleaded guilty to greivous bodily harm with wounding, the case was concluded at Manchester Crown Court at the end of August. You can see why my son didn't want to return to his former college; he had to get on the bus every day at the same stop that the assault happened, it was very hard for him & having been off for a while following his surgery he'd missed a lot of time and his work and exam results hadn't been too good. I explained this in the letter I sent to the CB office.

 

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who replied to my post, and to thank you for posting it for me, & to share my good news with everyone. It's not the money, it's only £13 odd each week, not a lot, it's feeling that my son counts and that he should have the chance to achieve his potential. He wants to join the army- Queen Alexandra's Nursing Corp to train to be a mental health nurse, and he really needs good A-levels to be successful in his application.

 

My son has asked that we donate some of the CB back money to the CAB and victim support, which of course we will.

 

I could not fault the CAB, they've been very supportive and understanding.

 

Please will you post this message for me as i can't seem to be able to do so myself. I'd like to thank everyone who helped and supported me, the reassurance and advice i received was much needed and very much appreciated.

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You are more than welcome my love. If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask.

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)

 

 

 

 

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