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Hi just joined, looks a great site. Sorry for this being long....

I came off IS 2 years ago, to work 16 hours a week & get tax credits & housing benefit.

Anyway, had the compliance officer over today from the council, very nice lady. She agreed she should be called a review officer really, compliance sounds scarey I said lol

Anyway, she had me down for 275.00 per month wages, this was from my first wage slip which wasn't a full month. They have a copy of contract saying hours & pay though. Which at the time was actually 402.00 per month.

Anyway, she said I have been getting benefit based on 275 a month for the last 2 years! I got full housing benefit in a housing assosiation house, 2 children.

She did say I should have been asked to provide another payslip at the time, as it looks like they have just used the first payslip to calculate it. Doh! Although I was sure I had provided a second payslip anyway, just cant prove it at the moment, but I am still looking through my paperwork.

Anyway, later today I found a letter from housing benefit dated 2 weeks after I started the job, saying what I am going to be getting & what details of mine were used to work it out.

On this letter it does say my earned income is 100.80 per week! That'll be my wages right?

So now I am really confused.

Admittedly I earn about 5 pounds a week more now, so I have to shoulder the overpayment there. That was my ignorance at not noticing a pay rise, our company is rubbish with communication.

Anyway, where do I stand if they have made the mistake but not me?

p.s I also have a pension at work 15 a month, which I started over a year ago, apparently they take into account half of, & I never let them know that, so that could work in my favour too.

Edited by dx100uk
anyway........
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With housing benefit, you have to repay any overpayment that was as a result of official error where you could reasonably be expected to know that you were being overpaid. As they had your income wrong on the award letters, it would be difficult to argue that you could not have reasonably known that you were being overpaid.

 

With Income Support official error overpayments, the Supreme Court has ruled that these cannot be recovered unless the claimant has misrepresented or failed to declare a material fact. As you provided a copy of your contract with pay and hours, you can argue that you did not misrepresent your claim or fail to disclose a material fact.

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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Thanks for the reply. Um, but on the award letter the amount was right that they had for my wages? If 'earned income' does mean my job?

It's only today that she told me they have written down that they only calculated it on 275 per month?

So if it was right on the award letter at the time, how would I have known I was getting too much benefit?

I did remember thinking it was weird I didn't have to pay ANY towards my rent at the time, but a guy on the phone from there said it's because they dont take into account maintenance payments we receive now. So I was entitled to full benefit.

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Oh, I see - sorry, I misunderstood. In that case, you may well have a good argument that you could not be reasonably expected to know that you were being overpaid.

 

Wait and see what comes of it. If they write to you telling you that they will recover the overpayment, appeal the decision quoting regulation 100 of the housing benefit regulations 2006. State that you did not fail to declare a fact or misrepresent your claim and could not have reasonably been expected to realise that you were being overpaid on the grounds that all of your income on the award notice was correct, and you therefore disagree that it is a recoverable overpayment. If it is the first time you have claimed housing benefit, add a line about having never claimed benefit before, it's unreasonable for them to expect you to be aware of any of the calculations used.

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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Okie dokie, thanks for that link I will keep it handy.

I have just found a couple of proofs of me supplying 2 monthly payslips too! So the next one would have been the full amount.

It's that piece of paper they give you when you go down there & produce documents in person? It has the received box ticked & signed by the woman behind the counter for payslips & the 2 monthly bit is underlined. So now I have all the proof I needed that I did what I was asked. I knew I had shown them 2 payslips & not just the first one! You know when you get a bee in your bonnet because no matter how long ago something is, you know what you would have done in the situation. I would never have been stupid enough to not produce the 2nd payslip. And they would have stopped my benefit if I hadn't anyway I expect.

I had been on housing benefit before, but that was when I was on income support, but tbh I still wouldn't have a clue how they work it all out. I think people tend to trust what they tell us!

My sister worked in the overpayment of Income support years ago & she said even if it is their error, they'll still try & claim it off you, people need to appeal, & she said 80% of those appeals were ruled non repayable. It's because they hope people wont appeal & will just pay it! She admitted it was all wrong really the way they used to do it. Probably they still do!

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My sister worked in the overpayment of Income support years ago & she said even if it is their error, they'll still try & claim it off you, people need to appeal, & she said 80% of those appeals were ruled non repayable. It's because they hope people wont appeal & will just pay it! She admitted it was all wrong really the way they used to do it. Probably they still do!

 

Yes they used to do that but they cannot anymore. The supreme court ruled in 2010 that recovery of overpayments of certain benefits that were as a result of official error, is unlawful - and it has been since the introduction of the Social Security Administration Act, but was misinterpretated by benefit sections.

 

They are no longer allowed to try and claim it off you since the Supreme Court (formerly the House of Lords and the highest court in the UK) ruling. The ruling makes no allowance anymore for misinterpretations.

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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I guess that only applies to income support though? Not housing benefit?

Now I am just hoping the info she had on paper today was wrong & the overpayment isn't going to be a massive amount, she said it's annoying that they dont have laptops because she had very little info in front of her, it was on computer back at her office. but it would be good if it's under 500 as she said if it's over 500 they automatically call you in for an interview that is taped. But she said they are a lovely couple of people that do the interviews so dont worry if that happens, it is basically for you to give your side across that you wasn't aware etc. If it's less than 500 they just ask you to repay over a length of time.

I know for about the last year I have earnt about a fiver more a week than they knew about, but as she said that doesn't mean you have recieved 5 pounds a week more than you should have in housing benefits, it doesn't work like that.

I just hate this! It scares you when you hear about people being accused of fraud if they have overpaid you.

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It applies to a host of benefits, but not to housing benefit so in your case yes it would just apply to the income support. But for the housing benefit you can apply the argument we discussed earlier.

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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Scrap that last bit, was notified of an overpayment a few months back, that they said wasn't going to be recovered back from me, was quite a bit of money, I did ask at the time but they didn't give me details, just said it wasn't down to me so I put it out my head. So from what I can roughly work out now is they might have overpaid me about 500 pounds going by my pay rise I didn't notice last october. And I even worked it out that I had got the payrise in 2009 (which I wouldn't have) just to be on the safe side. Going by the 35% extra earnings they let you keep. Them assuming I was only getting 275 a month wages is down to them, the compliance officer even said friday that they should have asked to see a full months wage slip a month after that first part month one they had seen, & with me assuming they would use my work contract as proof of earnings, that's where it's gone scewiff.

My sister was saying that is atleast a 50/50 blame. They could say you should have noticed on the award letters, but that's assuming I got them, & they should still have asked for a full months payslip & it's fair for me to assume my work contract gave them enough info of what I would be getting. But i'll have to wait n see I know.

I know being a sunday you are prob all thinking you had better things to do than read all this, but I wanted to explain why I deleted the post as it was waffle from me panicking & this post looked to not be an issue now.

x

Edited by jadeybags
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Hi

Yes. My friend has to find £50 a month as he LHA only covers up to what the local authority says she should be paying for the property

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Hi

Yeh but that'll be because she's privately renting. What I mean is if you're in a housing assosiation property, which doesn't feature under the fair rent rules because they are always lower rents than normal anyway.

It's just that I know they wont pay anyone housing benfit unless they qualify for more than 50p. See what I mean? Presumably because it's not worth the administration processing it.

I wondered if it works the other way too.

x

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If your rent is 95 pounds a week & you have been awarded 94.50, do they expect you to pay the 50p a week?

 

YES,you have to make up the difference up to amount set out on your tenancy agreement or Rent book

Hi

Yeh but that'll be because she's privately renting. What I mean is if you're in a housing assosiation property, which doesn't feature under the fair rent rules because they are always lower rents than normal anyway.

It's just that I know they wont pay anyone housing benfit unless they qualify for more than 50p. See what I mean? Presumably because it's not worth the administration processing it.

I wondered if it works the other way too.

x

 

The only Fair rents around nower days,are people who's tenancy started before 15/01/1989 and there Rent is registered under 1977 Rent act as amend.

Edited by 45002
as

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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I'm really not explaining it very well LOLOL. Ok um, right, say the fair rent for a house is judged as 120 a week. But the rent is actually only 100 a week, so the council will definitely pay the full rent on that property, but when they work out your claim it turns out your awarded benefit would be 99.50 pence a week, will they actually expect you to pay that 50 pence? Or is it not worth their admin? As I have heard of people that would only be entitled to 50p a week housing benefit & they wont give them any housing benefit if it's 50p & under. Atleast our council wont anyway.

Does that make more sense? Sorry, I am rubbish at explaining things lol

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I think you may getting mixed up here with fair rents !

 

What type of Tenancy is it,when did you or your friend move in ?

 

This is the way im reading your post is

 

If the rent is a £100.00 a week and Housing benefits award only £99.50,you would have to pay that 50p a week to your landlord,you could pay the 50p to the LL

 

Every 4 weeks 50p x 4= £2.00 or every 3 months 50p x 13 = £6.50 or even every 6 months 50p x 26= £13.00

 

45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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The local authority has in each area defined the 40th percentile of the rents. This sets up the maximum that housing benefit can pay in the long term. (they do provide some protection for the first 3 months). Effectively this forces people on long term benefits/state pensions to live in the poor, rough areas of town, regardless of the life they lived beforehand. This is about to get worse with the new rules changing this to the 30th percentile of rents.

 

I've recently claimed housing benefit, was told my rent was protected for the first 13 weeks, and it actually took some creative questioning to be able to identify that after 3 months, I was going to be facing a £150 shortfall a month, and that's assuming they accept the medical grounds for needing a 3 bedroomed house, otherwise it would have come as a nasty shock.

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ptol, it is a complete minefield out there where benefits are concerned. It's good that you are on the ball & know what's coming because if you're not, you do get nasty suprises & it makes you ill (or more ill) I can tell you.

xxx

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Is it normal for housing benefit compliance officers to do benefit reviews at your home?

And when they do your benefit review, do they know exatly what you are claiming for & benefits you get before they visit & ask for proof of everything?

If you're marked down for a state benefit surely they will check that at the review? or atleast check with dwp before or after the review?

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Thanks for the reply. Before they come to do the review, do they have all your details already, & just want to clarify they are right? I mean, do they check any state benefits you are getting?

I had a visit from one last week & it turned out they had my wages down wrong for the last 2 years! They had my work contract but worked out benefits going by my first payslip which wasn't a full month.

I didn't realise as I was getting full benefit so never read their yearly letters.

Anyway long story short I had been overpaid 1200 over the 2 years. Got to pay that back weekly.

She told me there is no law that says they ever have to do a review, my council does out the kindness off their heart it seems! lol but have fallen behind with them.

Trouble now is she has told me over the phone what benefit I will now be getting, haven't had a letter yet but I have been on the benefits calculator that I saw a link for on here & it's still not working out! The calculator is saying I should be paying about 12 pounds more a week!

I'm probably stressing over nothing but until I get the award letter I dont know what's happening with the difference the calculator is telling me I should be paying towards rent & the amount she is telling me?

Edited by jadeybags
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Not sure if it's the same for every council, but I know ours does one every year. Again, not sure if this just applies to my area, but I know the DWP do tell the council if you stop claiming benefits, even if you do it yourself. I'm currently paying back an overpayment in HB at £9 a week, although I'm disputing it. Most of the information they have is from the information you gave, and they just make sure it's accurate and that nothing has changed since you made the claim. The DWP and the council are supposed to "communicate" with each other, but I know that's not always the case.

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