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Hi all

 

I've just received a letter from the dwp saying I owe £700 and I must pay within the next two weeks.

 

Its half twelve at night and I'm so stressed I can't sleep. Well actually I'm watching a really good film. :)

 

Does anyone have a template letter I can send these people?

 

First template letter, I want to know if this money is really owed by me which I doubt.

 

Secondly a letter stating they can have £ per week from my benefit and stop sending me scary letters don't you have IT system to sort out.

 

Thanks caggers

Edited by honeybee13
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Well, we can probably help you with letters, but first we need to know why they claim you owe this money in the first place. I presume they are saying you've been overpaid some sort of benefit.

 

Which benefit?

When did the alleged overpayment happen?

On what grounds do they say you have been overpaid?

And I would guess that you disagree with those grounds. Correct?


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I've just received a letter from the dwp saying I owe £700 and I must pay within the next two weeks.

 

The alarming nature of this letter makes it sound very much like a fake. Have you called any telephone numbers on the letter to establish why you owe £700, and how you would be expected to pay it within only two weeks?

 

Before you start volunteering payments, I would suggest that you determine the facts behind this accusation.

 

If proven correct, I'd at least request that an assessment of my ability to repay such a huge amount be completed in light of my income, then set at a fair level over a realistic timescale.

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Unfortunately it is real. Standard DWP letter I'm afraid.

 

I was in hospital for sometime and I believe it may be related to this, but from my calculations I doubt it, basically its ESA and it is complicated. All I'm really looking for at this stage is a 'prove it letter', but i can't find anything that relates to dwp only dca's and they are just not relevant.

 

thanks


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The alarming nature of this letter makes it sound very much like a fake. Have you called any telephone numbers on the letter to establish why you owe £700, and how you would be expected to pay it within only two weeks?

 

Before you start volunteering payments, I would suggest that you determine the facts behind this accusation.

 

If proven correct, I'd at least request that an assessment of my ability to repay such a huge amount be completed in light of my income, then set at a fair level over a realistic timescale.

 

The DWP is charged with collecting a very large amount in unpaid social fund loans, and benefit overpayments dating back 25+ years, changes in the Welfare Act and the Welfare Reform Act allow for collection from current and future benefits, the Limitations Act provision no longer apply to some debts, the DWP may also appoint Debt Collection Agencies to pursue these debts.


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People cant help with any letter of response unless they know about the circumstances.


Taking a poke at the world

 

Never argue with an idiot, he will only drag you down to his level and beat you with experience

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Hi Unmoderatethenet

 

I have had dealing with Tax Credits coming back to try to claim they over paid me. I asked for a complete break down with timeline in laymen's language to give infinite detail as to how they calculated they over paid you. That will take time and perhaps give you time to get some legal or citizens advice. Put the onus back on them to provide detail, and not be fobbed off with an undetailed demand.

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These are all very good responses, but surly there is a generic 'why are you asking me for this money' letter kicking about somewhere. Back in the day, I used to send the 'prove it debt letter to banks and dca's' I've had a look at it again and it does not fit a dwp demand letter.

 

there must be someone somewhere that put one together. especially given rate the dwp are churimng these letters out.

 

A very generic and better than i could do.

 

My letter would be

 

why are you inepept losers asking me to pay back money? Did you screw up and over pay me and now you want it back are you that stupid? Don't answer that. so now you've screwed up and I have to pay for your mistakes. Great.

 

First thing first I want to see is absolute proof I owe this money in the first place so I want to see computer print outs, ccctv recordings of me, fingerprint evidence and more computer printouts than a roll of bogroll.

 

signed

 

Kim

 

i'm sure someone can do better

 

 

On another note how much does a SAR request cost to the dwp? and what do I do when they ignore it which they will? I have the link.


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It must be remembered these Government debts have NO relationship in enforceability or collection with consumer credit debts.

 

It is necessary to contact DWP debt management and request details of the debt, you can send a SAR to the DWP they DO NOT

require the £10 statutory fee.

 

The overpayment may not be the DWP at fault, failure to notify changes in circumstances seems to be the major cause.


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On another note how much does a SAR request cost to the dwp? and what do I do when they ignore it which they will?

 

The DWP do not currently charge for a SAR. When you fill out their standard form, it will ask which offices you require information from - Quite often, an applicant won't know which offices/departments hold information, so make sure you demand everything held by all offices/departments and all subcontractors/ third parties. If you've ever been on one of the "work programmes", third parties will include the provider(s) involved.

 

Failures to provide all information within the mandatory forty days should be reported to the Information Commissioner's Office - Have a read of http://www.ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information and at the bottom of the page, you'll find a link to the ICO complaints page.


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If you're sure that it's a genuine letter from the DWP, would it not be better - and quicker - to telephone them and ask what it's all about? There's usually a contact telephone number on every letter from the DWP. Even if they can't discuss it over the phone they should be able to make an appointment for you to see someone and get the facts.

 

I'd have thought their letter would have explained what the debt related to and simply asked you to contact them so that it could be sorted out - it seems very strange that they just issue a demand for money with no reason specified and expect payment within 2 weeks without any discussion or response from you. Anyone with any sense would not expect someone to be able to just pull £700 out of their pocket and pay instantly.

 

I'd definitely give them a call - even if just to prove that it is a genuine letter from the DWP.

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Does this have anything to do with it

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?301083-DWP-Proof-of-Debt

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?191895-Dept-of-Work-amp-Pensions-STATUTE-BARRED

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?389323-Hosiptal-and-ESA

 

?

 

Unfortunately it is real. Standard DWP letter I'm afraid.

 

I was in hospital for sometime and I believe it may be related to this, but from my calculations I doubt it, basically its ESA and it is complicated. All I'm really looking for at this stage is a 'prove it letter', but i can't find anything that relates to dwp only dca's and they are just not relevant.

 

thanks

 

http://www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/moneyandlegal/otherbenefits/Pages/ESA-changes.aspx

 

If you're in hospital as an inpatient, this may affect the amount of ESA you get. You'll be counted as an inpatient if your treatment is funded by the NHS and:

 

  • you're in a hospital (including NHS hospitals, armed forces hospitals and special hospitals, but not prison medical wings)
  • you're in a similar institution (which could be a care home, a hospice or a rehabilitation unit that provides medical care).

You won't be counted as an inpatient if:

 

  • you're a private patient
  • you're meeting the cost of your treatment in a private hospital
  • your placement was arranged by a local authority (even with some NHS contribution to the costs of nursing care)

If you go into hospital as an inpatient, you must report this to Jobcentre Plus, however long your stay in hospital may be. You can continue to get contributory ESA while you're in hospital, however long this may be. You can also continue to be paid income-related ESA indefinitely if you go into hospital.

However, if you were getting the severe disability or carer premium as part of your income-related ESA, you'll only be able to keep getting this for a limited time while you're in hospital. This is because the benefits that help you to qualify for these premiums are withdrawn after you've been in hospital for a certain time (Disability Living Allowance after four weeks and Carer’s Allowance after 12 weeks). The enhanced disability premium, however, can continue to be paid for 52 weeks of a hospital stay. If you receive housing costs, these may no longer be payable after 52 weeks.

If you're in a care home and you have moderate nursing needs, the NHS should assess your case to decide if you qualify for NHS help with your accommodation costs. For advice, contact an organisation such as Carers UK or the Citizens Advice Bureau, or call the Carers Direct helpline on 0808 802 0202.

If you're a patient detained under section 45A or section 47 of the Mental Health Act, you're not entitled to benefits.

Edited by 45002

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Look, there is no such thing as a "generic letter" you can send to ask how the DWP calculated an overpayment. If you want help with this, tell us what's going on.


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Stat Barred or not the DWP can collect this debt by deductions from current OR FUTURE benefits.

 

Amendments to the Welfare Reform Act that came into force in 2012 also changed the relevance of the Limitations Act to such debts.


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Dear Mrs Scrote,

 

An office interview has been arranged

 

We would like you to attend an interview at:

 

Jobcentre

 

On Friday

 

bla, bla

 

This interview has been arranged because your circumstances may have changed and we need to ensure your payments are correct.

 

 

Joking aside I'm extremely worried. I'm not aware of any wrong doing on my part and am I being investigated for fraud? Should I borrow money to take a solicitor?

 

Please help my anti-depressant dose is already way too high I can't be taking any more


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No, this is not a fraud investigation and there's no need to seek legal advice at this time.

 

There are two common reasons why Compliance interviews are arranged. The first is that some percentage of all claims are checked at random, and this is what's most likely in your case.

 

The second reason is that someone has made a fraud allegation which the DWP is not taking seriously. They have to check out every report, but if they really thought that something was up then it would be the Fraud Investigation Service, not Compliance, who'd be looking into it.

 

No need to panic.


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Thanks but saying don't panic are you serious? :)

 

When did this start happening? Random checks without good reason? I can't believe in the random nature of these things.

 

what are my rights? Can I leave during the interview? can I refuse to answer questions. Can I tell them to come back to me if they have something more solid?

 

Thanks

 

p.s can i record the meeting? can i take someone with me?


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I was indeed serious when I advised you not to panic. That's all I can do - type words on a screen. You can ignore my suggestion if you wish.

 

I can't tell you when random Compliance checks started, but they have existed for a number of years at least. Personally, I find the concept as odious as you do, but we have to work with what we have and complain to our legislators if we want things to change.

 

As to your rights, this is not an interview under caution and you are not suspected of committing a crime. You will not be under arrest or otherwise detained. You can leave if you wish, and you can refuse to answer questions. If you do this, you might find they stop your benefits.


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Had a compliance visit myself a few years back, so it is not a new thing or anything to worry about. They just asked a few questions about personal circumstances and savings. At no point was I asked to provide evidence. So I'd say yours would be nothing to worry about.

 

You are perfectly entitled to record the meeting, and should request a private room to do so - You do not need to inform the adviser that you wish to record, but it is something you might want to mention if they query the request for a private room. Note: Do not publish the recording on the internet as it could cause quite a bit of trouble all round.


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Note: Do not publish the recording on the internet as it could cause quite a bit of trouble all round.

 

Why is this bad? What can they do? What is the law they would rely on to do you for it. I think more people should record them and stick them online it would show how odious these things really are.


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There's probably a communication act which prevents you from doing that.

 

Would you be happy with someone posting a recording without your permission?

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Why is this bad? What can they do? What is the law they would rely on to do you for it. I think more people should record them and stick them online it would show how odious these things really are.

 

If you publish a recording of an interview then you could be making yourself a "Data Controller" under the terms of the Data Protection Act. If you then fail to take the precautions required of a Data Controller (precautions which include not broadcasting personal information to all and sundry) you could well find yourself in trouble.


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Pity. The problem is lack of information. Places like CAG and CAB can only go so far. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't stressed by this prospect and I'm not really best placed to deal with this but there are others in worse situations even more vulnerable situations and having a visual or audio representation of what goes on could and will have a very positive outcome to help people understand. Its no coincidence that these letters are vague they instill a sense of panic and worry that could be avoided if people understood more. They are the modern day ghost stories. People always fear what they don't understand, back in the day with limited info. ghost stories frightened the living daylights out of people. Simply because no one understood.


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Can you ask them to record the interview?

 

Then request it as an FOI request.


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On a more serious note, I'm assuming that notes will be taken by the investigators erm I mean advisers. Does this mean I can request this transcript via a SAR?


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