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ESA Overpayments - Advice needed....

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Hi to all and hoping you can help, below I have provided a brief summary of the issue at hand which I hope isnt too complicated....

 

 

  • my wife has been on contribution based ESA since 2012
  • She suffers clinicial depression and has short term memory issues due to treatments previously received whilst admitted for 2 months in hospital
  • my wife had previously worked full time as a pub manager running a very busy pub for a large company
  • During the intial medical for ESA we declared that I sell a couple of items on Ebay in an attempt to force my wife to leave the house and take items to the post office
  • in an build my wifes confidence I registered a company in my wifes names. I did this with the help of an accountant friend, this was also to ensure that we were legit to declare any monies earned
  • unfortunatley my attempt to support my wife in this way had the reverese affect and may her withdraw even more (I know, I am stupid and didnt understand at the time, I was desperate)
  • consequently the business did not trade, but my account friend had submitted accounts to HMRC with a provision for a salary, I didnt take much notice at the time
  • DWP stopped ESA payments in Oct 14 on the basis of the salary provision being made
  • I had sent a recorded letter to DWP advising that no salary had been drawn in Oct 14
  • in Oct 14 I chased DWP for a reply as we had heard nothing - they advised they had not recieved anything even though we know the letter had been received
  • I sent another letter outlining all above points along with a letter from my accountant stating that no salary had been drawn. DWP advised they had received this
  • Dec 14 I received a letter from DWP advising overpayments and the debt will be collected as the ESA dept had not advised of a mandatory reconsideration
  • I contacted ESA and they advised I needed to send in another letter to request a reconsideration
  • My wife phoned ESA in Dec 14 to see if they had received our letter, they state they had not and advised we phone back the folowing week
  • My wife phoned back and they say they had received the letter, but also requested evidence from HMRC that no monies had been drawn from the company
  • We obtained 2 documents from HMRC covering the periods 2012/13 and 2013/14 clearly stating zero income - we sent this in Jan 15 along with a covering letter
  • We waited a week and called ESA who advised they had not received anything (again) and we should make an appointment with our local job centre to take in all of the documents sent by post to avoid any further losses
  • we then received a phone call to say they had found the documents and we duly cancelled the job centre appointment
  • we were told to wait a week and we should here something, we didnt so we started chasing again only to be told the documents had been lost when sending to our local job centre!!!
  • This morning we have received another letter from DWP to recover the overpayments from my wifes DLA!! they will not change this until they have been notified from ESA dept??
  • We now have an appointment at the local job centre again

Phew....is there any advice anyone can provide as we feel we have done everything we can, provided everything they have requested. I am feeling due to their incompetance that I am now losing the plot myself and I need to be there for my wife. Help....

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Have you had a decision on the MR or is it still in process?


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Some more questions that might help to clarify the position before considering next move:

 

Was the initial medical for ESA, referred to in bullet point 4, the medical upon which your wife's award of ESA in 2012, referred to in bullet point 1, granted, and had she been in receipt of ESA benefit since then and up to Oct 14 2014?

 

The basis upon which the award of ESA was granted at that time was as briefly outlined in bullet point 2. You would doubtless have had to provide supporting evidence of which you will have copies if it became necessary to provide proof at some stage. Would that be a reasonable assumption?

 

When the ESA payments were stopped in Oct 2014, were you given a reason for this in writing?

 

Did you actually make a formal request for a Mandatory Reconsideration?

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Hi - the ESA medical scored zero and went to tribunal and awarded within minutes as my wifes was in pieces and couldn't talk and yes she was in receipt of ESA up to Oct 14.

 

 

We provided lots of medical evidence to support my wifes claim.

 

 

The reason provided was that HMRC details on file suggested my wife had received a salary from the company when in actual fact it was a provision, but was amended when ful year accounts were submitted.

 

 

Yes I made a formal request for Mandatory Reconsideration in November and December. The first letter had not been received?

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