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Housing Benefit Overpayment


englishgirl
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i have just received a letter say i owe the council near 3 Grand for over payed housing benefit.

me and my partner moved to Scotland was homeless and had no job. last year i got in to work placement through job center and then got a job.

i informed the council of everything and they said i didn't need to pay rent because i was working my bf benefits got stopped.

my partner got agency work that lasted a couple of weeks and then they phoned up giving him some more.

the council phoned up asking questions and i answered and she was like i will report it on system everything ill be fine you wont have to pay.

i thought that was strange but though she knows best cos sh works for council.

now i have this bill i don't know what to do and ive been reading forms about how they will do me with fraud

i am so scared i am only 22 first every house and i do know what to do.

i have suffer from bad depression any how and this is sending me over the edge.

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Hello and Welcome englishgirl,

 

I have moved this thread to the appropriate Forum, you should get some advice shortly.

 

Regards,

 

Scott.

 
 

Any advice I give is honest and in good faith.:)

If in doubt, you should seek the opinion of a Qualified Professional.

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One of the tests for housing benefit overpayment recovery is whether you reasonably could have known you were being overpaid. If you are asked to attend an interview under caution (the first step in a fraud investigation), then you will be asked how you could believe that while both you and boyfriend were working, you would still get full housing benefit.

 

Do you have any proof of informing of a change of circumstances to the council, like receipts for providing wage slips? If the council knew you were working, they would have requested wage slips in order to assess you - they don't just take your word for it on your earnings. Do you think there could have been a communication problem.

 

It's OK if you made a mistake and didn't inform the council for whatever reason, we're not here to judge you, it's just easier to advise if we have all of the facts.

 

At the moment you need to make arrangements to start paying the overpayment. This will make things go better if there is a fraud investigation or later prosecution.

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At the moment you need to make arrangements to start paying the overpayment. This will make things go better if there is a fraud investigation or later prosecution.

 

If the OP had informed the council in writing of a change of circumstances, they would be foolish to launch a fraud investigation or embark on prosecution. Hopefully, a review would show a breakdown in internal communications and they would agree to an amicable resolution without imposing any penalties.

 

englishgirl: I would recommend sending a SAR to the council and see what information was recorded when you spoke to them.

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