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Outstanding amount due - CSS collect on behalf of DWP

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Hi,

 

The wife got a letter from CSS collect on behalf of DWP for an outstanding amount of £50,

 

 

this was a fine for allegedly not telling them a return to work date which meant they overpaid 2 weeks ESA.

 

 

We did accept that she was paid 2 extra weeks by mistake and promptly paid that back

but disputed the £50 fine for failing to inform them of change of circumstances,

 

 

we tried to speak to them many times about the matter and was promised call backs that never happened

 

 

then we would call back etc and this carried on for a few weeks and we felt we did as much as we could to resolve the matter but were ignored.

 

 

My wife is now worried about this letter and wants to pay it

 

 

i think the issue is still with DWP and we have not had any dealings with this CCS company

and i don't think we should pay it as the original fine was for something that was not our fault.

 

 

We did contact DWP and they said they cannot deal with this anymore.

 

Any help or advice would be much appreciated

 

Thanks in advance

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Ok thanks, then from that

 

 

do we still owe the DWP the money

 

 

if thats the case why are they trying to get the money of us

 

 

if there is no action they can take what is the point of them sending the letters

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If you don't pay it,

you will likely have to pay more in interest.

 

 

This is the Civil service we're talking about..

 

 

..I would be very careful and no one should tell you what to do,

 

 

you should just listen to their opinion and not take it as factual.

 

 

I would complain to the Supervisor for DWP (regional) and ask for the decision to be looked at again.

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deal directly with DWP

 

 

I'm not aware they [the DWP] can issue any punitive penalty for not 'doing something' you should have.

 

 

you most certainly do not deal or pay any attention whatsoever to anything CCS [a DCA] states.

 

 

a DCA is NOT A BAILIFF

and has

NO SUCH LEGAL POWERS.

 

 

can you expand on what you are stating might be behind the £50 so called 'fine' the DWP levied...

or was it the stupid DCA that's added this?

 

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

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As of quite recently, the DWP can issue a £50 civil penalty to people who they say have failed to notify a change in circumstances which has resulted in an overpayment of benefit. This is odious, quite frankly. In most other cases where such penalties are issued (such as parking tickets) you would have the right to refuse to pay the penalty and go to court instead. This is not the case with these DWP penalties: you can't insist on a trial because no-one is suggesting that you have committed any offence.

 

So, my thoughts are these: do not deal with the DCA. As others have said, they can't take court action on a government debt. These penalties can be appealed to a civil tribunal, subject to an absolute 13 month time limit (the normal limit is 30 days, but you'd have a good case for claiming an extension to that since you did attempt to discuss the matter at the time and were ignored) and you could consider that route if the limit hasn't expired.

 

If the limit has expired, it's likely that the DWP will get the money back one way or another. They could theoretically take civil court action to recover it, subject to the normal rules about statute barred debt, but frankly, if the DWP goes to civil court over a £50 debt I'll eat my hat. They never really do that because they can recover the money by making deductions from future benefits (including Retirement Pension) and they have also been given new powers to make deductions from earnings without a court order. Statute barring does not apply to either of these means of recovery.

 

But still, don't pay the DCA. It just encourages them.


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If you don't pay it,

you will likely have to pay more in interest.

 

 

 

The DWP does not charge interest on outstanding debts, so that shouldn't be a problem. Correct recourse for these things is a request for Mandatory Reconsideration, followed by a civil appeal if the MR is not successful. As I noted in my previous post, there is a time limit on that process, though.

 

No harm in writing to a supervisor, though. He or she may have the power to overturn the penalty, and this new system is basically an open invitation for capricious thievery from poor people. Rant over.


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Antone

 

 

£50. The issue relates to a person on Employment Support Allowance, so to an extent they're impliedly vulnerable. This will be nipped in the bud if the person were to write to the DWP supervisor for their region. A mandatory decision does not guarantee that the different decision-maker will be senior or in fact more experienced. After-all, DWP's supervisory nature is a delegated authority from the Secretary of State for Department Work and Pensions (Executive part of the Government). If this route fails and I do not believe it will, referral to the Parliament Ombudsman is also an adequate and consequent route. If the Parl. Ombuds. have to get involved over £50 it will cost DWP more man power in time answering their investigations. So the threat of it will probably end the £50 sanction in any event. This does not need to go to what is likely to be a stressful tribunal to have the tribunal throw it out several months after, and not on a point of law either. It's simply not a legal matter per se.

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The £50 penalty is an Outcome Decision, not a Secretary of State Decision. The correct recourse for an adverse outcome decision is, as I've already stated, an MR followed by civil appeal. The fact that it's "not a legal matter" is exactly the reason why the Tribunal route is the one to follow - reviewing Outcome Decisions is precisely what the Tribunals are for.

 

Now, as I said, a letter won't hurt - it can only cost the price of a stamp, and OP might get lucky. But there is no point whatsoever delaying following the prescribed process for recourse while waiting for the results of this letter, especially since there are time limits on that process.


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