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Hi im Looking for advice on a DEA I just noticed


Background in 2002 I took out 2 crisis loans from the social fund I'm 99% certain that they were both repaid in full


Forward to 2014 I receive a letter from DWP claiming I still owed them money I disputed this over the phone with them saying I had repaid in full they asked if I could prove it erm 14yrs after the effect no I couldn't I told them that I wouldn't be paying their spurious claim as they also couldn't prove I owed the money this was the last I heard from them or so I Houghton fast forward to tonight and I was heckling my Nov wage slip for something and I happened to notice something extra in the deductions colum DEA (dwp) £79.04 and an admin fee of £1 not knowing what it was I Google it to find out that they've deducted money from my account no letter of intent no contact whatsoever to say they were going to do this as I said earlier in 99% certain it was repaid as it was now 16 yrs ago my memory is a bit fuzzy on the matter my question is can they just take money from my account without informing me or even making contact to try to recover any alleged debt because I would have been asking them in writing for proof hat the debt actually existed



What options do I have open on this I know it's only £79 and to be honest I probably would never have had noticed if I hadn't gone to check something but it's just the underhand way it's been done that's angered me

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Does this help:

The Limitation Act says that the limitation period for benefit overpayments and social fund loans is six years.


The cause of action (when the limitation period starts running) for benefit overpayments, is when a final decision is made on the overpayment. This is most likely to be a final decision by a council, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or a tribunal.


For social fund loans, the cause of action is when the loan becomes due for repayment.


If the council or DWP tries to issue a county court claim against you for an overpayment of benefit, and you think it is statute-barred, you can put in a defence. This is complicated and you should get legal advice first. Contact CAB advice on your legal rights


However, if you are getting ongoing benefits, the DWP or council can take money directly from your benefit or wages to repay overpayments.

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Not quite correct the 6 years is for taking action in the Courts against the person claiming. But if fraud is the issue the time limits don't apply. As does with other benefits.

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I took the advice from a factsheet at this link:



As far as I understand it they are saying that:


"The Limitation Act says that the limitation period for benefit overpayments and social fund loans is six years."


After 6 years the DWP or Council need to issue a county court claim against you for an overpayment of benefit unless you are still in receipt of benefits, in which case they can deduct it from your benefits.


"In principle, a debt cannot be enforced after 6 years from the date upon which it became due. The 6 years runs from the 'Cause of Action' and the Terms and Conditions of the contract/agreement will have a bearing on this."

"Once a debt has lapsed, it cannot be revived - even through a subsequent acknowledgement or payment. The relevant law is contained within the Limitation Act 1980."


Bluebear says in his post that the first indication he noticed of the deduction was in his wage slip, not so much as a "by your leave" from DWP.


The question is, can DWP deduct money from the wages of someone who may or may not be on benefits just like that without informing that person?


The advice I quoted suggests that they can't. Perhaps you could provide Bluebear with a link to a law or advice that says they can.


Not sure where anyone suggested fraud might be involved.


The advice also suggests seeking legal advice. Perhaps CAB would be helpful, they may also have factsheets on the subject.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Waste of time DWP taking £316-00 from overpayment 22 years ago!!! They are taking it from my PIP. They cant even get figures correct as I am £22-00 short after their deductions, so have involved my local MP, even questioned Royal Mail as to how I never received letter that they were going to do this. Effing cheek. My God Duncan Smith is purging his guts on people, this could badly backfire as some people are resentful of certain people getting guaranteed accommodation due to a war crisis in middle east. As if the money owed is going to solve the nations debt, we are being sacrificed as pawns for those Bast*rd bankers who cocked things up in the first place.

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I am not sure if DWP loans are statute barred see http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/money_problems/loans_debt_and_bankruptcy/whose_debt_is_it Statute barred just means they cannot take legal action against you to recover a debt through the courts the DWP have always been able to recover overpayments and loans when you claimed another benefit. Besides that the 2012 Welfare Reform Act and Social Security (Overpayment and Recovery) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/384) means that it can instruct employers to deduct money through a DEA they do not have to go through a court to do this and it is retrospective.

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They did that with me, sent attachment of earnings, boss told them sorry we are a micro business, I don't have to pay a penny, letter came back, if you've taken money stop!!! He hadn't, then 4 weeks later same thing happened, boss called them and said your stupid, do you know what your doing - do one, letter came thru, don't take any money etc etc,

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