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DWP say I've been overpaid - ** RESOLVED **


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Hi folks,

 

I'm new to the forum so please excuse any mistakes :-).

 

My problem is re Incapacity Benefit changeover to ESA Support Group and Occupational Pension.

 

I was medically retired from my job in January 2003

. Sometime between 2001 and 2003 my SSP from work ran out

I went onto Incapacity Benefit (based on my Nat Ins contributions),

 

initially short-term and progressed onto the Long-Term higher rate which I was on until Dec 2012 when I was transferred onto ESA Support group (Contribution based).

 

I completed the ESA form and there was no section or questions on that form asking anything about any Income or Pensions, as many of you will know, that form is purely about your health

I had previously informed the DWP in writing in 2003 that I had an Occupational Pension.

 

I was awarded the ESA without any Assessment and put into the Support group (Contribution based).

 

From Jan 2003 I began receiving an Occupational Pension from my previous employer

. Also in 2003 I claimed DLA and was awarded the highest rate in both Care and Mobility, this was a long term indefinite award.

 

When I claimed the Incapacity Benefit and then began receiving my Occupational Pension

, I informed the DWP about the pension in writing and it was never taken into account

(to my knowledge) as Income and did not affect my Incapacity Benefit

and I never received any correspondence from DWP regarding this pension at any time.

 

The pension in 2003 was around £60 per week and each year it has gone up by approx between £1.50 - £2 per wk.

It is now £92 per week.

 

I received a letter this week from DWP stating that from June 2013 I have been overpaid ESA because, I quote, I did not inform them that I had an Occupational Pension and they now want me to pay back nearly £500 so-called over payment.

 

This letter is worded rather accusatory , one section for some obscure reason is in bold print stating ' You are now in a minority of people who have received money you are not entitled to' (!).

 

The facts of the matter are,

the DWP have known since 2003 that I have an Occupational Pension, as I informed them at that time and I assumed that when I and many other people were transferred onto ESA, it would still be the DWP dept that dealt with it, they would have records of my previous Incapacity Benefit claim and they would therefore KNOW already that I was receiving an Occupational Pension !.

 

I realise that I am not covered under the DWP's Transitional Protection rule as my Incapacity Benefit claim began AFTER April 2001.

 

But I have been reading up on this and think that I should still be 'exempt' from having my pension taken into account under PENSION DISREGARDS PRIOR TO ESA CONVERSION

 

, where section 45465 states

(1) If the claimant was entitled to Incapacity Benefit immediately before conversion

 

(2) Incapacity Benefit was not reduced by pension because (2.1) Claimant got DLA Care at the highest rate (which I did).

 

I am not positive about this and I also would have thought that DWP staff themselves would already be aware of this (but nothing they do surprises me).

 

To add insult to injury, they want me to pay an extra £50 CIVIL PENALTY because they have decided that I was overpaid because I Negligently made an incorrect statement (WHEN !) or representation of information about my claim without reasonable excuse without taking steps to correct it !'.

 

That's total nonsense as they have known for 14 years that I have a pension, they have never communicated with me about it in all that time or asked me to provide any info. It's unbelievable.

 

It seems to me that SOMEONE at DWP has obviously 'discovered ' the pension info recently and I am expected to pay for their oversight/incompetence.

 

Sorry this is so long-winded,

I need to know if I am correct and I AM exempt

before I type a letter to DWP stating my case and asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration stating that I believed I am exempt due to the fact that prior to the changeover to ESA I was in receipt of DLA Care at the highest rate

 

. So PLEASE, if anyone can advise me on this I would eternally grateful.

 

Thankyou in advance, Vix.

Edited by Vixen7
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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I've amended your thread title to give more of an idea about your query.

 

People should be along later, although weekends are always quieter here. Please bear with us until people are able to get here.

 

Best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Oh yes, this old con they pull!.

 

First things first, send the DWP a SAR, which is free https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-request-for-personal-information

Obtain 'proof of posting' which is free from the PO counter.

 

Lodge a formal complaint with them, and inform your local MP regarding the continued persecution of the sick and disabled.

 

Do NOT discuss this with them over the phone, keep EVERYTHING in writing only, and keep a diary of events.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Could anyone please confirm for me that I am exempt from having my Occupational Pension taken into account ?.

 

I was on Contribution based Incapacity Benefit from 2002 and was transferred to Contribution based ESA (Support group) in 2013.

I was on DLA Care High rate from 2003.

 

Am I correct in believing that because I was on DLA high rate Care,

prior to being being converted to ESA,

my Occupational Pension should be disregarded ?.

And if so, will the Occ Pension be disregarded permanently ?.

Thanks in advance.

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Pensions were never/not always logged onto IB claims if they didn't affect, so when the transition occurred the pension is not listed on the ESA claim, roll on to RTI and this pops up a lot.

 

I have had several cases over the past 6 months for undeclared occ pens on ESA cases to investigate that should be disregarded under the transition rules.

 

A lot of new staff do not know about the rule as it is old and hidden in the DWP's guidance, it also doesn't help that no IB docs are still held to verify!

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Thankyou tomtom256.

 

I AM correct then and my Occ pension should be disregarded as I was on High rate DLA Care from 2003 onwards !.

 

I have checked back to 2012 on my Occ pension figures and realised that as my pension rises slightly every year,

2013 was the FIRST year that it went above £85 per week and that is the year the DWP are trying to say I was overpaid ESA from

and that I negected to inform them that the pension had gone over £85 per wk.

They have already (4 wks ago) reduced my ESA by £5 per wk !.

 

I wonder just how many people they have done or tried to do this to.

I read somewhere (possibly another forum) that the Transitional Protection (disregard of Occ Pension) was only fixed only up unto 2020 and that after that year, the pension WOULD be counted as income.

 

Do you know if this is correct and if it is, WHY only up to that particular year ??.

 

PS, what is RTI please?.

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I am not sure if your pension should be disregarded as I am not sure what the actual date wass for transitional protection of pensions, just advising that it is hidden and not many staff know about it. So you may be right, I meant to check.

 

Sorry RTI is Real Time Information - it's how HMRC notify other government departments of a person income.

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Thankyou anmarg ;-).

Another relevant point I have just come across which may also be useful for other people wrongly having Occupational Pension amounts affecting their ESA is this : it seems that the disregard prior to 2012 was £70 per week.

 

Looks like this was raised to £85 that year.

My point being that some people might think that it's ALWAYS been £85.

 

Upon checking back on my own Occ Pension payments,

I've found that mine has ALWAYS been disregarded right from when I first began on Occ Pension in 2003,

DESPITE the fact that from 2007 my pension tipped OVER above £70 per week !.

 

With that in mind,

I obviously WAS having my pension disregarded for all these years,

which goes to show that these days,

we cannot always rely on information from DWP who don't understand and can't apply their OWN RULES.

 

I will be typing a letter to them with these facts and to dispute the fact that I have been 'overpaid' since 2013.

I will update the outcome of this on here at a later date.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Could anyone please confirm for me that I am exempt from having my Occupational Pension taken into account ?. I was on Contribution based Incapacity Benefit from 2002 and was transferred to Contribution based ESA (Support group) in 2013. I was on DLA Care High rate from 2003. Am I correct in believing that because I was on DLA high rate Care, prior to being being converted to ESA, my Occupational Pension should be disregarded ?. And if so, will the Occ Pension be disregarded permanently ?. Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

Pensions prior to conversion

45465 * Certain pension payments or PPF periodic payments, described at DMG 44716 et seq, do not fall to be deducted from ESA(Cont). In addition any pension payment or PPF periodic payment is disregarded (1) where

1. the claimant was entitled to IB immediately before conversion to ESA and

2. IB was not reduced by a pension or PPF payment (2) because

2.1 the claimant was entitled to DLA care component at the highest rate (3) or

2.2 the claimant qualified for IB under the provisions for those incapacitated in youth because of previous entitlement to SDA (4) or

2.3 the claimant was entitled to IB before 6.4.01 on any day of IfW in a PIW which began before and continues after that date (5).

1 ESA (TP, HB & CTB)(EA)(No 2) Regs, Sch 1, para 11; ESA Regs, reg 75(1)(g);

2 C & B Act s 30DD(1);

3 SS (IB) Regs, reg 26;

4 reg 19;

5 WRP Act 99 (Commencement No 9 and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 2000, Art 3

 

 

Conts Element but if you are having a top up of ESA IR for eg EDP or SDP then the pension will be deducted off this element

but your Conts will not be effected

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Sent my typed letter to DWP re my being exempt from Occ Pension being taken into account, quoted the relevant DMG sections to them regarding this. Also filled in the SAR form and printed it off and included that. Sent it by signed for delivery on Aug 23rd. Shall update the outcome on here when I receive a reply. Thanks to those who helped re my query :-).

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Well done, let us know what they fire back..

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi folks,

an update to my previous posts re DWP trying to say I owe them money as they say I was overpaid ESA from 2013 when my Occupational pension rose above £85 per week.

 

I obviously dispute this as I was on DLA Care and Mobility both at highest rates from 2003 onwards so should be exempt from having my Occ pension taken into account.

 

I filled in a SARS form requesting copies of records held about me from 2003 up the present.

I also typed a letter explaining why I was exempt.

I sent these by recorded delivery on 22nd August.

The letter was received by DWP mail handling depot in Wolverhampton on Aug 23rd, it was signed for there.

 

To date I have received NO reply, response or acknowlegement of my letter !.

I read somewhere that DWP should respond within 40 days to a SARS request.

It is now 54 days.

 

My question is, what action do I now take ?.

I considered typing another letter,

sending again by recorded delivery,

asking why they hadn't responded.

Is this the correct action I should take please ?.

 

I have a copy of a DWP letter sent to me from a different, unrelated ESA dept earlier this year.

The generic letter we get each year just informing me of the amount of ESA I would receive from April this year.

 

There is a phone number on it which I could ring to see what progress has been made (if any) with my SARS request,

but I am reluctant to enter into any phone conversations with someone who possibly hasn't got a clue what they're talking about and obviously I will have no 'proof ' or record of any call and conversation I might have.

 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated :-). Thankyou.

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Yes send them another letter 'reminding' them that they are outside of the 40 days in which to respond to your SAR, further delay will mean a complaint being sent to the ICO for investigation, in any case you expect the response to your SAR be sent within the next seven (calender) days, after which you will report them to the ICO.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Right, here we go again re my SARS request and letter regarding Occ pension affecting my ESA, sent by recorded delivery Aug 24th, to which I have had NO response or acknowledgement of said !..

I have been ill for several weeks so had not completed an ICO template letter.

 

Today I received 2 separate letters from different DWP addresses.

One in Wolverhampton (where I sent my SARS request to in Aug)

and one from DWP Debt Management Contact Centre in Nuneaton.

 

Both stating that they are going to take back £35 per fortnight starting next week for the 'debt' I owe them !!.

 

No mention of the SARS request or my letter where I'd quoted their own rules to them from their DM Guide regarding Transitional arrangements for people being transferred from Incapacity Benefit onto ESA who were on High rate DLA Care and Mobility prior to changeover being exempt from having Occupational Pensions taken into account and affecting ESA.

 

As you can imagine, I'm absolutely fuming.

Cannot believe how they can get away with no response or reply to my Aug letter and totally disregard it.

 

I have now completed the ICO,

sent copies and typed letters to BOTH departments,

stated that as I have had no response or even acknowlegment of the SARS or my letter from August,

(for which I have allowed them extra time to respond outside of the 40 days)

I am now also in communication with my local MP re this matter.

 

I am also going to ring both depts tomorrow, to see if I can get any sense from them.

 

Watch this space.

 

PS. I read a post from 2009 on a benefits advice site stating that DWP no longer have to respond to SARS requests.

I won't quote it chapter and verse, but is this correct ?.

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PS. I read a post from 2009 on a benefits advice site stating that DWP no longer have to respond to SARS requests.

I won't quote it chapter and verse, but is this correct ?.

 

 

Most certainly NOT!

 

This is a legal request.

 

Well done on getting your MP in on this, time will tell as to what good they'll do, but it still needs firing up the chain.

 

As for the DWP, nothing surprises me anymore with these fools, having spent three years fighting them tooth and nail, where they even ignored the judges direction, they really are a law unto themselves, and act with impunity.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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If DWP fail to respond to a complaint you can ask the Independent Case Examiner to intervene - they won't accept it as a formal investigation because you haven't had a final response, but they will give DWP a good kick up the backside.

Email them with copies of any letters you've sent.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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If DWP fail to respond to a complaint you can ask the Independent Case Examiner to intervene - they won't accept it as a formal investigation because you haven't had a final response, but they will give DWP a good kick up the backside.

Email them with copies of any letters you've sent.

 

Yes, TY RMW, forgot this is exactly what I did when DWP played the ignorance card and thought they were untouchable.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Who or what is the Independent Case Examiner, are they part of the DWP ?.

I sent both letters by 'signed for delivery, they reached DWP Monday (18th Dec). The reduction of my ESA has already taken place, a reduced amount went into my bank today, but I'm assuming that's because this was already set up to happen before they would have received my recent letters re ICO complaint.

Edited by Vixen7
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well here we are, January 7th and STILL NO RESPONSE TO MY letter, RECEIVED AND SIGNED FOR BY THEM Dec 18th. I had thought there may be a delay due to it being Christmas, but it's now 21 days. Feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall !.

 

Re the local MP I was contacting, discovered he is a CONSERVATIVE MP and when I researched him, found out he had voted AGAINST many welfare reforms which would have helped millions of disabled people !. So decided not to ask him for help as doubt he would have been veey sympathetic !.

 

So am now contacting a local Lib Dem MP.

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Ps. Re the Independent Case Examined, their rules state that they won't deal with a case unless the dept involved have already given a response. So in my case, where there has been NO response, should I still contact the ICE ?.

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