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Dollydoo

possible benefit overpayment for deceased

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We've been through all the usual probate etc for my mum in law who died Feb 2018.

 

We've now received letters from the DWP saying my late mum in law may have been overpaid an income related benefit. They say according to their records and those of the probate there appears to be a discrepancy and want us to provide all her financial statements covering 2003 - 2013.

 

They've told us not to distribute any funds from her estate (which we had already as it all went to my husband, before we'd even heard from them). They've said they can work on the figures they have and calculate the possible overpayment but its best if we provide the information for them so they can make an accurate assessment.

 

I assume the cheapest option would be to approach the banks with SARs? However, before I do this, can I ask the DWP to provide all the information they have regarding her payments of benefit and her applications for benefit because, to be honest, neither myself nor my husband recall filling in any forms for her (and its something we would normally do as she's registered blind).

 

We do know she was getting a pension credit (savings based only) but we've no idea when it started or how she came to claim it - perhaps we've just forgotten as its so long ago. However, I don't want to just take their word for it so how best to approach this really, if anyone has any advice. I'm not trying to avoid any repayment (if one is due) but naturally I'd like to check for myself as well, if that makes sense. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Edited by honeybee13
Paras

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Well I would write back saying that unfortunately you [DWP] had ample opportunity to present yourselves as a creditor when you were informed of the death.

You have not done so in a timely manner and the estate has already been distributed by probate.

 

Where this lies within The law, well I'm not sure but it seems to me that they have had ample time but failed to act.

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Hi. I'm sorry to hear about your MiL.

 

I would say it's worth asking the DWP for an SAR so you can understand how they calculated their figures.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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A sar wouldn't reveal much HB, the DWP are asking for 10 years of bank statements to decide..

They have nothing, zip nada zilch so they are asking for statements.

 

My response to that would be apply to the courts for a court order.

Again where that lies in law I'm not sure but they seem to be fishing for evidence

Edited by dx100uk
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i'd still sar and call them out

its on their website and free anyway

cant hurt.

 

dx


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A sar wouldn't reveal much HB, the DWP are asking for 10 years of bank statements to decide.. They have nothing, zip nada zilch so they are asking for statements.

My response to that would be apply to the courts for a court order.

Again where that lies in law I'm not sure but they seem to be fishing for evidence

 

Asking for 10 years of statements is a bit much tbf so.... that's up to you

 

 

If/when the DWP come at you with an over payment demand you'll have to do a SAR to the DWP and maybe even the bank - which I consider doing after the DWP sends theirs if you think there's anything amiss) anyway if/when you decide to challenge it. Which you should!

 

Doing it now 1 get's the 30+ days (well expect months and a few follow ups) wait over with and will also save you that time and waiting before you finalise the estate and can forget about it.

 

 

The DWP are on a very active trawl for old debt atm since they can claim it from Universal Credit. Historical debt recovery immediately and without so much as by your leave is an endemic scandal that's only just being recognised under UC. Add to that if you take out their loan (sorry advance) you're then faced with massive sums being culled from your UC payment.

 

One of the major issues with this historic debt is that they often ave zero proof of anything except a figure that the computer system doing the trawl coughed up. Seriously that's it!

 

It took quite a lot of shouting by certain forum members before the advice on theses boards changed from you must owe it so have to pay it to........ send a SAR see what comes back then either challenge or pay. The DWPs computer systems are old and creaky and often have incorrect data like crossed Ninos, claims not closed properly or final (or any) social fund payment etc not recorded as they were done manually.

 

So the fact they can now recover and are actively doing so with impunity due to legislation is wrong imho.

  • Haha 1

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I did find this on a google search tho.

 

 

 

If you have already paid the beneficiaries their entitlements from the estate and you receive a letter from the DWP about a potential claim you should contact the beneficiaries to explain that there could be money due to the DWP which will need to be repaid.

 

You should ask the beneficiaries to return the money they have received to you to hold pending the outcome of the DWP’s enquiries.

 

You must ensure that you act quickly. As executor you could ultimately be personally liable for the sum due.

 

If you are in any doubt you should seek specialist legal advice.

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I'm no expert but they can come after the person who executed the estate at a later date iirc but I really know nothing about estates only benefits I'm afraid!

 

So fighting an over payment - yes Estate issues nada!

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I'm not sure why they ask for 10 years as I am pretty certain banks/financial institutions only have to retain the last 9 years of financial data.

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6yrs but most hold more

but that's not the point.

 

you make DWP PROVE they have the data [not just a one line entry in some converted old systems database]

that this money is really owed.

 

 

as SP says , we've seen numerous times when they are put to this test they cannot actually prove it.


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They probably rely on fear the same as a bottom feeder DCA with an old unprovable debt.


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any advice on what would be the best way to word a letter?

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goto the dwp website

and fill in their sar [subject access request] there

 

get all the info first.


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Well I sent SAR which dwp received 13th February.  Haven't received anything back yet.  We're supposed to send in the financial details by the 28th March (if we don't they'll calculate any overpayment on what info they already have).   Should I just sit and wait for their calculation or write to them beforehand saying we've asked for SAR and heard nothing so we take it there wasn't any overpayment after all. 

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You used the one on their website  link yes?


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Posted (edited)

No it wasn't suitable for a third party asking for a deceased person so I sent a letter clearly stating it was a SAR request and that they had 30 days etc. the only part I left off was that I would make a complaint.  I sent it trackable delivery and so I know they received it.   Does that really matter though, as long as they've received a request they should adhere to it surely

Edited by Dollydoo

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Received the bundle from DWP today, its a minefield! I have her application which includes copies of her bank statements/savings etc at that time 2004.   I have also found a letter that says "sorry to  hear of the death of...... etc - our records show we owe her some money" goes on to ask who the money should be paid to and for their account number.    where do I start?! 

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Posted (edited)

can't make head nor tail of it, however,  I have been thru computer records & clerical records and can't find anything specifically mentioning "overpayment".    

 

Edited by Dollydoo

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well if you cant find it..make them prove their 'assumption'

if they cant tough on them.

sadly we see this time and again with historic overpayment claims by the dwp.

 


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1 hour ago, dx100uk said:

well if you cant find it..make them prove their 'assumption'

if they cant tough on them.

sadly we see this time and again with historic overpayment claims by the dwp.

 

 

Fully agree with this.

 

You need to write to the DWP department that believes that there is an overpayment, to insist that they provide proof of this debt and more importantly that DWP wrote advising of this debt at the time.

 

My understanding is that for any debt to be capable of enforcement, DWP must have proof that they issued a letter at the time that the overpayment was first calculated.  It does not mean that the debt does not exist, but that without having issued any letter, the DWP claimant would not have had the opportunity to ask for mandatory reconsideration of the matter and then if necessary appealed to Courts Tribunal.

 

I have seen examples of such debts being written off, if DWP have realised that they made an error in not writing at the time the overpayment was calculated. The reason being is that because no letter was issued which would have allowed the appeals process, it is a bit late in the day, to now be issuing the overpayment letter and allowing the appeals process now.


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