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Housing Benefit overpayment - help please!


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Hi there,

 

I'm trying to sort out a problem for my brother with regards to an overpayment of housing benefit of £900.

 

Basically, he started work in November 06 after a very long period of unemployment, as did his partner. He wrote to the HB office to inform them (handwritten, no proof of postage and no copy taken), this letter appears to have been lost in the post. He received letter from HB saying his claim had been suspended (we can't work out why), so he contacted them to inform them that he'd sent a letter stating he was working. He informed them several times during the telephone conversation of this. Lo and behold they wrote to him stating they hadn't received the letter and that and I quote "I have checked on the internet and your Jobseekers claim is still active". He then phoned them again to inform them of same thing. They are now claiming an overpayment back from him AND HIS LANDLORD for the same amount with the same invoice number.

 

What I would like to know is can he argue that the overpayment was not due to his error but down to them as he had informed them several times he was working and therefore the claim should have been stopped. And what internet are they using???!!!

 

Many thanks for your time.

 

 

Posie

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hi posie

 

i have some knowledge of this as part of my job involves dealing with H/B regularly. I have some questions to begin with:

1. Were they in private rented

2. Was the rent from H/B been paid directly to the landlord or to your brother.

3. If you brother was in income based JSA allowance were they making a joint claim, as in were tehy claiming as a couple or indivually.

4. Was he payig any top up of his rent or did they get full H/B

5. Has he got a rent book

6. What kind of a tenancy has your brothr got, short hold,or assured ect.

7. If his claim is only susbended that means he has 1 month to get the info into H/B proving what he is saying, without proof they will not believe the Queen so its not personal.

8. H/B are linked up to the same system as the DWP so they can check if there is a break in your brother claim, if there is thats when the problems start, he will ahve to evidence his earnings, ie , send in his wage slips but his depends on what he earns, he may not be eligable for H/B if he earns over approx £125.00 per week. Time is of the essence here,

it is hardly likely that H/B would pay the money out twice and they would not ever in my experience go to the landlord, they always blame the tenant.

 

HTH

 

Hels Bells

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ps

if the computer systems says his claim is still active it means he has not informed the J/C he has a job,

and has he got the names of who he spoke to when he rang H/B as all calls are put on the referrence of the client who rang and to talk about his claim he must have given them a referrence number or impossible to have discussed it with them.

HTP too

hels

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pps

 

if his letter that he sent did not have his referrence number on it then H/B would not have been able to match it to anywhere so would have prob thrown it away.

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Hi, thanks for the reply. I also do housing benefit stuff for work, but this one stumping me! lol

 

1. Yes he is in private rented accommodation.

2. Rent direct to the landlord

3. Yes was joint claim of JSA

4. Full housing benefit

5. Dont think he has a rent book but would need to check that

6. Again would need to check tenancy.

7. Claim now appears to be closed but are chasing overpayment.

8. He can evidence his earnings no problem and could probably get a letter from DWP if necessary. He won't be eligible for HB whilst he's in employment. As far as I can ascertain they've approached both him and his landlord for this money.

 

Hope that info helps. It seems to be (to me anyway) a computer error between them and DWP.

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Just to update the other two posts you put up. Both him and his partner went physically into the Jobcentre Plus to inform them of employment. And neither of them have received a penny since from DWP. Reference on letter I couldn't tell you. Probably not knowing my brother!:D

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Also our local council, use name address and date of birth. They've only ever used the reference number system for council tax. Weird, but hey, so's my town! lol

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