Reply To: Overpayment recoverable from Partner?


Hi, I thought I’d jump in on this post for some advice please.

We have an appeal against a HB overpayment of £127k spanning 2009 to 2019. We found out that the claimant’s husband was the owner of the property and he had been living there throughout the period and working full time – the claim had been made on the basis that she was a single parent who was working part time and she had declared that she was not related to the landlord. The claim has been cancelled from the outset and the claimant billed for the o/p. The HB payments were made direct into her bank account. We have sent a fraud referral to DWP but have no idea whether they are following it up.

The claimant has appealed on the grounds that she never made the HB claim and that her husband (from whom she is now separated) stole her identity and made a fraudulent claim in her name. She states he also made a fraudulent claim for Tax Credits in her name, that her employment documents were falsified and that he had control over her bank account and she never saw the HB payments going in or had any access to the account. She states she has been a victim of domestic violence, coercive control and financial crime. She has supplied proof that she is being assisted by the CAB and a women’s refuge and has now been housed out of the area.

The next stage is for the appeal to go to tribunal. In the absence of any proof that her husband did indeed make a fraudulent claim in her name, is our only option to proceed on the basis that she made the claim and received the HB? Would we need a conviction against her husband in order to make him a target for recovery? Is this a tripartite appeal? The claimant has asked that we don’t send any paperwork to her old address as she is divorcing her husband.

I’m not quite sure where we go from here. We normally get these kind of overpayments as a result of a fraud investigation/IUCs etc but in this case there has been no fraud investigation and we don’t even know whether the DWP will investigate the allegation.

Thanks in advance for any input/suggestions. Has anyone come across a case like this before?