Appeal- we made claimant and partner recovery targets

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  • #39312
    Amanda JB
    Participant

    Hi

    Scenario

    Mrs is claimant, all forms etc signed by both Mr and Mrs, Mr is the income support claimant.

    An investigation revealed that Mr had over £52K in a bank account, he implied in his interview that Mrs didnt know about this capital.

    The decision maker addressed the O/P letter to both, as decided that recoverable from both as they both misrepresented facts.

    An appeal has been received from Mr, grounds are that the capital should not be counted as was a bequest.

    To deal with this correctly, should I deal with the appeal as a tripartite and send 2 copies of the response out, 1 to Mr and 1 to Mrs, as I am assuming as its from him, the tribunal could decide that as he is the partner he is not a target for recovery.

    #111677
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    First thing first – you need to send individual letters to both the claimant and partner with their rights of appeal. The grounds of recovery from both are very different; the fact that both signed the form is not the relevant factor here. It could be a tripartite if both agree or the Tribunal direct.

    The claimant – your grounds would be that they misrepresented their position (innocently if you decide she knew nothing about the capital).

    The partner – much tougher. You would need to make a case that he knowingly and falsely was involved in the claim. Tough one and almost no case law on this.

    Unless you do so then you are right that the partner cannot be held responsible; there being no such thing as a joint claim. Also I presume you are got/going to get DWP to reconsider the IS claim (capital being disregarded for a person being in receipt of IS etc).

    The trouble with the claimant only being deemed liable – she does not have the capital to repay the OP. Should they split up, then you would not even be able to recover from her further benefit.

    #111678
    Kevin D
    Participant

    Who was the HB/CTB claimant (doesn’t matter who the IS claimant is)? Also, did the terms of the declaration refer to BOTH signatories or just the claimant?

    If both did in fact misrepresent a material fact (innocently or otherwise), I agree both would be legitimate targets in terms of whom the overpayment is recoverABLE from (distinguished from recoverY which the Tribunal has no jurisdiction over). In those circumstances, both are parties to any appeal.

    #111687
    Amanda JB
    Participant

    Hi

    I/S for Mr has already been revised to nil before we made our decision.

    In his interview he said he knew about the claims etc but he claims his partner did not know about the capital as it was his from his father. He admits it was not declared although he states he did not do it dishonestly as he thought it was not counted as was an inheritance.

    Therefore he really made himself a target because of his answers, he also said he would repay any O/P’s, although now appealed. As he is the one with funds we want him to be a recoverable target for the reasons as above.

    It has fraud all over it, other unknown regular credits into accounts, other unknown accounts where money has been transfereed to and from, but no further enquiries were made due to the one acocunt having over £52 in it. investigation was time barred so no prosecution!!

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