DWP responsiblity to notify

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    Hi, hope someone can direct me to where I may find some information.

    I have a claim going to TAS re; an overpayment created as the claimant failed to notify that his wife was working. His argument is that it’s an “official error” as he told the DWP that she was working. He was in receipt of Incapacity benefit.

    I seem to remember there was something on Rightsnet that the DWP is not under a duty to notify the authority of the change where a caimant is in receipt of IB, & that the duty lies, as always, with the claimant. Unfortunately, I’m unable to find the case law that relates to this.

    Hope someone can help as I know the rep will argue the “official error” angle, & I’d like to have the case law to respond with. :7:


    The DWP is under no obligation to share this information with us, although the info may filter through eventually.

    Most Claim forms include in the diclaimer the line that goes something like ‘ I acknowlege that I must report all changes in circumstances to the local authority’.

    By not reporting the change to the LA he has broken his declaration.

    The caselaw that I’ve found has been included in the previous posts link.


    I had a very similar case, where the clmt reported the change to the DWP, I used the same arguments that you are looking to include and [color=red:5cb54f7cf7][b:5cb54f7cf7][i:5cb54f7cf7]lost[/i:5cb54f7cf7][/b:5cb54f7cf7][/color:5cb54f7cf7] the case.

    The reason being that the clmt stated that the DWP member of staff he spoke to stated that they would inform the LA of the change, so because they didn’t, TAS said that was an ‘offical error’ by the DWP member of staff , and as they made the mistake and promised to advise the LA – the overpayment had to be made unrecoverable.

    I tried to argue the LA case using the ‘need to report to the authority responsible for HB’ etc – but was still told to make the opay unrecoverable from the clmt.

    TAS stated the principle of Sier didn’t apply as the staff member had promised the clmt that she would definately advise the LA of the change to the household

    So, good luck 😕

    Andy Thurman

    Perhaps in the hindsight of Karen’s example, I’d stick with the decision but be ultra-prepared to argue that the o/p is recoverable even if clmt makes the same “DWP said they’d tell you” assertion & official error decision made.

    On the evidence presented to the tribunal, I can see how the ‘official error’ decision was reached but not the non-recoverable part!! 😯 Even if DWP had said they’d tell the LA, the fact that the clmt had confirmed this with them shows they knew it would affect their HB/CTB.

    Stephen Murray

    Perhaps the chairman was persuaded by Comm Jacobs comments in CH/939/04 in deciding it was official error;
    “However, it is surely possible for an individual officer to undertake to a claimant that information will be passed on. If that undertaking is not honoured, that would be an official error.”
    Even if this was an error i would like to know how it was accepted that the claimant wasn’t aware they were being overpaid!


    Surely the error would be on the part of the DWP, so you can classify your overpayment as departmental error and get 100% subsidy?



    Is it possible that the chairman failed to distinguish between DWP Official error non – recoverable OP’s and LA Error which could be recoverable and is it too late for you to consider going to the Commissioners on this point?

    Just a thought.


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