Overpaid HB to be recovered from earnings?

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  • #39812
    DJM
    Participant

    Hi folks

    I’ve been asked to find info regarding a statement made by Chris Grayling in June this year regarding the amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill to allow overpaid HB to be recovered by attachment of earnings, in much the same way as arrears of Council Tax or child maintenance.

    So far, I’ve not found much, other than the basic info on the Housing and Property Law website.

    Has anyone got any idea of where I may find more info?

    As ever, all clues gratefully received!

    #113490
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have just read your post and although I cannot help with the query you have specifically raised (sorry) I am intrigued as to what may or may not have changed.

    As far as I am aware – as long as you have a judegement for your HB overpayment, that then enables you to enforce the debt – so an Attachment of Earnings order can be applied for as well as the making use of other methods of recovery.

    To apply for an AOE for Council tax you have to have a liability order – and the judgement you get for HB OP is the equivalent really

    #113494
    chris harvey
    Participant

    I agree with Caroline. We use attachment of earnings for HB debts where we can. You need to get your CCJ first but thats even easier than getting a liability order on the CTAX side.

    #113499
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    [quote=DJM]I’ve been asked to find info regarding a statement made by Chris Grayling in June this year regarding the amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill to allow overpaid HB to be recovered by attachment of earnings, in much the same way as arrears of Council Tax or child maintenance[/quote]

    Agree with Caroline and Chris[Not Grayling], I wonder how he came to the conclusion the bill needs changing, there is already a provision to recover HB via attachment of earnings, so long as all the boxes are ticked.

    https://hbinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/guidance/hbopg-courts.pdf

    #113520
    liffe
    Participant

    It seems as though the minister is not fully abreast of his brief. As far as I know this is nothing unusual or new.

    #113551
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Yes I vaguely remember it. I think there was some talk of not requiring a Court order at all i.e. just writing to the employer direct and demanding payment. I dont think it went any further though!

    #113572
    mark_symmonds
    Participant

    Dee

    Is it this you are referring to?

    http://www.housingandpropertylawdaily.co.uk/news-by-category/2011/06/14/welfare-reform-bill-new-powers-to-recover-overpaid-housing-benefit-from-earnings–10368.html

    As Peter says, it appears to be doing away with the requirement to obtain a court order.

    #113579
    Anonymous
    Guest

    This is correct. Clause 102 of the Welfare Reform Bill inserts page after page of new material into the Social Security Administration Act, one of which is an extension of s75 to say that Regulations may allow recovery of HB overpayments from earnings in the same way they are recovered from state benefits at the moment.

    #113590
    mcmahow
    Participant

    Hi All

    I currently apply for the Award then have to go through the normal process of trying to get the Attachment to Earnings. Is the Welfare Reform Bill now saying that the Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA) is now in place??? & if so are there any specific forms needed?? or am I being a bit premature in asking the questions???

    thanks 🙂 :quest:

    #113591
    chris harvey
    Participant

    It’s only a Bill not an Act of Parliament yet. No doubt we will get a Circular when the regulations are laid and come into force.

    #113592
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Very premature indeed. The Bill is still going through parliament. When it receives the royal assent, only a few bits of it will come into force immediately – the rest will be brought into force a bit at a time by commencement orders.

    Once s102 has commenced, which means the Administration Act will then have been amended, the new procedure will not apply until Regulations are made under the amended s75.

    DWP will issue circulars when that is about to happen.

    #113594
    mcmahow
    Participant

    Oh what a shame!! 🙁

    #113596
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Yes and it may never actually come into force. The WRA merely allows the powers to be granted. Personally I think it is very dangerous – what if a mistake has been made and there is no debt and the employer fires the claimant based on the LA’s actions? Say they work in finance? At least the Court process has more of a safety net.

    “Oh sorry claimant A. We made a mistake and confused you with someone else. Oh your employer terminated your contract. Sorry about that…..”

    #113661
    DJM
    Participant

    Thanks for all of this folks – makes for very interesting reading!

    #113670
    andyrichards
    Participant

    I agree with Peter. Whilst it might look straightforward and convenient for us, I can see all sorts of injustices occurring, with deductions being made without the claimant having had a proper hearing, which apart from anything else will probably cause benefits and legal departments more work in the long run.

    I can’t see small employers and even the payroll sections of large ones being very happy either.

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