Overpayment Decision Notices

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    Hope someone can give me a bit of advice on this one as the claimant has appealed. 😕

    We have caused a couple of overpayments but did not issue a decision notice because our system letters were supressed. After receiving a query from the claimant about the amount of benefit she had been paid we realised that the letters had not been sent so sent them asap.

    We then did an underlying entitlement calc but again failed to send the letters, we just wrote a manual letter telling her of the total underlying entitlement and the balance of the overpayment. Which she replied what o/p and appealed

    Can we now issue clear formal notification of all the overpayments/adjustments that have been created as we believe that they are recoverable or if we have to go to tribunal will it be thrown out?

    We have not yet started recovery.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.


    You can issue the letters now. Effectivly the decision letter date is the date of your decision so the whole appeal process only starts from that date.


    I’m not so sure…from what you’ve said, it sounds like it would be a good idea to send a summarising letter to explain what the outstanding balance is, how it has been calculated and that it is recoverable.

    On the other hand, you did notify the claimant of the gross overpayments, and you did notify her of the adjustment due to underlying entitlement. The first set of letters were (I presume) system generated, so hopefully these are Schedule 9 compliant. Your second letter, to tell her what the true recoverable overpayment was, may or may not have been compliant – was she informed of her dispute rights and right to a written statement of reasons, was she told that you considered the reduced overpayment to be recoverable and so forth? Even if this second letter was not fully Schedule 9 compliant, the claimant’s rights have not been compromised, as she clearly wishes to dispute the overpayment, so it would seem a bit churlish to tell her that she has to appeal all over again. I would send her a letter of clarification and continue with the appeal.


    I’d go with Andy on this, but I would issue a revised breakdown with a covering letter just to cover the “correctly notified in accordance with schedule 9” aspect. That way you would be able to argue that you had remedied an incomplete decision.

    Do I know what I'm doing? The jury's out on that........................


    Thank you for all your advice. We will give it a go.

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