Overpayments after arrears of ESA paid

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    I have a case whereby a claimant won an appeal with the DWP and has been awarded ESA back to February 2010. This, obviously, generated HB & CTB overpayments. The claimant has appealed our decision which I beleive to be correct. However, the only Commisioners Decisions I can find to quote are regarding arrears of Tax Credits. Does anyone know of any Commisioners Decisions regarding arrears of a social security benefit such as ESA?

    Kevin D

    It boils down to the reason(s ) for the delay in why there was a delay in awarding ESA and, if there was fault, whose?

    The bottom line is, was the o/p “…arose as a consequence of an “official error…” as defined in HBR 100(3)?

    I suspect a delay by TTS in arranging an appeal hearing is not, in itself, an error within the meaning of 101(3). However, did the DWP cause any of that delay? Was the DWP’s original decision so poor that it should be regarded as an error rather than a decision made in good faith but one the Tribunal simply took a different view on?


    I don’t think the Tribunal is one of the bodies capable of committing an official error – it must be the LA, DWP or HMRC (or contractors working for any of the above).

    But as kevin says, if the reasons why the appeal (a) took a long time to be heard and (b) succeeded werer either or both DWP’s fault, you would have an official error there.

    There is also one of the early HB Commissioners’ decisions by Edward Jacobs [CH/0943/2003] in which it was held that a successful appeal to the tribunal means the original decision under appeal was by definition an error, even if the Tribunal simply took a more lenient view of the same facts without finding anything inherently “wrong” with the original. But that was flatly contradicted by a later decision [CH/0038/2008] which reached exactly the opposite conclusion. Take your pick!

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