Payment made by bacs after death of a claimant

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  • #38874
    annes
    Participant

    I know payments made after the death of a claimant are payments made under a mistake of fact, as payments should have ceased on the claimants death.

    I want to write to the bank that received the payment to request restitution.

    Does anyone have a standard letter that they would be willing to share with me please?

    #110076
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    [quote=annes]I know payments made after the death of a claimant are payments made under a mistake of fact, as payments should have ceased on the claimants death.[/quote]

    I can’t see how the rules of appropriation can apply as there is no entitlement to the benefit paid. If it’s an overpayment, then as far as I can see, the bank can’t/won’t pay back and I must say I don’t think they are obliged to they had an agreement wiht the deceased. As far as I know any overpaid benefit will be paid back to the LA by the “estate”representative. The bank will pay back the O/P to the “estate”/representative.

    #110082
    annes
    Participant

    Thanks for coming back to me.

    However the IIRV Overpayment Guide 2011 (page 68) and the DWP HB/CTB overpayments guide Sep 2010 (4.29) both state that this is a mistake of fact and that once the banks are made aware of this, they should return any credit paid into the account after date of death.

    Looks like I am going to draft a standard letter from scratch.

    #110085
    Kevin D
    Participant

    Both of the publications cited are merely “guides” and, as such, have no legal standing. Do the guides offer any LEGAL basis for following this course of action? Ultimately, it’s the law that counts, not guidance.

    #110088
    annes
    Participant

    Thanks Kevin

    There is not any mention of law or regulations in either guidance. Will have to reconsider my options.

    #110089
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I don’t see how it matters that such overpayments are “payments made under a mistake of fact”. Wouldn’t this apply to most overpayments?

    Eg if the claimant moves and the authority is unaware, would you be able to take the money from the bank? Or if the claimant has undisclosed income?

    This seems to me to be a normal overpayment subject to recovery rules.

    What if the money was paid into the landlord’s account?

    Of course, you can recall a BACS payment within a short period of time of it being issued; 24 hours or so. This is no different to stopping a check.

    #110091
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    Talking about guides 🙂 see “bank account” in link below.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/ManagingDebt/DebtsAndArrears/DG_10013093

    #110092
    Anonymous
    Guest

    From the guidance manual:

    4.290 Any amount paid into a bank account after the claimant has died is made under a mistake of fact. The mistake being that the claimant was not entitled to that payment, because their HB should have terminated on their death.

    4.291 Once an account provider becomes aware that a claimant, holding a sole account, has died they should return any credits received after that date.

    4.292 LAs should take immediate action to contact the account provider for the return of any credits paid into the account after the date of death.

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

    4.291 suggests that this only applies to payments made after the bank is aware of the claimant’s death.

    #110096
    annes
    Participant

    I had already looked at the direct gov guide re deceased debtors – thanks

    We already stop bacs payments when possible, if appropriate.

    I can now see that 4.291 refers to the date the bank became aware of the claimants death. Tuesday was not a good day!!

    Our overpayment recovery procedures are under constant review to ensure that we maximise collection and this was something that had not previously considered. At least I had not missed an opportunity.

    Thanks to everyone for your feedback

    #110100
    Anonymous
    Guest

    4.291 could be read either way, but to me it looks like “that date” refers to “Once an account provider becomes aware” rather than the date of the death.

    Ambiguity in DWP guidance? Whatever next…

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