Recoverable OP or not?

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  • #45900
    rds01
    Participant

    We have been advised by DWP that a claimant is not entitled to IS from 2008 due to an occ pension. Claimant appealed this as he stated he told DWP at the time. They agree and are now not recovering the overpayment as it's an official error. Claimant wanted us to do the same.  However we found out that he also had a property which he inherited and never told DWP or us about this.  DWP don't want to know and still say the OP is not recoverable.  Can we still treat the overpayment as recoverable?  Thanks

    #129264
    liffe
    Participant

    Have you notified the claimant that the cause of the overpayment was the addition of the Pension?
    Did you reassess the claimant’s actual HB based upon the income they were actually in receipt of?
    What is the net overpayment?

    Now that you have new information have you assessed the capital value of the property?
    Have you reassessed the revised entitlement (following the earlier decision)?

    I suppose that if the first overpayment was caused by Official Error it would not be recoverable. However a fresh decision would be required to calculate any overpayment attributable to the capital value of the property otherwise there would not have been appeal rights etc.

    #129266
    rds01
    Participant

    There is no underlying entitlement due to the capital value of the property and we have sent a decision notice to confirm this.

    #129278
    liffe
    Participant

    Just for clarification I think I would have been inclined to:

    1. Reassess the claim following the ending of IS using the Occupational Pension.
    2. Notify the Net HB award to ensure any overpayment for the excess amount can be attributed to DWP error and made non recoverable
    3.Reassess the new net award taking into account the capital thereby creating a new overpayment that is independant of the Official error and solely down to the Claimant’s failure to declare.

    Seems to make sense to me but is probably convuluted and there may be another way…

    #129281
    rds01
    Participant

    Thank you all for your help.

    #129288
    liffe
    Participant

    Ah ha, I see!!

    Thank you!

    #129279
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I don’t agree that there is a first overpayment and a second overpayment. I don’t think you can say that the first overpayment was caused by X and the second overpayment was caused by Y. If that was the case the amount recoverable would depend solely on which order the overpayments were created.

    I think this is a single overpayment from 2008 which has multiple causes. The claimant received too much benefit. Without attempting to quantify, did his failure to inform you that he owned a property cause or contribute to the overpayment occuring? If yes I would suggest it is all recoverable from him – particularly if you have a clear false statement on a claim form.

    R(H ) 6/06 involved a similar situation – an overpayment due to student ineligibility overlapped with an overpayment caused by a misunderstanding as to the landlord’s status. The claimant tried to argue that the part of the overpayment that related to the landlord’s status should not be recovered from him. Might be worth a read.

    #129321
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    I’m not sure that quite applies here, though!

    The IS award was made in 2008. The overpayment of IS goes right back to that date so they have no need to look at the later inheritance.

    So I would argue that any overpayment up to the date of the inheritance (small probably/possibly?) would definitely be DWP error and non-recoverable/why would you? After the inheritance, I would say it is very arguably the claimant’s fault as a failure to declare but to who?!!

    He doesn’t have to tell the LA so that leaves DWP. If DWP are saying it is their error, I think they are actually being quite hard on themselves from that date BUT, who are you to tell the claimant (who will have their letter proving it) that it isn’t their fault after all!! May as well call it DWP error, “let him off” on the recovery and be done with it.

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