Recovery of overpayment from deceased partner

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    Is it ok to recover the overpayment from the partner ?

    The scenario is that a fraud investigation was underway re undeclared partners earnings , unfortunately the claimant died.
    Several months later the investigation was concluded and the overpayment was raised.
    The widow of the claimant was interveiwed under caution, she admitted that she knew her deceased husband had not declared her earnings , and she is subsequently repaying the overpayment


    Did the partner make a misrepresentation? For example, did she ever sign a form that had ‘no’ ticked when asked if the claimant was working?

    If she did, in my opinion, you are okay to recover.

    HB reg 101(2)(b) says it is recoverable from the person who:

    – failed to disclose a material fact, or
    – made a misrepresentation

    In my view, ‘failed to disclose a material fact’ can only apply to the claimant, as they are the only one who has a duty to notify a change in circumstances.

    However, my opinion is that ‘made a misrepresentation’ can apply to anyone, including the partner.

    Failing that, you could try and seek recovery from the deceased claimant’s estate.

    Good luck!


    It’s [i:852c282032]always [/i:852c282032]O.K. to recover from the partner, although in some cases this may not be possible from ongoing benefit. We have also successfully prosecuted a partner for dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances (her earnings) because she signed a review form as well as the clt. She got a Community Punishment Order, and she was a pensioner!

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