recovery from partner – help please

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  • #38354
    traceyw
    Participant

    I am a bit confused about recovery from a partner. We have a couple who have been found LTAHAW by both us and the DWP, they have not challenged this but have offered a very low repayment on the grounds that the previous claimant has no income or benefits. The person that she has been found living with has a very good job and a mortgage so we were hoping to make them jointly liable and commence court action to recover from him. I have checked the regs and it appears to say that we are lmited to recovering from the partner’s future HB or future DWP benefits. Is this right? can we not pursue him any other way ie attachment of earnings?

    Thanks

    #107960
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    [quote=traceyw]We have a couple who have been found LTAHAW by both us and the DWP, they have not challenged this but have offered a very low repayment on the grounds that the previous claimant has no income or benefits. The person that she has been found living with has a very good job and a mortgage so we were hoping to make them jointly liable and commence court action to recover from him.[/quote]

    :~ I think you may want to expand on your question it’s quite confusing.

    Are you saying the original claimant was cheated on by the partner? 0:)

    #107962
    Chris Robbins
    Participant

    The circumstances here seem a bit confusing. I assume your claimant was the female and she was found to be living with a partner? Was this in the property against which HB was claimed, and if so where does the partner’s mortgage come in?
    Are they still living together in the property against which HB was paid?
    Assuming they are, what decision did you make? I assume that as you paid HB to your (female) claimant the decision was that the O/P was only recoverable from her. That being so you have a choice of method of recovery. If that choice is by invoice and they have offered a low repayment schedule it is open to you if agreement cannot be reached to sue for recovwery in the County Court. A court will take account of a couples joint income when deciding what order to make.
    When you say the Regs appear to say you can only recover from a partner’s future HB or future DWP benefits I am struggling to find where you think that reference may be.

    #107966
    traceyw
    Participant

    Sorry if that was confusing.

    Single parent claimed HB in rented property. We discovered she was living with the father of her child who works, cancelled the claim and raised an OP as did the DWP. She has since moved with her partner to another part of the country and he has bought a propery in his name with a mortgage where they all now live.

    I am looking at 18.32 of Zebedee ( Shelter Guide to HB and CTB 2011-12) which says that the law limits the methods of recovery from a partner to making a deduction from partners future HB or DWP benefits.

    Thanks

    #107967
    Chris Robbins
    Participant

    You are confusing what Zebedee says with the situation you have here. He is talking about circumstances where you have decided that although a claimant has been overpaid your decision is that the O/P is recoverable from the partner.
    That has not happened here. Your claimant was overopaid and you are seeking recovery from her. You are looking to her to repay an invoice and she has (in your opinion) offered a risible monthly amount based on her current household income and circumstances.
    The advice in my previous post therefore stands. The O/P is repayable. If you cannot agree a schedule for repayment you can sue for the money. A County Court would take the claimant’s current circumstances into account when making any order for repayment.

    #107968
    Kay_Tade
    Participant

    2 things, you can’t “cancel” the claim because a passported benefit ended, you would need to aggregate the claimant & partner’s and use this to calculate entitlement, if there is any.

    I agree with Chris on the guidance you have quoted and his recovery method if you are only “looking” at the claimant but MUST add :

    Firsly is there any entitlement based on the aggregate income?

    Can the partner be seen as contributing to the O/P by misrepresentation, was he aware there was a HB claim[He would have to be properly notified of the decision before being targeted]?

    They could both be targets for recovery, if notifications have been issued properly and lawfully, so you could go after the partner depending on the facts of you case.

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