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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70003
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Being chased for overpayment of benefit 1993 to 1994 for £2200.

Customer Question

Being chased for overpayment of benefit 1993 to 1994 for £2200. I received a letter from DWP Debt agency in APril 2014. I rang them to find out what this was about, they had no documents at the time I had to ring Benefits central. Since then I have rang benefits central office 6 times, and spoke to Debt Management about the same if not more. I sent a letter in May requesting more information, I received a copy letter from my old address 20yrs ago, saying I did not disclose that I was working part time at the time of receiving benefits, and a copy of letter sent to the local benefit office at the time.
Currently that is all I have received. I have sent letter under the Data Protection act 1998, to DWP and debt management as well as Freedom of information act and a dispute claim letter, as yet I have still not received a response but I still have 20 days left. All letters sent recorded delivery. both confirmed they have received but cannot say what is happening, as each department claim that the other is responsible.
What else can I do, this is making me ill.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you still on benefits?
Are you asking if they can make you pay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am no longer on benefits. I did receive 6 weeks in 2009 Job seekers, and the same again in 2012 for the same time period, this is because I moved to North east and back done to South East. At this time I was unaware that I owed any money.

Yes do I still have to pay, and can I take this to court to dispute.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
This is a benefit reclaim so they are not bound by the Limitation act. That only covers things like breaches of contract or tortious claims. Therefore, the fact that this is very old will not mean that they cannot claim.
However, they only have a claim against you obviously if the money is due.
With benefit re-claims, the problem is normally that they will just deduct from benefit payments but they cannot do that here because you are no longer on benefits.
If the claim is wrong then you just refuse to pay and invite them to sue. If they do then you will be able to contest this in court.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70003
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have tried to refuse to pay until I received all the documents so I can look into, as I cannot remember anything and cannot believe this is happening, but they have applied for a attachment to earnings order. Even though I am disputing.


So there is nothing I can do except pay? I was in the middle of applying for a 1st time buyer mortgage but it has been put on hold as I now have debt, and it looks like I will not be able to afford mortgage due to re-payments.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
no, you can refuse to pay and invite them to sue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

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