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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70208
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can the DWP, without any proof and without contacting me legally

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Can the DWP, without any proof and without contacting me legally claim that I have been overpaid benifits
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I obtained ajobin August of the year in question, and worked full time until the following January when I was ordered to work illegally and stopped working immediately and returned to unemployment. Three years later I received a demand for repayment of overpaid benefits, at that time nobody had spoken to me nor had I received anything in writing and my only recourse according to the letters author was an appeal. I appealed and heard nothing for over six months, and according to the papers I eventually received from the DWoP, a notice had been sent to me giving an appeal hearing date ten days after the notice had been sent. The whole of the case against me I later found out was based on fraudulent records of payments held by the employer, this third party document has never been produced, and the normal method of verification ( signatures on UB40 form ) have not been produced either.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
What is the nature of the overpayment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The alleged overpayment is for working whilst claiming benefits.
From April to August I claimed benefits, from August to January I signed off and claimed no benefits, then from January to April I claimed benefits again. The employers paperwork purported to show I worked from April to April, however the amounts shown as being paid varied from £3 in a week to a maximum of £60 all of which as I later learned was to save the employer from National Insurance and Tax deductions, even though these deductions were mad from my earnings.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For the 17 weeks I was actually employed my earnings averaged about £110 per week
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The total of the alleged overpayment was virtually the same as the total I earned in the 17 weeks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Will the employer confirm your dates of employment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am pretty certain that the employer will not confirm any dates other than the fraudulent ones he has already supplied, as he has lied to the DWoP and has defrauded both National Insurance and Inland Revenue and to change the dates would be an admission of guilt.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, that is a problem I'm afraid.
Are you asking if you can challenge their assessment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No my question is about the legality of the DWoP acting as judge jury and executioner without any contact or input from the accused, when certainly later employment law makes it clear that they cannot ask for any payment without following the rules which include giving an accused person the right to a hearing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
with regard to the employer confirming dates, as I have said it is unlikely, however a subsequent employer asked for a reference,and in that it was stated I worked from August to January, on a company letterhead and signed by the owner.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I see what you are asking.
Yes, they can do that. They regularly do and there is nothing to stop them.
They are not acting as judge, jury and executioner. They are saying that in their determination you have been over paid which is actually no different to what CPS do all the time. It is not an order of the court.
If they seek a prosecution then they have to refer the matter to court in the same way CPS do.
In terms of the sum in question, if you are in receipt of any benefits they can make deductions from that. That again is no different from what people do with civil liability disputes all the time. The only way to challenge that before the DWP is to argue that you will suffer hardship and ask them to take less.
I suppose you could sue them for the sums if you dispute the liability.
There is always judicial review as well although that isn't usually accessible to most people.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
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