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Sam, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Have run up a bill of £4,800 I owe of benefits

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Have run up a bill of £4,800 I owe of benefits from oct 2012 my 65 th birthday and extra private pension I acquired, I told the benefits office I visited before my retirement they say they have no recollection of this although my payments increased after my ret, they said nothing stil,l insist I didn`t report it, awaiting tribunal, notified last april 2014 out of my mind with worry what can I do feel left in the dark no-one to help

Thanks question
I know this is a worrying time but did your extra private pension start at the same time as your state pension?
How long had you been claiming benefits prior to both pensions beginning.
How soon before your retirement did you visit the benefit office (if you can recollect)
What benefits were you actually claiming prior to retirement and did you retain these same benefits after the pensions began
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No have been on benefits approx 1992 finished work to ill health visited benefits office AUG Sept before my 65th told them about my private pension because changed its name from PEARL tp another name Receptionist said they had all information they needed and to me to carry on paying direct debit

Thanks response, and I can fully appreciate what a time this must be , and creating a problem you could well do without!
First I would write to DWP them asking them to release all details of contact you had with them, and them with you and the reasons contact, from 1992 to the current date and request this under the Freedom of Data Act 2000 - ask to be provided to you as a matter of urgency.
This at least will detail to you, what visits you had and what contacts were made to them, as I imagine they have to access your record each time you telephoned or visited.
That at least will enable you to have evidence of the visits/contact you made and possibly also what those contacts were for.
Plus you recall going in to advise that the private pension has changed its name - which is quite a specific thing to remember - which then would beg to ask the question, why they didn't get in touch with you information if they felt this compromised the benefit entitlement.
It seems to me that you have a good case of them failing to act in a timely manner to establish your correct entitlement - and you cannot be made to pay , yes they will argue you have had the money - but then you would have budgeted and lived within, what you thought was your affordable means.
I feel if you can find someone to come with you to the tribunal to support you, you already have a good case to argue but ask information under the Freedom of Data Act 2000 to see if that helps your case.
You may find you have some lawyers near where you live that take on DWP cases - what area do you live in and I will see what I can find on the internet, or maybe the CAB would allow someone to come along with you.
But you have a GOOD case here to have this wiped out.
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