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TOPIC: Official Error?

Official Error? 7 years 5 months ago #33854

Hello everyone.

A friend has been in receipt of pension credit for many years. Last year she got married. Before she got married she wrote to the DWP and explained her change in circumstances. In time DWP wrote back and advised her to complete a form which she duly did within 4 days. On the form she disclosed her husband's savings and income and ticked the box to indicate that he had a house that he rented out. She also included a note to the effect that she was not sure if she was still entitled to pension credit in view of her marriage but hoped that she was as her husband is severely disabled and the rental income pays for his care. She received an acknowledgment to say that somebody would contact her in due course about the house that was being rented. From then on all communications from the DWP were in her married name.

A few weeks later she received a communication that she was still entitled to pension credit and it has been paid at about £60 per week.

18 months down the line she is visited by a DWP lady who informs her that actually, DWP made a mistake, she disclosed everything but for whatever reason they did not make appropriate inquiries. She has been told that DWP will write to her and ask her to pay the money back - about £4,500 in total. Its is not her fault.

Does she have to pay it back? What argument can she put forward? My research suggests this is an "official error" by the DWP and the £4,500 will not have to be paid back.

Many thanks for any help you can provide.

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Re: Official Error? 7 years 5 months ago #33855

Where money is overpaid due to an error by the DWP and the claimant has given the DWP all relevant information, the DWP has no right to reclaim the money.

If the DWP pursues the matter, I suggest that she either seeks help from a welfare adviser or goes to her MP.

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Re: Official Error? 7 years 5 months ago #34107

Thank you for your help - it is very much appreciated.

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