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DLA overpayment during admission to hospital

 

Jacky Philipson
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Housing and Benefits worker Manchester Mental Health Assertive Outreach Team

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Joined: 28 July 2015

Cl has been overpaid DLA from Sept 16 to April 17 because did not notify the DWP that he was in hospital. His mental health social worker did attempt to discuss notification with him but he was extremely mentally unstable at the time, nursed on a psuchiatric intensive care unit and became very hostile when the subject was bought up. It is unlikely that he had capacity at that time to understand that he should make the notification or the consequences of not doing so but appointeeship for benefits would not normally be set up for a temporary period and anyway my understanding is that it takes some time to organise appointeeship anyway.

Has anyone had any success in disputing the recovery of an overpayment in this situation where there is doubt over capacity but no appointeeship in place.

     
WROTricia
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Advice Works, Renfrewshire

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I had a client who was admitted to intensive care due to their poor mental health leading to a physical illness, once stabilised they were transferred to a psychiatric hospital and nobody informed DWP until I got involved some 6 months later. When the O/P was notified we successfully challenged the recoverability on health grounds, i.e. was too ill to notify and it was very quickly written off, no arguments at all. We just provided evidence of date of admittance and confirmation of the client’s illness by way of a psychiatrists letter. It’s probably the last time I got anywhere with the DWP without a fight!

     
Mike Hughes
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Senior Welfare Rights Officer (Take-Up), Salford WRS.

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Same here. Routinely end once they have the basic facts. However, also arguable in some cases they didn’t even have insight into the fact they’d had a change of circumstances/address and you can’t disclose what you don’t know.

     
Jacky Philipson
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Housing and Benefits worker Manchester Mental Health Assertive Outreach Team

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Total Posts: 27

Joined: 28 July 2015

Thanks for the responses - sounds promising. I think there was a temporary lack of capacity arguably and Care Co-ordinators on my team wouldn’t tend to start thinking about appointees whilst the cl was secure on a ward - only if it was still an issue when they were discharged. Have a lot of medical evidence re his mental state during the period of the overpayment so hopefully should be fine