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Request for a Code of practice for overpayments

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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See attached response from Amber Rudd concerning the above taken up with her by our local MP.

File Attachments

Peter Turville
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“... overpayments are only recoverable if they arose as a result of fraud or claimant error”

Where does it say that in SSAA s71 Amber?

Not to mention the near impossibility of negotiating anything with Debt Management in practice.

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Peter Turville - 07 February 2019 04:38 PM

“... overpayments are only recoverable if they arose as a result of fraud or claimant error”

Where does it say that in SSAA s71 Amber?

Not to mention the near impossibility of negotiating anything with Debt Management in practice.

Regarding the last sentence we have responded to the above citing that particular issue, and other associated stuff.

 

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Anyone had much success at negotiating with Debt Management? Seems to be “computer says no” no matter how much evidence of hardship, psychological distress is provided, and that is only where they actually agree to discuss it in the first place!

We have found that a major issue with debt recovery under UC is the lack of communication with the client, who suddenly finds their monthly payment vastly reduced with absolutely no explanation given. Even work coaches struggle to identify the cause of the reduction.

Given that UC is touted as encouraging responsibility, how on earth can claimants budget effectively if they are not notified in advance about deductions from their only source of income? Given that UC is supposed to mirror the workplace, would an employer get away with deducting up to 40% of an employee’s salary with absolutely no warning? I suspect not.

Andrew Dutton
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Also, through the fact that UC overpayments are now recoverable no matter who or what caused them, DWP has divested itself of any incentive to get anything right: if they mess up, they just bill the claimant. I am already seeing this - basic errors and/or delay by the DWP causing overpayments, but   when it’s pointed out, they just shrug (and also by and large refuse to disclose any details of what happened)

It’s all very well to talk about protecting the taxpayer, but are claimants somehow a separate species from taxpayers?

The interests of taxpayers (present and future) would be much better served by a system which seeks as far as possible to prevent error, and under which official error does not go unpunished. Being able to graciously and unaccountably waive recovery in exceptional cases is insufficient.

I suspect that without this the costs to the taxpayer will become greater as people make complaints and seek compensation for money lost through DWP delay and error, and also for the financial hardship and personal distress caused by the intransigence of DWP and Debt Recovery.

 

Benny Fitzpatrick
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“It’s all very well to talk about protecting the taxpayer, but are claimants somehow a separate species from taxpayers?”

I suspect, in the mind of Tory MPs and senior DWP officials, the answer to this question is “very much so”, not just a separate species, but a significantly inferior species undeserving of decent treatment.

I agree with every point you make.

ClairemHodgson
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Andrew Dutton - 08 February 2019 11:37 AM

It’s all very well to talk about protecting the taxpayer, but are claimants somehow a separate species from taxpayers?

 

no

it is somehow forgotten by those politicians concerned that claimants do pay tax - VAT if nothing else on relevant purchases.

Andrew Dutton
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I have another corker - UC and IRESA paid together for three months.

DWP say that there is a process to halt legacy benefits, but it is still being improved (test and learnarrrrggghhhhh….) and there is ‘no time frame’ for completing the process although they try to do it as quickly as possible.

NB - three…....months…...

DWP collect the overpayment from the claimant because of their duty to protect public funds (is the claimant now not a member of the public either? has the public no right to expect DWP to be answerable for official error in some way as an incentive for officials to stop making errors?)

Their only suggestion is that the claimant should call debt management for a chat.

Code of Practice NOW.

Change the law, for preference.

[ Edited: 14 Feb 2019 at 09:08 am by Andrew Dutton ]
Keith S Adviser
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DWP - Debt management: over-zealous, non-co-operating, script reading compassionless individuals.

If I am a pretender, I could be faced with Two thousand miles, it Is very far through the snow. If I where a Proclaimer, I could walk 500 miles four times, however, if I want to negotiate a repayment reduction with DWP debt management. I am forced to crawl at least 10’000 miles across broken glass in the pouring rain, with an Ex SAS soldier screaming in my face, whilst wearing just my underwear.

How can any person who possess a cognitive function, expect any one to survive on £114.63 a month ?
 
OK that’s fine, the gloves are off !!!!