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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

Client paid Advance he didn’t request and DWP now recovering (not our problem guv)

Peter Turville
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Welfare rights worker - Oxford Community Work Agency

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Total Posts: 1618

Joined: 18 June 2010

Kafkaesque? Pythonesque? You really couldn’t make this one up (again)!

This is the same client as in https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/14618/ and https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/14572/
He really feels UC have got it in for him!

On 11/9/19 UC paid client £348.00 advance payment. Client did not request one (and would not have been eligible for as it was neither a new claim nor had he had a significant COC).

On 12/9/19 his work coach apologised for her error on his Journal and advised him to contact Debt Management concluding “Any problems please let me know”.

Err…. like the £29 per AP recovery rate alongside the £7.5K overpayment recovery for another admitted official error?

Complaints fired off in all the usual directions.

I’ve been in this game an awfully long time - words rarely fail me!

Peter Turville
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Welfare rights worker - Oxford Community Work Agency

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Total Posts: 1618

Joined: 18 June 2010

Have now received a DWP response to complaint. Apparently client was being shown by work coach how Advance Payments are available through a UC account and accidentally completed the application process - at which point there is no way to prevent the payment being made (apparently). Work coach immediately advised client of error and that he would have to pay it back but it is DWP policy that claimant has to contact Debt Management not staff.

According to response it is DWP policy that staff cannot contact Debt Management even where the issue is an official error. Claimants must contact DM themselves.

Have now requested DWP to provide the basis / guidance / reasoning as to why DWP staff cannot intervene with DWP Debt Management even when DWP acknowledge their error.

I’m left with the feeling my vocal cords have been surgically removed!

Jo_Smith
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Citizens Advice Hillingdon

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Peter Turville - 31 October 2019 02:03 PM

Claimants must contact DM themselves.

Except is nigh on impossible for a mortal person to get through to DM (be it actually debt management or decision maker, come to think)

Benny Fitzpatrick
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Welfare Rights Officer, Southway Housing Trust, Manchester

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Seeing how sensitive they are to bad publicity about UC, I would be tempted to get this in the papers, on social media, in fact, flagged up everywhere possible. And, of course, raise it through the client’s MP (assuming it’s not IDS or McVey).