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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Decision making and appeals  →  Thread

PIP Appeals and Benefit Overpayment

Dave BCFU
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Blackpool Centre For Unemployed

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Hi,

First time posting.

I have a client who appealed his PIP decision - he was awarded nothing for Daily Living but the enhanced rate for Mobility.

We, unfortunately lost the appeal and the Tribunal awarded him nothing for both components - we are currently in the process of taking this to the upper tribunal.

He has now received a letter from the DWP stating he has an over-payment of £2000 due to him being wrongly awarded the enhanced rate for mobility.

Is there any appeal process for this as neither myself nor my client feel this fair.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Adam Evenson (BCFU)

Elliot Kent
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An overpayment will obviously be generated where the Tribunal decides the claimant is getting paid at a higher rate than they ought to be.

That overpayment however will not generally be recoverable because an overpayment of PIP is only recoverable where it is the result of a misrepresentation or failure to disclose. If it is just a disagreement between DWP and Tribunal, that will not be the case. The decision on recoverability is appealable in the same way as most others.

Does the letter say that the overpayment is recoverable?

[ Edited: 15 Sep 2020 at 05:12 pm by Elliot Kent ]
Dave BCFU
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There is no mention on the letter of this overpayment being recoverable.

The client has now received a second letter with a different amount which he has been asked to pay back - again it does not say whether this is recoverable or not

Mike Hughes
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Fairly standard DWP stunt then. Ask for the money back without making or issuing any decision about recoverability.

My general tactic on these in the past has been to advise claimants to simply ignore as there is no enforcement. On the other hand nowadays we live in a world where, in the heads of DWP, they genuinely believe that a letter like this meets the minimum legal requirements and thus probably does give them a right to recover. I’d sit tight but get ready with the pre action protocol letter. Others may have a different perspective.

Dave BCFU
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Yes, I’m fully ready for further action - I did ring up the Debt Management Team yesterday to be told their systems were down!

Elliot Kent
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I think this all requires further information.

The PIP letter says that there is an overpayment, which is true but not very important as far as your client is concerned.

There is then another letter (what is this letter - just a debt management invoice?) which is for a different amount. Where has the different amount come from?

It’s perfectly possible that, for example, your client has been found not to qualify for PIP and there has been a non-recoverable overpayment as a result - but as a result of this, they have ceased to qualify for the EDP or SDP within their ESA and have failed to report this to the ESA department. So another overpayment of ESA which may well be recoverable has arisen.

I think you would need to find out where this overpayment has come from and how it has been calculated and challenge it if need be. I am not a big fan of just ignoring it, because it will probably end up being recovered one way or another eventually (as we have seen with all manner of tax credit overpayments being deducted from UC)

Ianb
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Elliot Kent - 01 October 2020 02:09 PM

It’s perfectly possible that, for example, your client has been found not to qualify for PIP and there has been a non-recoverable overpayment as a result - but as a result of this, they have ceased to qualify for the EDP or SDP within their ESA and have failed to report this to the ESA department. So another overpayment of ESA which may well be recoverable has arisen.

In this case as only Mobility component of PIP has been mentioned I don’t think It can be EDP or SDP.

I agree however that further clarification would be needed if two different amounts are referred to.

Dave BCFU
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Elliot Kent - 01 October 2020 02:09 PM

I think this all requires further information.

The PIP letter says that there is an overpayment, which is true but not very important as far as your client is concerned.

There is then another letter (what is this letter - just a debt management invoice?) which is for a different amount. Where has the different amount come from?

It’s perfectly possible that, for example, your client has been found not to qualify for PIP and there has been a non-recoverable overpayment as a result - but as a result of this, they have ceased to qualify for the EDP or SDP within their ESA and have failed to report this to the ESA department. So another overpayment of ESA which may well be recoverable has arisen.

I think you would need to find out where this overpayment has come from and how it has been calculated and challenge it if need be. I am not a big fan of just ignoring it, because it will probably end up being recovered one way or another eventually (as we have seen with all manner of tax credit overpayments being deducted from UC)

We have 2 amounts, 1 for £2400 from PIP due to the reversal of his decision from the Tribunal and the second amount of £1400 from Debt Management (no reason why).

I spoke to Debt Management and DWP PIP yesterday, Debt Management had nothing on their system regarding an overpayment (neither amounts of £2500 and £1450). PIP stated they were aware of the £2400 but hadn’t started recoverability yet - we can appeal though which is what I’m going to do for that amount!

Elliot Kent
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You can’t really have a meaningful appeal about the PIP overpayment because the decision that he has been overpaid is very clearly correct. He has received more benefit than he was entitled to.

You could appeal the decision that this overpayment is recoverable, but it sounds like that decision doesn’t exist.

Is your client on IS or JSA by any chance?

Dave BCFU
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No, he’s claiming UC. My letter to them is a mandatory reconsideration on the recoverability/trying to find out what is going on!

nevip
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Demanding money on an overpayment without a proper s71 Admin Act recoverability decision is an egregious breach of due process under law.  I’m with Mike on this one.

Mike Hughes
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I can see where Elliot is coming from but I have had 100% success over many years wholly ignoring nonsense like this.

Worst case scenario they start deductions illegally and you take them to the cleaners. Only had that happen once. Cost DWP £1,500 in compensation and a formal apology along with an agreement to do staff training.

Daphne
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Dave BCFU - 30 September 2020 01:07 PM

There is no mention on the letter of this overpayment being recoverable.

The client has now received a second letter with a different amount which he has been asked to pay back - again it does not say whether this is recoverable or not

I had a similar one years ago and when I spoke to debt management they freely admitted it wasn’t recoverable and agreed no obligation to repay - they were just sending the letter to let my client know in case they wanted to repay!