Benefit was claimed when abusive partner was working on oil rigs.She was coerced into claiming by him. I am looking for an organisation and/or somebody in the Cambridge area who could advise/help with a write off application. A phone number would be helpful. I realise there are thousands of cases like this. He is now subject to a restraint order. There are police logs of various incidents. Any calls to the police from the client are treated as urgent?
Logistics are problematic, otherwise I would get involved. I am in Scouse Land. Thanks!
1) Correct me if I am wrong but I’d try and open the case up again by asking the DWP for a copy of the OP letter. My experience is the DWP rarely if at all follow the law, inter alia which mandates the Secretary of State provides claimants with in depth schedule of the overpayments, eg the overall period of the alleged overpayment; the dates and individual amounts of the alleged overpayments and if an offset has been deducted from the OP.
Since 2010 I have often seen clients who have been interviewed by fraud officers and shortly afterwards received a letter from “Debt Recovery”, which states the alleged amount of the OP plus 50% admin fee and that it will be deducted from any ongoing benefit along with the civil fine of £50. If this is the case I ask the DWP to issue the relevant OP letter, which it is legally obliged to do.. When you start the process get your client to make a SARS request to the DWP for a copy of their file. Once this is done, wait two weeks before asking the DWP for a copy of the OP letter.
2) Make an application to write off the debt. Hopefully, a women’s aid organisation or similar could help.
These actions are not mutually exclusive. They can run concurrently. Women’s Aid could apply for the write off. The benefit adviser could challenge the DWP.
If there have been fundamental changes to OP legislation, please let me know? I know about UC.