VERY late appeal help

quick outline.

Young girl aged 19 gets pregnant. Never on benefits and gets pregnant. No income so goes to local Jobcentre for on advice on entitlement. Staff very helpful and advised she claim Income Support. They assist her with claim.

Then tell her that as she had previously worked she can ALSO claim Maternity Allowance and gave her form. Client completed and submitted.

On getting a new tenancy was given a benefit check by Housing Association wro. Was told she was being overpaid as should not be getting Income Support. Client informs DWP and IS stopped. Then gets notice of overpayment .

Client distressed and goes to local CAB. They submit MR request for client.

Client hears nothing for 4 years. Obviously assumed that DWP had accepted that she had been given misinformation by DWP staff and any overpayment was not recoverable…as per the basis of the MR submission.

Gets letter from DWP Debt management seeking payment.

I have been in touch with DWP in past few weeks. Advised she could never appeal as never got a response to MR.

They claim to have sent MR decision out to client in August 2018. I have asked to be sent a copy of said MR decision but after several weeks they now say that originating office is closed and they cannot unearth a copy of the MR decision!!  THEY advised me to submit a late appeal .

Now got word back from HMCTS with a directions notice saying that Tribunal “does not have jurisdiction to hear appeal due to time delay.”

I have been asked to submit further comments that I may wish the Tribunal to take into account when deciding “whether the appeal has been made outside the statutory time limit”.

Would greatly appreciate any advice in this area. Also opinions on whether client has good grounds for the appeal.

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