DWP overpayment warning as claimants could get £50 fine

Benefits claimants have been warned the DWP can impose a £50 fixed rate civil penalty on a person who is overpaid. A person may be overpaid if their circumstances change meaning they should get a reduced amount, but they continue to receive the previous higher payment.

Those who fail to report a change in circumstances risk being forced to pay back part of their claim as well as a £50 fine.

A change in circumstances which could affect a person’s payment include taking up a new job or changing address.

If the Government believes a person deliberately did not report a change, the claimant could be prosecuted for benefit fraud.

This could mean a person losing their benefits altogether and a penalty of up to £5,000. These rules about penalties apply only to benefits and not to tax credits.

Only one penalty charge can apply for each overpayment. The penalty will be added to the overpayment amount and would be recovered in the same way.

According to Turn2Us, for a civil penalty to apply the overpayment must have happened after October 1, 2012 and be for an amount of £65.01 or more, and be recoverable.

A person may receive a penalty if they:

  • Made an incorrect statement
  • Negligently gave incorrect information
  • Have not taken ‘reasonable steps’ to correct the error.

Don’t miss…
Awful April strikes as household bills rise another £700 so fight back [LATEST]
Broadband bills to rise but £12.50 deal available [LATEST]
High inflation leaves triple lock ‘increasingly untenable’ [LATEST]

These are some of the changes in circumstance that must be reported to the DWP:

  • Changing name or gender
  • Finding or finishing a job, or changing work hours
  • Change in income
  • Starting or stopping education, training or an apprenticeship
  • Moving house
  • People moving in or out of the place where the claimant lives
  • The death of a partner or someone the claimant lives with
  • Having a baby
  • Starting or stopping caring for someone
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Starting or ending a civil partnership
  • Going abroad for any length of time
  • Going into hospital, a care home or sheltered accommodation
  • Any changes to a medical condition or disability
  • Changing doctor
  • Changes to pensions, savings, investments or property
  • Changes to other money a person receives (for example student loans or grants, sick pay or money from a charity)
  • Changes to the benefits the claimant or anyone else in their house gets
  • The claimants or their partner getting back-pay for salary or earnings owed
  • Changes to immigration status, if the claimant is not a British citizen.
  • For Child Benefit claimants, they also need to report changes to their child’s circumstances, such as them staying in education after turning 16, or if they start paid work.

Many benefit payments are increasing by 10.1 percent from the new tax year, on April 6. This includes Universal Credit, PIP and Pension Credit.

The monthly standard allowance for Universal Credit is increasing to:

  • Single under 25: £292.11 (up from £265.31 per month)
  • Single 25 or over: £368.74 (up from £334.91 per month)
  • Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (up from £416.45 per month)
  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (up from £525.72 per month).

Claimants of some means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit, are to receive a £900 cost of living payment over the coming financial year.

The first instalment of £301 will begin arriving in people’s bank accounts between April 25 and May 17.

The state pension is also increasing by 10.1 percent in the new tax year for both the basic and state pension.

The full basic state pension is increasing from £141.85 a week to £156.20 a week while the full new state pension is going up from £185.15 a week to £203.85 a week.

Source: Read Full Article