Devoted carer told to pay back benefit

A FORMER surveyor who gave up his job to become a full-time carer to his seriously-ill wife is being forced to repay hundreds of pounds in benefits that he continued to claim while she was in hospital.
Ian Elam, 59, cares for his wife Jeanie, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, is completely blind and in a wheelchair, has no independent movement and is in need of 24 hour care.
 
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2 Responses to “Devoted carer told to pay back benefit”

  1. crimsoncrip Says:

    I’m a enefits adviser, and stories like this fill me with disgust and almost shame. Despite what DWP are saying this couple has rights. Assuming the story is as presented, that is the overpayment was caused by the stress of illness, or genuine misunstanding of the rules, the options are as follows:- They have the right off appeal against both, the fact that they have to repay. they would have to appeal for each benefit seperately, they can appeal against the amount to e paid, again each enefit has seperate appeal rights. The advisability an d chances of success will depend on individual facts, which obviously I can’t judge based on the story. Howevedr I can be more sure of their third right, no doubt the demand notice will have asked for full repayment, as a lump sum, or a ridiculously large amount per week they can’t meet. They need to make an offer they can afford, and if necessary appeal too. Thed generally accepted but well hidden practice, by DWP that is, is that as long as they make an offer, and stick to it nothing can be held against them. In cases where larger repayment would cause a hardship, then very small amounts should be considered, even a pound or pence in some cases. It doesn’t matter if repayment would take a long time, or in reality never be completed.

  2. bbgbosham Says:

    Even ignoring the practicalities of foreseeing ‘an unexpectedly long stay in hospital’ – what is he supposed to do, return to work for an unknown period while his wife is in hospital? Ridiculous

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