DWP Found guilty Of Lying And Withholding Advice From Claimant

It has been reported that in February 2023 a high court found that the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) guilty of lying to a claimant concerning their legal rights and also guilty of keeping vital legal guidance secret in order to recover an overpayment of £8,000 from a claimant.

This overpayment was also found to be a result of mistakes made by the DWP leaving the claimant not at fault.

This resulted in the court preventing the DWP from taking the overpayment back from the mother of two disabled children. In doing so it has been revealed that possibly thousands more claimants may have been lied to in the same manner.

The claimant had made her appeal on the grounds that the DWP had kept secret its detailed policy which advises that in this situation overpayments should be waived.

Upon hearing this the judge in this case found that this secrecy was unlawful.

It was revealed that the DWP repeatedly lied to the claimant by telling her that she had no right to ask them to consider waiving the debt of which the judge found this to be ‘manifestly unlawful’.

Evidence showed in the trial also revealed that in the year to March 2021 a total of 337,000 universal credit claimants were asked to repay overpayments that were caused by errors made by the DWP.

The total value of those overpayments was £228 million.

Unsurprisingly the DWP claimed that only 47 claimants asked for their overpayments to be waived in the whole of 2020 and just 7 of those requests were granted.

The judge saying that “If the claimant’s experience of twice having her request for waiver rebuffed without consideration is not unique to her, the number of requests in fact made may exceed the number recorded ”

The truth is that thousands of claimants might have requested a waiver and been ignored or even denied by the DWP.

At the same time thousands more might not have been aware that they even had the right to ask for one.

This case shows that the DWP continues to harass and financially withdraw monies from extremely vulnerable people brazenly most likely not expecting to be challenged.

It also has to be acknowledged that the claimant in this case was extremely brave for taking the DWP to court. It’s a very difficult thing to do and her doing so has possibly helped thousands of other claimants in similar situations.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com

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6 thoughts on “DWP Found guilty Of Lying And Withholding Advice From Claimant”

  1. I’ve been experiencing difficulties with GPs over the past decade or so of Tory rule, as if the Doctors are actually in league with the government. Saw one today and tried asking him about how having and recovering from surgery (in my case two separate operations) would affect my JSA claim. He said “well I don’t know what your JSA claim is”, and I said “Jobseekers Allowance”, and he didn’t seem at all interested, just said “Oh I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them (the DWP) about that. Hopefully we’ll get you ready to get into work so you won’t have to claim JSA”. That didn’t answer my problem. I wanted to know in the meantime when waiting for an op and when recovering from an op, can I still carry on claiming JSA or do I have to claim ESA? But what would be the point when it was for a short term period? The trouble only being that technically to claim JSA you are supposed to be fit for work. So basically I’m no wiser. I don’t want to lose my JSA if I can help it. I might wait til nearer the time and ask Benefits Advice.


    1. You would claim Esa as you would nit be fit for work. GPs don’t understand the benefit system so it’s not that they are in cahoots with DWP. You would need a sicknote now called a FIT note for your claim.


      1. OK thanks Carole, it’s just that it seems like a lot of messing about, the time it would take to make and receive a ESA claim for the sake of 3 to 6 weeks recovery on two separate occasions for two separate surgical procedures, and losing my cherished and somewhat advantageous ‘legacy’ JSA claim in the process. Although I do understand that to be claiming JSA you are supposed to be fit for work.
        OR does it mean that I would/should go on to ESA now before I have any operations and whilst I’m waiting who knows how long to get the health treatment I need (due to long waiting lists)?
        It threw me a bit when the GP made his remark about getting me sorted out and back into work so I won’t need to claim JSA. I mean why would he say that to someone over 60 who is looking forward to reaching retirement age and has no intentions of returning to work?


  2. I’ve been recently told by Benefits Advice that a great many people have been given wrong advice and information in other ways, namely when changing addresses. According to the Advisor a change of address within the same local authority area does not automatically trigger a shift from legacy Benefits to Universal Credit but many people have been incorrectly advised to the contrary and told to make a claim for UC when they didn’t have to. He also said that everyone gets this wrong, including DWP/JCP staff.


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