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DWP On The Warpath : CARERS In The Frame ! Sweep Nets 80,000+ ! Caught Up ? PLEASE REPORT ON THIS THREAD ! - Carers UK Forum

DWP On The Warpath : CARERS In The Frame ! Sweep Nets 80,000+ ! Caught Up ? PLEASE REPORT ON THIS THREAD !

All about money
83 posts
What a start for a Monday morning ?

Like turning the clock back a decade ... the orginal Trawler showing her apprentice up ... by sending me the link ?

This forum should be like the Magic Roundabout ... M25 ... shortly ... again , for the wrong reason :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... are_btn_fb
UK carers face fines and fraud charges because of overpaid benefit.

Campaigners say DWP’s move to recoup money paid out is " Not welfare priority. "
More than a thousand carers face being prosecuted for fraud as the government attempts to claw back overpayments to people who have been looking after sick and elderly relatives from the poorest communities, the Guardian has been told.

Another 10,000 carers could face fines, as the Department of Work and Pensions prepares to recover money mistakenly paid out over several years.

But campaigners say the ‘get tough’ policy could unfairly penalise people who are already struggling to make ends meet, and claim the government has to share the blame for the overpayments.

The DWP has had access to records from the taxman that allow it to check carers’ eligibility for the benefit, but continued to pay the sums anyway.

The department’s own figures show that £700m in carer’s allowance may have been overpaid over the past five years; however, the estimate is based on analysis of fraud and error rates undertaken more than 20 years ago.

Following investigations into the overpayments, the DWP is understood to be seeking hundreds of criminal prosecutions, while others face fines through civil ‘compliance action’.

As well as any potential financial penalties, carers – who are typically on low incomes – will have to return the overpayments, which in some cases add up to many thousands of pounds.

Pritie Billimoria, of the charity Turn2us which helps people in poverty get access to benefits, said carers were already “disproportionally socially and economically vulnerable”.

“Many have completely given up their working and personal lives to care for friends or family,” said Billimoria.

“Forcing carers to pay back a possibly accidental overpayment in a radically short period should not be a welfare priority.”

Neil Gray, the SNP’s shadow DWP spokesman, said the problems with overpayments highlighted “the lack of attention ministers give to this area other than seeing it as a cash cow for Treasury cuts”.

“There is an urgent need for a full review to establish how big a problem this is, as it is clear errors will be costing carers substantially,” he said.

“There is also a need for the eligibility criteria for carer’s allowance to be reviewed as it’s not clear that there is an income ceiling which disqualifies carers from receiving support.”

The overpayment cases involve people who have received too much carer’s allowance, often because they have had a change in their earnings or enrolled as a student.

The allowance, which is worth £64.60 a week, is paid to people who care for someone who also claims certain benefits for at least 35 hours a week.

But carers do not always realise that the sum they receive is linked to their earnings, and that if they take home more than £120 a week the allowance stops, or that studying more than 21 hours a week is a bar to claiming.

Carers have to give details of their earnings when they apply, but can be caught out when their circumstances change.

In some cases people have received £10,000 more than they were entitled to over several years.

Previously, benefit claimants’ earnings were checked at the end of every tax year and any overpayments they had received were clawed back through a reduction of the following year’s benefits.

But the DWP introduced a new system that was supposed to result in overpayments being picked up more quickly.

Instead, it seems to have made the situation worse.

On the Carers UK forum there are recent posts from people who have been asked to attend compliance interviews about their claims.

In August, one carer wrote that she had been asked for an interview about the money she received to look after her disabled mother.

“I had no idea carers allowance was means tested etc? How come I’ve been allowed to claim for past 2 years since working? As far as I’m concerned I still care for my mother every day with or without what amount I earn?”

Another wrote that they had continued to receive payments despite reporting that they had started a job in December. They had now been asked for an interview and believed that they had received more than £2,000 in overpayments on carer’s allowance and other benefits.

The DWP did not challenge the figures when the Guardian asked for comment.

In a statement a spokesperson said: “We work to ensure claimants are aware of their responsibility to provide the correct information when making a benefit claim and reporting any changes of circumstance which may affect their claim.

“This includes informing customers of the consequences of incorrect or late reporting of information eg prosecution, financial penalty and debt implications. We are also introducing new technology to make it easier to identify and prevent overpayments and improve debt recovery.”

When it asked if the department was confident that the fraud rate accurately reflected repayments, the Guardian was told: “We use a reasonable proxy measure to estimate the amount of carer’s allowance fraud and error in the system.

“Some benefits are measured less frequently in order to concentrate our resources where they are most needed. However, we recently consulted with the public on which benefits they need us to measure and we will publish our response in due course.”

The National Audit Office found that overpayments across all benefits except the state pension had gone up last year, to an estimated £3.7bn. Inaccurate or “untimely” reporting of income was the main cause of overpayments, accounting for £1.2bn.

The government’s website says that cases will usually be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service if they meet one or more of a set of criteria that includes the overpayment totalling more than £5,000.


No comment from CUK ?

Anyway , mention of this forum ... good to know we are on the Guardian's radar ?

Let's see what transpires ... a few thousand mentioned out there,

On that old numbers game , a couple might post something on the forum ?

Lack of information ... taking a chance ... fair cop .... take your pick.

Eligibility ... a new word ... where have I seen it before , I wonder ?
To qualify for CA you have to work at least 35 hours a week. Yet if you get a second job, the pay for your first job is taken away. This doesn't happen with any other job I know.
Is it work. Yes, in my view.
The cared for person needs care, irrespective of who does it.
So why is that care classed as work if a non family member does it, but isn't classed as work if it's done by a family member.
This is just a government attempt to not pay us the minimum wage.
The very premise of caring not being classified as work by the DWP remains unchallenged in a Court of Law since ICA was first introduced some 40 odd years ago.

Until such time said definition is challenged in a Court of Law , the DWP definition of " Caring " remains the law.

The words uttered by a judge ... our strongest ... and only ... remedy ... short of the Government instructing the DWP otherwise.

As repeatedly posted over 14 years , there is NO incentitive to change our status ... quite the opposite.


We will continue to be a slave army ... servient to both our carees and the System.

In essence , no real change since medieval times ... and the manor system ... hence my use of that word " MANOR. "

Perhaps SERFS instead of SLAVES in the future ?

Whichever ... difficult to slide a rizla paper between the two ?

The worst part ?

If that saving is plotted on a graph , the trend will show a steep rise since Austerity ... our contribution is increasing ... rapidly ... as more and more join our ranks to plug the gaps throughout the System.

6,000 per DAY recently reported ... why should that be ... as if any reader didn't already know the correct answer ?

" £ 150 BILLION ... HERE WE COME ! "

... and 125,000+ to visit Trussells and others by the end of this year ?
No doubt many of you have heard, read or seen the news over the weekend which highlights the anguish of many carers on low incomes who’ve had to return overpayments of Carer’s Allowance, sometimes incurred accidentally.

We answer a lot of advice enquiries by phone and email (advice@carersuk.org) from carers with questions about claiming Carer’s Allowance and whether a change to hours or pay will affect their payments. We also explain how earnings impact on Carer's Allowance on our website (https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... -allowance) and in our more detailed factsheet (https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factshe ... -FINAL.pdf). We have also put forward proposals to Government to make things easier for carers who are in receipt of Carer's Allowance to report changes in their earnings and circumstances.

If you have had direct experience of overpayments please share your experience. We will be running an ‘ask the expert’ session in the forum and drawing on the experiences of carers for an article that will feature in a future edition of our Caring magazine for members.
Numbers again , Michael.

11,000 or there abouts quoted ... 787,000 claiming CA .... 1 in 72.

Apply that 1 in 72 to the traffic coming through the forum ... at best a few hundred per month , a few tens actually posting ?

Perhaps on the law of averages ... 8 at best ?

A few more if they are now surfing through the Internet for help / assistance ... as soon as the news broke , us regulars have been boneing up to meet any headon ... perhaps we should post the usual CARERS UK ADVICE TEAM link in each case ... they'll be very happy for the increased workload ?

Ask the expert session ... that age old numbers problem again ... will those who really need it even know of the proposed session if they do not even know of this forum ... and even CUK itself ?

Doesn't matter where the information is posted , apparently 11,000 odd either didn't read it / took a chance or deliberately tried to play the System.

Austerity ... a major factor ... but , not an excuse.

Sympathy for those caught in the round ups ?

Can only become a judge ... and jury ... IF the full sp is made known in individual cases ... and the truth at that ?

" I honestly didn't know ! " ... hindsight is often a good teacher ?

Easy to generalise but ... not in the case of fellow family / kinship carers.

It's for the DWP to judge ... whether CUK , me or anyone else likes it or not.

Unless , of course , CUK want to enter the arena to give guidance to those awaiting judgement ?

Thousands of potential new members ... yours for the asking ?

A scandal but ... not on the scale of that £ 13 BILLION in benefits that go unclaimed ... perhaps through not even knowing that such help IS available ?

If only more had that information ....
In case any readers are curious , an Internet search ... DWP COMPLIANCE INTERVIEWS ... will reveal a host of external forum postings ... a couple from here.

Best to read some of the forum postings with a pinch of salt ... only one sided from a poster probably in the frame ... but , the general trend after reading a few ?

A reversal of English law ... guilty until proven innocent ?

Sample a few for yourselves.

Adding PROCEDURES to that search does not throw up anything more of interest ... beyond a few from the legal fraternity adding their views.
Another headline today to put this Issue into perspective ... NO excuse for those amongst our ranks " Trying it on " ... and to re-enforce our Dennis's remark :

Facebook's UK tax bill triples to £15.8m despite making £1.2bn AND the social media giant will get an immediate cut thanks to a tax credit.

Facebook's tax bill slashed to £7.4mn because of deductible share deal for staff.

Its revenues have also reached £1.2bn in the UK but profits only reached £62.7m.

Government is planning a new tax so they are forced to pay their fair share.

Internet giants are able to 'close' sales outside UK in lower tax juristictions.

Always has been and always will be a difference in how the rich and poor are treated.

Cheat the System designed to protect the wealth and power of the few ... and get away with it ?

Only if you are part of that " Few " ... cough up , add a few notes and ... even a knighthood ?
On TV now, today's BBC Sunday Politics:

Thanks Simon ... I'll try to smuggle myself in ... or wait hoping someone with upload to You Tube ?
Early days but .... NOT one carer caught up in the DWP pogrom has posted on the forum ... even a whisper from a third party.

If also claiming income related benefits , overpayments also being claimed back ?

Some LAs / Housing Associations and Shelter will be on standby ... possible evictions ( No monies to pay the rent ) allied with emergency Foodbank applications on the cards ?

FaceAche ?

Even quieter than this forum ... not even a sniff.

Numbers again ... we'll be lucky to see 5 ... by the end of the year ?

Nothing further reported in the press or on the DWP web site as I type.

The House ?

Brexit ... and little else ... carers ... zilch !

Any bets ???
83 posts