Thursday, March 01, 2012
JSA overpayment – has this happened to you, too?
You can read the mini-saga I’ve had to date with them – here.
And now, some good news, an update. My case has gone to appeal, which hopefully means that someone, somewhere, in an office, a real person, can look into my case and give me the details. As I’ve said before, if I have to pay it back I will but I want, need, to know why and how they think I've been overpaid.
Today I rang the Benefits Agency, again, asking if they could send dates and amounts of JSA I was paid last year, again. The first time I rang I was told my claim was archived and it would take 2-3 weeks for the info to be sent to me.
It’s now over 3 weeks since I made that call and as nothing had arrived, I called again today. This time I was told that my details have been lost due to computer error and a “transfer to clerical”. I was advised to speak to a benefits advisor at the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Because all of this is my fault? Nice.
However, I was also told from the guy who was checking what records of mine he was able to see on the computer system that it showed quite clearly that the Jobcentre had signed me off (DWP said I hadn’t notified the Jobcentre). He said this meant the overpayment was accidental and their fault.
I’m happy, as you can imagine, not to have to pay back almost £500 but I fear I’m not out of the red-tape woods yet. And I won't be until I receive a letter from the DWP to confirm this.
So there'll be more updates as and when news from the DWP, the appeals people or the Benefits Agency come in.
I’m making light of this here on the blog, but let me tell you something, it’s been a very stressful process just to get this far.
It's not right when a Government department brands you guilty and you have to prove yourself innocent.
You couldn’t make it up, could you?