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overpayment of tax credits following reduced pip entitlement

leah3110leah3110 Posts: 5Member Listener
I received the enhanced rate of PIP from 2014 until July 2016 (it was meant to be for a further 18 months) The assessor at the f2f assessment decided to put me on the basic level at £55 a week.  I used the benefits calculator to make sure this would not affect the enhanced tax payments I received and because I cannot work every day (as instructed by my GP) left it at the enhanced level due falling into the category as being disadvantaged within employment.  This week I received a letter from HMRC  stating I had been overpaid from July 16 - July 17 and my amount was being reduced accordingly. 
As a result of receiving the enhanced rate of tax credits, removed my entitlement to rent and council tax financial assistance and I have therefore paid the full amount for this period.
Had the tax credit calculation being adjusted to the correct level immediately, I would have qualified for £4691.00 in housing and council tax assistance.  I now have to pay back £3640 in tax credits, I am in a right pickle as you can imagine.  Can anyone please advise 

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 4,089Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @leah3110

    Im sorry to hear this, I am sure the benefits advisors will be along soon to help you. You can also call our Helpline on 08088003333 to speak to our staff if you need more immediate support and information.
  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Posts: 255Member Chatterbox
    Hello @leah3110 ,

    I had a similar situation. There is no avoiding it it the short term I'm afraid. I went on to win a PIP appeal at Tribunal though and both the DWP and the HMRC returned the lost money. If you could successfully win an appeal and are willing then you could possibly get yours back too.

    You must keep in touch with the HMRC and tell them of any changes to circumstances immediately. Don't wait for the routine renewal. That will avoid any shocks.

    The HMRC "overpaid" me two years running. Although the paperwork says they will recover it from an ongoing claim, they didn't. They even set a debt collector on me and I never even knew the debt was being claimed all at once!
    The second time was for a tiny amount and they automatically took it from the next period's payment. Where is the sense ?

    So contact them straight away and request it be recovered from the ongoing claim. If they agree then the debt will be gone.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,793Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    Hi leah3110,

    You qualify for a disabled worker element in your Tax Credits if you work at least 16 hours a week, have a disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job, and receive a qualifying benefit for sickness or disability. You are only entitled to the severe disability element if you receive the enhanced rate of the daily living component of PIP. You should notify the Tax Credits office of any changes to your income or circumstances, so you should have notified them that your PIP had been reduced from the enhanced rate to the standard rate, then they would have removed the severe disability element. Of course, if you appealed against the PIP decision and were awarded the enhanced rate you would have had your additional element back.
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,793Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    Losing the additional element on your Tax Credits entitlement shouldn't automatically mean that you lose your entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. If you are still within time for a dispute please check your HB/CTR decision notice carefully, request an explanation if you cannot understand it, and if you don't agree with the figures used you can dispute it using the mandatory reconsideration and appeals process. This will all be explained to you on the decision notice. Good luck!
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • leah3110leah3110 Posts: 5Member Listener
    to be honest, I didn't put in the claim for enhanced tax credits, the weekly amount was increased and i queried it thinking there had been some kind of mistake.  I cannot work every day as it makes me ill, my Gp advised against this.  i am on medication which will hopefully prevent cancer returning for a 3rd time that  have horrendous side effects but the assessor seemed to ignore this.  I returned to my job 1 month ago after having 3 months sick leave and tuesday, had to call in sick as I was drained after very little sleep,really chronic leg, back and head pains and absolutely drained.  I have medication to help me sleep, and alendronic acid for my bones.  HMRC say I can work full time and not disadvantaged but my GP and Occupational Health say otherwise.  I would love to work every day again but cannot physically do it now and I'm only 45, always worked and never claimed any kind of PIP until the cancer diagnosis in 2013
  • leah3110leah3110 Posts: 5Member Listener
    I didn't qualify for any council tax benefit (except the 25%) or housing benefit whilst on the enhanced PIP.  i do receive sick pay from my employer which took me above the thresh hold for both.  Had I been on the lower rate PIP I would have been entitled to council tax and housing benefit which is more than the tax credits I actually owe.
    My Gp, Employers and OH know I cannot do full time hours but the assessor stated otherwise.  Until being off sick again earlier this year following further surgery and exhaustion, I had been working alternative days.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,793Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    Hi leah3110,

    PIP is disregarded in the income used to assess a HB/CTR claim, so whether you received the standard or enhanced rate shouldn't make such a big difference. The premiums used in the calculation are slightly different depending on which rate you receive, but again the difference is not a lot.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • leah3110leah3110 Posts: 5Member Listener
    The enhanced tax credits and my wages floated me off any housing/council tax benefit and since receiving it, have paid full housing/council tax costs. I used the online calculator and had my tax credits been reduced accordingly in July last year, I'd have been entitled to £67.89 housing benefit and £22.35 council tax benefit per week. 
    As stated previously, my tax credits were increased in 2014 but not through me putting in a claim, pip obviously informed them automatically and had I known my entitlement had changed, I would have contacted them but because I still cannot work every day, assumed that the extra tax credits still applied even though my pip had been reduced
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