Government loses overpayment case

I’ll await better legal minds than mine but from the look of this Supreme Court Judgement today the Government can no longer recover any welfare benefit overpayments due to official error.

As long as the claimant has not misrepresented or not disclosed a material fact they are entitled to the benefits they have been awarded.

While this has long been the case in HB overpayments – although councils hated it when you flagged it up – I don’t think there’s been a case applied to wider welfare benefits. If I was in charge of the tax credit system I’d be sweating it.

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4 Responses to Government loses overpayment case

  1. Nearly Legal says:

    The Court of Appeal decided this about a year ago. This was the Govt’s appeal of the decision, which failed.

  2. Nearly Legal says:

    Sorry – the comment form is messed up in Chrome. Link to my site is added to my name in this comment.

    None of this should be a surprise to anyone, this has been the law for 14 months.

    For our report of the Court of Appeal case see here:
    http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2009/10/accidental-overpayments-not-recoverable/

    For our report of the Supreme Court case, see here:
    http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2010/12/no-recovery-of-accidental-overpayments/

  3. inks2010 says:

    Ah – I get it. The Court of Appeal case was precedent setting so the law was decided 14 months ago when that case concluded.

    I guess I wasn’t paying attention last year!

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