Discretionary Housing Payments Policy - April 2013
Overpayments and Fraud
The Council will seek to recover any DHP found to be overpaid. We will seek recovery from the claimant and/or their partner, regardless of how and to whom the DHP was paid. We will do this by invoicing the claimant and/or partner. We will not seek recovery of any overpayment caused through Local Authority error unless it is reasonable that the recipient could realise the decision was incorrect. Any decision that a DHP is overpaid will be notified. An appeal may be made against this decision.
The Council will only allow an appeal against the recovery of a DHP overpayment on the following grounds:
- the calculation of the overpayment
- that the overpayment should not be recoverable as it was caused by LA error where the recipient could not reasonably know an error had been made.
The Council is committed to fight against fraud in all its forms. Discretionary Housing Benefit payments can only be awarded if the customer is already in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit with housing costs included. For Housing Benefit customers their circumstances are obtained from their completed benefit application form and therefore the fraud would have been perpetrated against both the benefit application and the DHP application. For Universal Credit customers their circumstances are obtained from their completed DHP application form along with information received from DWP and therefore the fraud would have been perpetrated against both the Universal Credit application and the DHP application.
Any cases where the Council suspects that fraud has occurred will be investigated and subject to the actions available within the Council's Anti-Fraud policy.