Universal Credit claimant told to repay £5k in benefits has debt written off

A woman told to repay her Universal Credit payments has managed to have the bill written off.

Tina Newman was sinking in £5,372 worth of debt which she had to pay to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

She was told this was because she couldn’t prove she met the full DWP criteria for it.

The 40-year-old lost her job at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and was sub-letting in a shared property.

However, the DWP said she didn’t have a tenancy agreement or formal contract and was not entitled to all the money.

In the year to February 2021, the number of renters using Universal Credit increased from 749,000 to 1.5million, reports the i News.

Tina was told to repay her Universal Credit payments
(Image: Richard Williams)

 

As for Tina, she managed to appeal the decision and win.

Now she only has to repay £500, as evidence she submitted said her housing cost was £500 a month, not £550 as first stated.

Speaking to the publication, Tina said: “I am so thankful. I am proud of myself for not giving in.

“I was entitled to receive housing benefits.”

Department for Work and Pensions
A court challenge was pushed back
(Image: In Pictures via Getty Images)

A DWP spokesperson said: “Ms Newman requested a mandatory reconsideration, and this determined that sufficient evidence was provided to prove rent liability for her housing costs.

“This meant that we were able to remove the vast majority of the overpayment on her account.”

A court challenge to decide whether those on old-style legacy benefits were unfairly left out of Covid support by the DWP has been pushed back.

The row could see 2million people who claim back old benefits in line for backpay of around £1,500.

 

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