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Thread: PIP didn't change my bank details as requested now I've lost money

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    PIP didn't change my bank details as requested now I've lost money


    My bank account was suspended/closed as I'm in bankruptcy as the moment, the request for account closure was via the Insolvency Service. The account went recently overdrawn as well due to a debit from quite a while a go it's a long story but this wasn't my fault and made no difference to the decision by the Insolvency Service either way the account had to be closed. I knew the account was going to be suspended this was around 3rd June so on the 5th June I called PIP and requested my bank account details to be changed to another bank, my next payment was due towards the end of June so had plenty of time for this to have been changed. The advisor seemed confident on the call and although I had the odd hesitation in her ability to change my bank details over, she confirmed verbally the account details had now been changed and my next payment would be made to my new bank account. Now I realised maybe I should have called back a week later to double check this had been completed, I've learnt a big lesson here.

    I checked my mobile bill and it does confirm the number I called (PIP helpline), the time/date and length of call which i now have a copy off.

    Due to human error or an issue with the computer the new bank account simply had not been changed by DWP.

    Cut to point - No PIP payment went into my new account, I called the bank in which the account had been suspended to be told my PIP payment had been sent to my old account on 20th June. I'm absolutely gutted my money which should of been spent on my disability has gone into a suspended overdrawn account, which I will not ever have access to. I only realised this today (Saturday) thinking it was this weekend I was due the money, I've sent a complaint letter to the DWP Minister. my MP and DWP complaints.

    I have also sent effectively a begging letter to the CEO of the bank in question to return the payment to DWP or allow me to have the funds, outlining what this money is for in regards to my disability.

    Can somebody with some legal knowledge give me some advice especially if the DWP will accept responsibility and re-pay me the money or do you think the bank will return the funds even though the account is overdrawn and suspended.

    I've been crying all day, I really cannot deal with this right now I'm well and truly gutted.

    Hopefully the call will be recorded when I called PIP as evidence.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Just a thought, but if your old account was suspended, can't you phone your 'old bank' and ask them to return the funds to the DWP, so that they can re-send it to the 'new bank'?

    I'm not sure that writing to the CEO is going to get the quickest response, and the purpose of the payment will be seen as irrelevant to them.

    Also, you state that "my PIP payment had been sent to my old account", but do you know for sure that it was credited. Maybe, if the old account is suspended it may have already been returned.

    I suggest you ring the old bank on Monday, then the DWP; and as they (the DWP) have made the error, maybe they could reclaim their money from the wrong destination, and send it to the right destination.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    South Lanarkshire
    Hi, know nothing about the legalities of your situation but, as far as I would think, would the benefit you were due not actually go into a closed account but be 'bounced back' to the DWP? Try phoning on Monday when there is someone to check this for you. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    I agree that if the account was closed and the overdraft was included in the bankruptcy then the payment should have been returned to the DWP.

    However, bit confused about your use of the word 'suspended'. Was the account actually closed?

    I think you have done all the right things but the main thing is to find out exactly what happened to the payment. So, was it put in the old account and then used to pay off the overdraft? (speak to your insolvency adviser about this). Was it returned ? (speak to PIP about this)

    Have also read that some banks put money into 'suspense' accounts if there is no account for it to go into so you may want to check this to.

    Basically, you first have to trace the payment and see where it has gone and then take the appropriate action.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Interesting one;

    There is a law that says a bank can't take benefit money from one account to pay off a debt on another account with the same bank.

    However as there are 2 different banks involved here this law would not seem to apply, mainly because the bank(s) haven't transfered the money between accounts, it's the DWP who paid it to the wrong place.

    So as far as the DWP are concerned (at the moment) they have paid the money so won't pay it again.
    As far as the new bank is concerned they have not received any money and so it's not their problem.
    As far as the old bank is concerned some money has been paid off your debt, they are not particularly bothered with checking where it came from.

    You already seem to have done the best you can in this situation, which is to appeal to the good nature of the bank which holds the old account.
    It may have been better if you had noticed it earlier, they may decide that if you didn't notice for 2 weeks then you don't realy need it to live on.
    (There again they would also have to weigh up that if this later came to light then it would not look very good for their reputation).

    And of course complain to the DWP, you informed them in good time, and were told that the change had been made, so it's their mistake.

    Whatever happens expect it be some weeks before you see this money, if you do.
    eg. if the old bank refunds it to the DWP then you'll have to get the DWP to repay it to you, which will all take time.
    Last edited by nukecad; 03-07-16 at 13:29.
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