Security guard slams DWP over ‘ridiculous’ letter demanding he repays TWO PENCE for housing benefit

‘Are they having a laugh?’ Security guard slams DWP over ‘ridiculous’ letter demanding he repays TWO PENCE for housing benefit three years ago or risk legal action

  • Damien Dove, 53, who lives in West Rainton, received the letter on Tuesday
  • The letter stated that Mr Dove had until August 29 to get in touch with the DWP
  • It was for an overpayment of a housing benefit when he was claiming part rent
  • He intends to pay the debt by cheque next time he goes to the bank 

A security guard has slammed the Department of Work and Pensions after he received a ‘ridiculous’ letter ordering him to repay 2p.

Damien Dove, 53, who lives in West Rainton near Sunderland, received the letter on Tuesday. 

He was informed that it was an overpayment of a housing benefit from more than three years ago when he was on low income and claiming part rent – the only time he has ever claimed any benefits.

The letter also stated that Mr Dove had until August 29 to get in touch with the DWP regarding payment, otherwise ‘we will consider taking further action’.

This led to Mr Dove calling the DWP, though he initially thought someone may have been playing a prank on him.

Damien Dove (pictured), 53, who lives in West Rainton in Sunderland, received the letter on Tuesday

Damien Dove (pictured), 53, who lives in West Rainton in Sunderland, received the letter on Tuesday

Mr Dove said: ‘I thought it was a joke until I contacted them. It would have cost them more to send me out the letter.

‘They were quite serious about it over the phone and it says in the letter that further action will now be taken if I don’t pay.’

He intends to pay the debt by cheque next time he goes to the bank. 

He suggested that the money he owes was taken out of his tax, but claims that the response from the call centre was that he ‘owed a bill so had to pay it’.

Mr Dove continued: ‘It just surprised me when I opened the letter and I was asking, “are these people having a laugh?”

‘I have never known anyone get a letter demanding 2p, it’s just ridiculous. I think it’s pathetic.

The letter (above) stated that Mr Dove had until August 29 to get in touch with the DWP regarding payment, otherwise 'we will consider taking further action'

The letter (above) stated that Mr Dove had until August 29 to get in touch with the DWP regarding payment, otherwise ‘we will consider taking further action’

This led to Mr Dove calling the DWP, though he initially thought someone may have been playing a prank on him

This led to Mr Dove calling the DWP, though he initially thought someone may have been playing a prank on him

‘I haven’t collected social security for at least ten years, I’ve worked all my life near enough apart from a few months and basically I’m getting penalised doing this for collecting a benefit for one week.’

A spokesperson from the Department of Work and Pensions said: ‘This was a debt owing to Mr Dove’s local authority; regulations require us to recover such debts when requested to do so and the automated nature of our systems the notification was generated without agent input.

‘We supported Mr Dove, whose chosen payment method would’ve incurred a charge, by suggesting a free alternative.’

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