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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22977
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My partner received a letter 2 weeks ago from WINZ saying he

Customer Question

Hi my partner received a letter 2 weeks ago from WINZ saying he owes around 10000.00 from 2010, (this is the first we have heard from them) we made an appointment and went in they said they sent us a letter in 2011 (dont recall) anyway we had a baby at the end of 2010 and while i was pregnant he was on the unemployment benefit while i worked (our relationship was new then we only decided to give the relationship a go when i found out i was pregnant) we went into WINZ at the end of 2010 to let them know our situation etc so that everything was out in the open and then they allegedly sent us the letter at the beginning of 2011, basically it looks like they have backdated to when i fell pregnant and have said that my partner has to pay back everything he was paid throughout my pregnancy - so didnt hear anything about it until this year and im kind of annoyed that they waited so long to contact us about this and now we are getting our lives on track moneywise and this pops up and they are expecting a minimum payment of $100 a fortnight which isnt really feasible for us, is this fair?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

You can ask for the decision to be reviewed as WINZ has a system of a review, and then you can further appeal to the Social Security Appeal Authority. You should challenge the backdating if you weren't living together at the time, and make sure you tell them that you were open about the new relationship. If they want to force you to pay, then they would need to make a claim in court and you would have a defence that you acted in reliance on the payments being correct and changed your position relying on their pay,nets being correct. This won't necessarily end this, but should help negotiate a figure you can actually afford