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Hi, I have not been able to see my balance in my bank account…

Hi, I have not been...
Hi, I have not been able to see my balance in my bank account due to bad weather and moving house no telephone etc. and a relative who was unwell who has now unfortunately died.I have now found out that there was £4,000 been paid into my account in housing benefit in error and I have used most of the money to help the person who was unwell.I am very concerned about this payment could you please offer some advice please.
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
1/2/2011
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,164
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Welcome to JustAnswer! If you've any queries once you've read my answer do ask. When satisfied, kindly click the Green ACCEPT button.

Can I ask how you managed to spend so much without realizing please - I appreciate you could not view your balance but £4K is a to to spend without realizing you are spending a lot nevertheless - hence my query.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
It soon added up with financial assistance to relatives, funeral expenses ,travelling expenses.
OK thanks.

  1. Is it usual for you to keep this level of money in your account? i.e. were you surprised that all the transactions you were making were being approved by your bank?
  2. Can you repay the money?

Essentially what I am trying to understand is whether or not you found or failing which should have reasonably found it unusual to be able to spend this level of money from your normal level of funds in your bank.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I do have some funds in the account and an overdraft facility and no I cannot repay the amount.
OK thanks.

THe position is that if the benefits have been paid incorrectly then they will be repayable. The reason I was asking the above questions is because if it could be shown that you knowingly spent money that you knew not to be yours there could be an allegation of theft. I do not think there is a significant danger of that here but if questioned you should be able to explain why you did not find it odd that you were able to spend so much money without query.

In terms of the repayment, if it cannot be repaid in a lump sum, it is likely the benefits office will make deductions from future benefits until the sum is repaid; I would recommend you discuss the matter with them to try to come to some arrangement both of you can live with. Perhaps the individuals you helped can assist themselves once they are better?
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,164
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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