The People Vs The Government DWP and Atos

Like really what makes P.O new bank accounts exempt ? from said act :O

Obviously P.O know something we don't :P

Section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992

There is an Act of Parliament which over-rides banks taking charges from your account if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits.

• Income Support

• Tax Credits

• Child Benefit

• Job seekers allowance

• Incapacity benefit

• Disability living allowance

• Attendance Allowance

• CSA payments

• Other DWP payments.

These social security benefits are granted to stop hardship and are designed to meet basic day to day needs, and are exempt and are protected under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 sub section 187.

From arestment in terms of section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (see Enforcement of Civil Obligations in Scotland, Scottish Executive report, at paragraph 5.245).

Section 45 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 Chapter 21 part 1 is an identical provision to the said section 187 of the 1992 Act. This stipulates that the banks can not apply any charges to money received as benefit, and any such charges are unlawful and therefore disallowed.

13 Replies

  • Having a Pip DLA medical, watch for the dropped pen trick! The latest move in a bid to "catch out" genuine disabled people at ATOS medicals at home or in the centres, is to stand close, have a normal conversation, as though you are good friends, then for the assessor to drop a pen close to where you are sat on the floor, and watch to see if your hidden reactions will attend to bend, pick up and grasp the pen! Naughty I know but many will attempt this without thinking and suffer the consequences afterwards of such movement, but it shows the examiner you can bend, grasp, lift your arm above shoulder to pass pen back to them, and balance!!!

  • Past all that thankfully reclaim done medical done, all ss it should be,

  • I thought the Post Office 'bank account' was provided by the Bank of Ireland UK, and was not a Post Office service. That means the same provisions would apply as any other bank.

    The old Giro Bank was taken over by Alliance & Leicester a long time ago. Then again, there was an announcement a few weeks ago that the Post Office was looking to start banking services again, no doubt they would also have to abide by banking rules if they do.

  • Yes A To Would Of Thought ... Looks Like Camaron Plan For Making Post Office Appealing To Potential Investors For When They Privatise It Might Back Fire On Them

  • Oh my sister who has severe osteoarthritis was on ESA which was stopped so she had to appeal. She was on income support until she won the appeal. She said the DWP never told her the benefits had stopped so she couldn't tell the bank and stop her direct debits. She was charged 200/300 in charges. Are you saying they are not allowed to do this in law and they must refund her?

    Bev x

  • Did Same With Me .... Ridiculous Back Charges Esp When They Know Your On Benefits .... Don't Think Government Like Public Or Sick Much

    So I Would Not Hold Your Breath On Refund ... As We Speak Osbourn Camaron Are Probably Running Round Changing The Law


    Daz, is this the article about charges you are talking about?

  • Cheers .... Nothing Like The BBC To Under Report A Story

    Cheer All The Best :)

  • Hi

    last month my DLA came in 4 days late, and i didn't have enough money in my account to pay a direct debit (the only money that goes into that account is DLA) the Nationwide decided to punish me by charging me £45 for my poverty, are you saying that they haven't the right to do that? by the way thanks TNSG or all the info you share with us.

    all the best linda x

  • Lodge a complaint with Nationwide, best way is by letter to your branch. Point out that you are receiving DLA as your only income and that you want the charge(s) refunding :)

  • Sorry folks, I've been looking into this one for the legalities. Sure enough, Cardiff County Court on 30 October 2007, (Mrs) Rayment v Barclays Bank plc, His Honour Judge Hickinbottom - "Mrs Rayment.......submitted that in applying unauthorised overdraft charges to her account, the bank was in breach of section 187 of the Social Security Act 1992.......That submission is flawed. It appears to assume that "charge" in section 187 is the same as "charges" made by a bank. With respect, that is patently incorrect. Mrs Rayment has not assigned or charged any interest in her benefits to the bank......Section 187 has no application in this case."

    So, to clarify - the banks CAN take money from your account, regardless of Section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 or Section 45 of the Tax Credits Act 2002. Once a benefit payment is credited to an account it merges with the existing account balance, whether this is overdrawn or in credit. If the account is overdrawn the bank are fully within their rights to offset the benefit payment against the overdraft and take any charges. By 'charges' they do not mean bank charges. What is meant is things like attachment of earnings and charging orders.

    The Act only applies to income based benefits, DLA isn't included from what I can determine, under section 122 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act

    Section 187 does not prevent banks from making charges relating to the claimants bank accounts. Such charges imposed by banks would be outside the scope of Social Security legislation. One of the vices which section 187 was designed to catch was to protect claimants from pledging their order books to loan sharks to defray debts owed to third parties. It does not affect the ability of the banks to make charges pertaining to claimants account.

    However, under the terms set out in the Banking Code, banks are obliged to deal with all cases of financial difficulty sympathetically and positively. Customers who find themselves in difficulty should speak to their account provider about their needs in order to come to an arrangement to deal with their debt and safeguard their benefit payments.

    If a claimant is having problems with their bank they should contact the DWP or HMRC to ask about alternative payment methods. In many debt recovery cases I've seen that means opening a basic account at a different bank so benefits, allowances, pensions, wages and so on can be paid into that. Obviously, you can't just abandon a bank account that is overdrawn. It may be possible to get charges and fees refunded on hardship grounds, but each bank had their own rules on that.

    There are also rules on 'first right of appropriation’, which is where instruction is given to the bank that things like housing benefit MUST be paid through the account and cannot be taken against bank charges, but this has to be done properly and in writing.

    I was interested in this because I've run into problems with banks in the past. In 2006 I made a claim for repayment of unauthorised bank charges and fees, going back 6 years, and eventually won my case and got £1,500 back :D but they had already closed my account and refused to let me bank with them again, despite being a long standing customer. I opened a new basic account with the Co-Op Bank which had no overdraft facility or cheque book, but does give me Internet banking, direct debits and so on. It's worked well for me over the last 7 years. ;)

  • Thanks For That Gordon ... As Clarified Things :)

    I Had Same Problem With Halifax Came To Agreement .... They Broke And Did't Have To Pay Them Back ... I Thought Yep Nice One ... But Just Get You With Credit History

    All The Best

  • Wow! thanks Gordon for such a comprehensive explanation.


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