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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
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Debt and return pursuit: miscellaneous charges: Health in Pregnancy Grant overpayments

Background

The HiPG is designed to help pregnant women to invest in their pregnancy to meet their individual needs, while providing them with flexibility to choose how they budget and where they spend the grant.

The grant is payable from April 2009, and is paid as a one-off payment of £190 to all pregnant women, regardless of the number of children expected. The grant is payable from the 25th week of pregnancy providing a certificate has been signed by a health professional.

Legislation

The relevant legislation is contained in Part 4 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (HSCA).

The HSCA provides for the recovery of HiPG overpayments under section 71 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

Action by the HiPG Office

The HiPG Office, which is situated at the Child Benefit Office, Washington, is responsible for

  • establishing overpayments
  • notifying the customer of the overpayment and
  • maintaining details of the overpayment on the HiPG system.

The HiPG Office

  • identify that an overpayment has been made
  • input details of the overpayment onto SAFE
  • send the customer an overpayment decision letter which contains

    • an initial request for payment with
    • a payslip showing the SAFE generated reference number.

Action by SAFE

If the overpayment is not paid, SAFE will

  • issue payment reminders, and if the charge is still not paid after the final application
  • place an entry on the SAFE Local Action worklist (subject to administrative limits) which will flow through to an MU at the Small Debts Unit.

Appeals

There is a statutory right of appeal against the decision giving rise to an overpayment which must be made in writing within one month from the date the decision is made.

Appeal/dispute received by the HiPG Office

When an appeal/dispute is received by the HiPG Office, they will

  • suspend recovery action on SAFE (which will flow through to the MU at the SDU if the case is local action).

Depending on the result of the appeal they will either

  • amend the charge, or
  • release the charge (which will flow through to the MU at the SDU if the case is local action).

Appeal/dispute received by the SAFE Team

If an appeal/dispute is received you should

  • refer the matter immediately to the ‘Appeals Team, HiPG Office, Waterview Park, Washington, Tyne and Wear, NE88 1ZX’ and
  • suspend recovery action.

Interest

HiPG overpayments do not attract interest.