The Action Group had obtained a declaration that, where an overpayment of benefits had arisen due to a miscalculation by the officers of the Department, any process of recovering the overpayment must be by the Act, and that the Department could not use the law of unjust enrichment. The Department Appealed.
Held: The appeal failed. Section 71 of the 1992 Act is the only route to recovery of social security benefits overpayments to the exclusion of any common law rights. Historically there had been a division between the adjudication and quantification of the benefit award and on the one hand and the payment of the award on the other. Section 71 was not a limit on the appellant’s powers, but rather created one where none had existed. Outside it there was no power of recovery.
Lord Phillips (President), Lord Rodger, Lord Brown, Lord Kerr and Sir John Dyson SC
 UKSC 54, UKSC 2009/0202,  1 All ER 729,  2 AC 15,  2 WLR 1,  PTSR 185
Bailii, SC Summary, SC, Bailii Summary
Social Security Benefits Act 1992 71
England and Wales
At First Instance – Child Poverty Action Group, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 27-Feb-2009
Challenge to defendant’s practice in seeking recovery of overpayments.
Held: The court refused to grant a declaration that the respondent could not use common law or equitable powers to recover over-payment of benefits where the payee had . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
Appeal from – Child Poverty Action Group, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary Of State for Work and Pensions CA 14-Oct-2009
CPAG appealed against a refusal of a declaration that the respondent could use only the 1992 Act to recover overpayment of benefits where there had been neither misrepresentation nor non-disclosure.
Held: The appeal succeeded, and the court . .
Cited – Total Network Sl v Revenue and Customs HL 12-Mar-2008
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations . .
Cited – Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Group Plc v Inland Revenue and Another HL 25-Oct-2006
The tax payer had overpaid Advance Corporation Tax under an error of law. It sought repayment. The revenue contended that the claim was time barred.
Held: The claim was in restitution, and the limitation period began to run from the date when . .
Cited – Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Limited HL 4-Dec-2003
The claimant’s house was regularly flooded by waters including also foul sewage from the respondent’s neighbouring premises. He sought damages and an injunction. The defendants sought to restrict the claimant to his statutory rights.
Held: The . .
Cited – Regina v Special Commissioner And Another, ex parte Morgan Grenfell and Co Ltd HL 16-May-2002
The inspector issued a notice requiring production of certain documents. The respondents refused to produce them, saying that they were protected by legal professional privilege.
Held: Legal professional privilege is a fundamental part of . .
Cited – Johnson v Unisys Ltd HL 23-Mar-2001
The claimant contended for a common law remedy covering the same ground as the statutory right available to him under the Employment Rights Act 1996 through the Employment Tribunal system.
Held: The statutory system for compensation for unfair . .
Cited – Legal Services Commission v Henthorn QBD 4-Feb-2011
The claimant sought to recover overpayments said to have been made to the defendant barrister in the early 1990s. Interim payments on account had been made, but these were not followed by final accounts. The defendant, now retired, said that the . .
Cited – Revenue and Customs v The Investment Trust Companies SC 11-Apr-2017
Certain investment trust companies (ITCs) sought refunds of VAT paid on the supply of investment management services. EU law however clarified that they were not due. Refunds were restricted by the Commissioners both as to the amounts and limitation . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.426897