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DWP recovery from estates - Help please panicking!

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by gillybean, May 15, 2015.

  1. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    I just got home to a brown envelope with a form asking for details of Mum's estate.

    I assume this is to see if any over payments have occurred, she received AA and also Pens credit, I always informed them of any changes.

    What concerns me is they want to know the value of the property (incl home address) ie property, why do they need to know this, do they take back all the benefits?
    Starting to panic!:eek:
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Well AA is non-means tested so unless she was in hospital for more than 28 days or in a care home supported by the LA they won't be asking for that back. Pension credit is income based: you could have a massive property and still get pension credit.

    I'm finding it hard to believe they need to know this or in fact have a right to ask. I know they didn't ask me at the time of my mother's death although she didn't get pension credit.

    Does the form have some kind of code number on it?
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I had a look back at your posts. Am I right in thinking your mother was in a nursing home with CHC? Because if so, I don't think she should have been getting AA.
     
  4. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    Thanks Jennifer

    She was in hosp then had CHC but AA was stopped immediately. I hate these kind of letters and I'm in a flat spin, the form is BPL PR, another ref on the letter is DM1SS.

    What with the probate yesterday and this today it's all too much:eek:
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I've been wading through the acronyms that appear to be DWPs stock in trade, and it does appear that this form is designed to discover if it is possible to recover an overpayment from an estate. Have you never had any communication from DWP with regard to a possible overpayment? Because this seems a bit cart before the horse, frankly. Was there nothing other than the form in the envelope?
     
  6. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    Yes there was a letter, stating they need to check information about the estate with details at the time benefit was paid, I have a deadline of 7 June. It states such an inquiry may lead to a claim on the estate and not to distribute it.

    A few years ago they said she was over paid in PC and I immediately paid it back in full , other than that nothing. When she went into hospital, then later CH they were informed immediately, she still received a pension but no PC or AA so I am at a loss. Just seems strange why they need to know the value of all the estate, incl house that's never included anyway is it?
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Another thought: did she receive a disability premium as part of the pension credit? Because that should have stopped as well.

    The current level of guaranteed pension credit is £151.20 (that is, her existing pensions should have been topped up to that level). The severe disability premium is £61.85. Perhaps you can work out from those figures if she was overpaid?
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Cross posted with you. So are you saying that at the time of admittance to hospital (and then the home) they stopped paying both PC and AA? Because if they stopped the PC (and her pensions weren't over the £151.20 limit or whatever the limit was at the time) it seems to me that they owe you money, rather than the other way around.
     
  9. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    Thanks Jennifer don't feel so alone....no I am sure she didn't receive anything disability related just the basic £151 as above I think. She only had about £2 PC each week and AA before hospital.
     
  10. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    Cross post again! I don't think they owe anything, after all the AA and PC were stopped at the appropriate time
     
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    As to the estate, my understanding is that they are asking for the value of the entire estate (including the house) so they can decide whether, if money is owed back to them, they can get it back. I still think it's the wrong way round (they should determine if there was an overpayment first, then work out if they can recover it) but I think you're going to have to give the details and then argue about any overpayment. This isn't the last word in the matter (either from me or from DWP) because they'll have to show that there was in fact overpayment.
     
  12. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    I am assuming that they want to check her capital against their records to see if they have paid her when she wasn't entitled to it.

    Thing is I think they have assessed periods can't remember when the last one was, probably when dad passed away 5 years ago. So they'll be checking that maybe? I'm just guessing. I think AA is not means tested, so that should be alright as she didn't get it after hospital.

    Her capital did go up, it would do as pension wasn't spend for the last 7 months of her life., I wouldn't be expected to inform them of that would I? To be honest last few months I've not known whether I was coming or going. Assuming they only would only assess the time she received benefits not after her death and the accrued capital?
     
  13. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    Maybe I'm panicking over nothing, as far as I'm aware she had not been overpaid anything, not AA. PC or pension which was stopped immediately. Just makes me wonder why they think they have overpaid. I's one of those things that are really stressful for the unknown element.
     
  14. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    I don't know a lot about this...Mam didn't own her own home but had enough savings to pay for her own care.
    When she died ( a Wednesday) she had been overpaid pension but she had also been underpaid AA.
    We had to wait before we settled her estate until these were sorted out.
    Portion of pension paid back and underpayment of AA received.
    Perhaps the probate application has triggered these responses to freeze the estate to ensure all is safely gathered in?
     
  15. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hmm - if her cash assets (as in anything not the house) were over £10,000 at any time she was receiving PC, PC would be reduced by £1 per week per £500 over that £10K. If her capital went over that level after they stopped PC then that would be irrelevant.
     
  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Well I think, as Gwen says, it's quite common for pension and other things to be over or underpaid. It so happened in my mother's case that she died on the 1st of the month and that meant the payments worked out perfectly, but from a statistical POV that's fairly unusual. So I suspect it's rather routine. A pain for you, of course, but routine. And it doesn't sound as if the overpayment could be much if anything. Which has to be a relief.
     
  17. gillybean

    gillybean Registered User

    Jan 17, 2007
    420
    As far as I was aware nothing was over/under paid. I telephoned all the relevant agencies each time there was a change. I wonder if they saw the total capital (incl house) and thought they didn't match their records?

    I wonder if they'd elaborate why this was sent if I call, maybe it's routine.

    I am assuming this, maybe someone can confirm...
    1. They can only ask for AA back if it was paid when in hosp/home, not her own home.
    2. They can only claim back pension credit, not normal pension payments.
     
  18. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Absolutely yes to the AA. And yes to the pension credit as well. Her state pension is inviolate (unless for some reason they overpaid by a week or so, but it sounds as if they didn't).
     
  19. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    220
    North East
    I have had one of these letters regarding my mother's estate. It came via the solicitor as it was the grant of probate that triggered it. I have asked the solicitor to deal and still awaiting the outcome. Mam was self funding but got pension credit for the last 4 months of her life. That is what we may end up paying back. Had I known we may have to pay it back I wouldn't have applied for it in the first place. X
     
  20. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    I would give them a ring Gilly bean just to settle your mind (typically it's Friday and you'll have to stew on it for two days) but I wouldn't unnecessarily worry, a computer does the number crunching and it was a pretty stern letter that said Mam had been over paid a day or two's pension and a pretty stern letter saying they owed her three weeks AA.
     

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