• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

DWP, the council, the bank etc

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
170
I dread the post each day now. What will it be? After mum passed away, my bank not only closed down our joint account, they closed down my credit and debit cards and I had to phone them to get them reinstated. Even now, it;s not back to normal.Then the letter from thelawyers dealing with mum's work pension: there had been an overpayment. Now today a letter from the council telling me I was in arrears with mum's daycare payment ( and this after I had called them and told them to cancel...) And another letter from the DWPtelling me of an over payment of Attendance allowance from the day after I had registered mum's death and been informed that the cancellation was being done elctronically and it would be sorted straightaway.Is this normal? I didnt have this trouble with either my dad or my aunt.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,128
Yorkshire
I'm sorry all this is coming at once @CWR
to give yourself a breathing space, maybe compose a letter you could send to them all simply acknowledging receipt of each letter and saying you will deal with the matter as soon as possible given that you are in the process of working through your mum's affairs .... so each one knows you are looking at each issue but you don't feel you have to act immediately
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
761
Hi @CWR, yes it does feel like a lot to deal with when you are grieving, and can feel quite overwhelming. Things that you can normally cope with easily become a real struggle. I got a letter from the DWP several months after Mum's estate was settled citing an overpayment - they have no legal grounds to recover if they were advised in a timely way (I had actually seen this cited on a consumer rights programme a couple of weeks before as it is sadly quite common place and causes quite a lot of anxiety for the bereaved, and is basically down to the poor systems at DWP) and the letter indicates that, saying they are obliged to send the letter and would appreciate monies being returned to the public purse - Mum's estate had already been settled and funds distributed, filed it where it belonged in the recycling bin.
 

Wildflowerlady

Registered User
Sep 30, 2019
120
So sorry for whats going on but to be honest when my mum died everything did go smoothly. I dealt with all her paperwork as dad wouldn't have had a clue.
I took everything to the Register Office along with her Death Certificate and they notified a lot of people themselves.
Mum had a couple of payments come through such as any pension and attendance allowance which were payable up until the day she passed, we never had to pay anything back, as she had a Joint Account with dad they went through OK..
To be honest dad received a payment no one expected I believe it was called a Bereavement Payment a one off Lump Sum. I think it was something to do with how much National Insurance she had or rather hadn't accrued. Whatever it was paid directly into the Joint Account and paid a fair bit of mum's funeral.
Perhaps it has been down to when funds were paid out to your mum and the time of her passing payment had slipped through. I can understand your frustration at being told money is owing if you had informed them re; your mum's Daycare fees.
Hopefully it will all be settled soon, I wish you well.
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,268
East Midlands
Hi @CWR, yes it does feel like a lot to deal with when you are grieving, and can feel quite overwhelming. Things that you can normally cope with easily become a real struggle. I got a letter from the DWP several months after Mum's estate was settled citing an overpayment - they have no legal grounds to recover if they were advised in a timely way (I had actually seen this cited on a consumer rights programme a couple of weeks before as it is sadly quite common place and causes quite a lot of anxiety for the bereaved, and is basically down to the poor systems at DWP) and the letter indicates that, saying they are obliged to send the letter and would appreciate monies being returned to the public purse - Mum's estate had already been settled and funds distributed, filed it where it belonged in the recycling bin.
Having just had to pay back some money to the DWP, I wish I had seen this! How long did the consumer rights programme view a timely manner? I have read that actually the DWP don’t have any legal recourse on whether executors pay up or not but they write really horrific letters to put the fear into them saying that they are legally liable so that most people cough up.
My mum died at the end of March. Probate was sent off in April & received back in July. The Tell Us Once service was used within the 30 day timescale too. The DWP got in touch at the end of September.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
419
Sorry to see you're getting a lot of extra stress at an already stressful time. So far (my mum died in November) things have been relatively straightforward for me, but I know what you mean about worrying what's going to come through the post on any given day. I'm responsible as executor for carrying out what my mum wanted in her will, so that's also ongoing at the moment.

Like Kikki21 I used the 'tell us once' service when I was registering my mum's death. In her case it only involved HMRC and the DWP. The HMRC actually responded very quickly and it turned out my mum was owed a return on tax paid, and a cheque arrivied in short order. I think it's outrageous that the DWP are sending out 'threatening' letters so long after a person's death, when probate has been dealt with and inheritances distributed. The person who originally 'owed' the money isn't available to pay it; the money's no longer there, and I wouldn't have thought it was legal to claim money from anyone else.

As for Pete1's experience with the letter citing 'would appreciate monies being returned to the public purse', I think that's absolutely outrageous. There are so many people in this country entitled to benefits that they never claim for, so that 'money' stays in the 'public purse' whilst people struggle. How dare a government department use emotional guilt on people who are grieving? It's obviously too late for you Kikki, but I hope that others will follow Pete1's example and file their rubbish in the bin.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
761
The Tell Us Once service was used within the 30 day timescale too.
Hi @Kikki21, that is what I used too within a couple of days - it is the defined route now, however, it clearly doesn't work efficiently, neither does the DWP over payment recovery system. The DWP demand came through 3 months after the estate had been settled and distributed.
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,268
East Midlands
Hi @Kikki21, that is what I used too within a couple of days - it is the defined route now, however, it clearly doesn't work efficiently, neither does the DWP over payment recovery system. The DWP demand came through 3 months after the estate had been settled and distributed.
I have heard that the DWP would expect you to get the money back but I really can’t see that happening as in a lot of cases, the estate has already been distributed. Sadly for me, this was not the case & having seen what the DWP wrote in their initial letter, I can only describe the language as threatening. This coming at such a sensitive time is not great.
The DWP are also not accurate information givers. I was given the wrong information about how much my mother owed them which has led to a further breakdown in communication between myself & the executor of her will.
 

Graybiker

Registered User
Oct 3, 2017
199
County Durham
I feel your pain. Mam died 22/8/19. I received a letter 2 weeks ago from DWP saying they were paying £280 into mam’s account. Last week got a letter saying they have overpaid & they want £90 back.
My poor (86 yr old) dad is beside himself at the thought of owing them money & feels there is no end to sorting the problems of mam’s estate. We have also just been granted probate, 5 months on.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, it’s not right, it shouldn’t be so hard x
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
170
I feel your pain. Mam died 22/8/19. I received a letter 2 weeks ago from DWP saying they were paying £280 into mam’s account. Last week got a letter saying they have overpaid & they want £90 back.
My poor (86 yr old) dad is beside himself at the thought of owing them money & feels there is no end to sorting the problems of mam’s estate. We have also just been granted probate, 5 months on.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, it’s not right, it shouldn’t be so hard x
I just looked at my bank statement; I contacted the council to tell them I wanted the community alarm picked up, since I no longer needed it. I forgot to cancel the standing order. On and on it goes...
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
170
To quote Victor Meldrew, " I don't believe it! Today, on what would have been mum's 96th birthday, I got another letter from the DWP telling me I had to repay £129. Only thing is: I did repay it but they are so chronically incompetent that they have re-sent the letter. I know they did receive it since they said so. Everything is in a state of chaos at the moment, well, since mum's death, but I know I paid it and they acknowledged receipt. This on top of coronavirus......Arrrgghhh
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
1,876
To quote Victor Meldrew, " I don't believe it! Today, on what would have been mum's 96th birthday, I got another letter from the DWP telling me I had to repay £129. Only thing is: I did repay it but they are so chronically incompetent that they have re-sent the letter. I know they did receive it since they said so. Everything is in a state of chaos at the moment, well, since mum's death, but I know I paid it and they acknowledged receipt. This on top of coronavirus......Arrrgghhh
@CWR dad died in February and I am sorting out everything for HMRC before I even think about probate. Everything has come back to me except the DWP I suspect dad will owe them money so I would like to sort that out soon.

They were awful when I tried to up dad's DLA in fact I found their replies to be rather rude and very dismissive. I had a real fight getting dad the higher rate but I got there in the end.

I hope you get it sorted out because it is not helpful when you are dealing with everything including the lockdown.

Throw it to one side or file it in the bin for now and take a deep breath before doing something nice for yourself.
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
170
@CWR dad died in February and I am sorting out everything for HMRC before I even think about probate. Everything has come back to me except the DWP I suspect dad will owe them money so I would like to sort that out soon.

They were awful when I tried to up dad's DLA in fact I found their replies to be rather rude and very dismissive. I had a real fight getting dad the higher rate but I got there in the end.

I hope you get it sorted out because it is not helpful when you are dealing with everything including the lockdown.

Throw it to one side or file it in the bin for now and take a deep breath before doing something nice for yourself.
I have contacted my MSP about it.Since everything I have read says that any overpayments made after death are not legally required to be repaid, I seem to fall into that case. Now to make myself a lovely meal!
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
170
I got another letter from the DWP just before lockdown. I contacted my MSP who wrote to them,and I just got a reply. Basically, they said that they are not expecting me to pay the money
back, which is welcome news in the circumstances If you know anyone else dealing with this, please pass this information on. It would save a lot of needless anxiety.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
1,876
I got another letter from the DWP just before lockdown. I contacted my MSP who wrote to them,and I just got a reply. Basically, they said that they are not expecting me to pay the money
back, which is welcome news in the circumstances If you know anyone else dealing with this, please pass this information on. It would save a lot of needless anxiety.
That is very useful to me @CWR because I am still waiting for the DWP as I suspect that dad may owe something, not a lot but something. I informed them in February using the Tell us Once service very soon after registering the death. It will be nearly 4 months next week and I still haven't done much due to the lock down situation but I will need to get on with things soon.

I have to sort the tax situation out sometime soon before I apply for probate.

I really wish that this hadn't all come to me because I don't really know what I am doing most of the time.
 

CWR

Registered User
Mar 17, 2019
170
That is very useful to me @CWR because I am still waiting for the DWP as I suspect that dad may owe something, not a lot but something. I informed them in February using the Tell us Once service very soon after registering the death. It will be nearly 4 months next week and I still haven't done much due to the lock down situation but I will need to get on with things soon.

I have to sort the tax situation out sometime soon before I apply for probate.

I really wish that this hadn't all come to me because I don't really know what I am doing most of the time.
According to the information I received, this is what they call a DPAD(Direct Payment After Death), and any repayment is voluntary and after 6 months, the debt is written off and no follow up letters are issued, so you have no need to worry. I hope this reassures you. It's difficult dealing with the emotional after-efects of a death without the additional worry that this generates.
 

theunknown

Registered User
Apr 17, 2015
419
Same happened to me, and now now I'm fuming that I paid up without questioning it. Letter about overpayment from DWP, sent to my address, even though the overpayment was on my mum's pension (I was her deputy) and nothing to do with me. I had to get my husband to write a cheque for the amount (about £500), as I no longer had access to my mum's bank accounts, which were frozen. When, as executor, I finally got access again to my mum's accounts I paid my husband back.

I did the 'tell us once' service at the registry office. The tax office very quickly got in touch with me, telling me that there was an overpayment to them of around £600, which they sent a cheque for. After accounts were frozen, but probate not yet granted, the DWP got in touch asking for money. I now think if you use the 'tell us once' service DO NOT pay money to the DWP if they don't get in touch with you in a timely fashion. Leave them to sort it out.