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Why would DWP stop a pension?

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
Further update: DWP did write to say thanks for letting us know your change in circumstances.

That was it. Then I saw Dad's bank account got a one off payment of what he was owed, so I think it's all been sorted.

Unrelated to DWP: The financial assessment, oddly, was done after the LA agreed to fund care at the highest level. They have looked at his bank account and told us how much we need to pay them back, essentially. So the LA pay for his care home (assessed yearly) and we pay them all dad's pension income minus his allowance of £24.90 a week (don't spend it all at once dad). I've just set up his standing order for it. I was wondering if I should start sending cash to his grandchildren for their birthdays and christmas - I'm sure Dad would have done if he had the memory of them - but now he's on such little money I wonder if I should just leave it - what if Dad needs it for something?
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,861
I’ve sorted out the DWP too. I phoned them, then had to get code from OPG and phone them back. The pension which I thought wasn’t there was, and appeared as having been paid in each month. I’m now puzzling as to quite what happened. I’m sure it wasn’t there a few weeks ago as I checked twice. However if the first person I spoke to had sorted it I would have thought it would have turned up as a lump sum. Odd.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
I’ve sorted out the DWP too. I phoned them, then had to get code from OPG and phone them back. The pension which I thought wasn’t there was, and appeared as having been paid in each month. I’m now puzzling as to quite what happened. I’m sure it wasn’t there a few weeks ago as I checked twice. However if the first person I spoke to had sorted it I would have thought it would have turned up as a lump sum. Odd.
Oh that is good news. Well Dad's did turn up in a lump sum, but when I first started looking at his finances I remember being convinced his other pension was not going in, and it was, just didn't look right. Now I can see it clearly, but then there are far fewer transactions on there to muddle. The important thing is that it is being paid.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
We have been away and went back home today and checked the post. Another letter from DWP for Dad.

This time it says he owes them almost £30k!

No details on how they worked it out, just another page saying they will be taking it out via a regular reduction of his pension. With the LA taking almost all his pensions save £24.90 a week he'll have no money at all left come the end of the year.

I am going to have to call DWP and the LA again and find out what's going on and if necessary get it factored in to his financial assessment.

I wish they had told me this when I spoke to them originally and I could have told the council.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
440
Did the letter not say why they were recovering it or what part of the act they were using to recover it under?
Is it retirement pension or is it pension credit? There will be a right of appeal / reconsideration in the decision, which you may need to use.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
Did the letter not say why they were recovering it or what part of the act they were using to recover it under?
Is it retirement pension or is it pension credit? There will be a right of appeal / reconsideration in the decision, which you may need to use.
No it didn't have any details. Don't know what pension credit is, dad only has old age pension. I will Google pension credit though!
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
440
@imthedaughter , just wondering if it’s an “old” overpayment which your dad either agreed with/or ignored. This would account for the letter which would be sent once the pension was back in payment. It wouldn’t be a decision about what was owing simply a direction that the money would be recovered once benefits were paid.
It is a lot, could have been caused by a number of reasons ...... You will need to advise local authority about the reduced rate and do a check of the reasons. My guess is that he might have claimed pension credit at some point and failed to declare savings or income from a private pension......
sorry it’s down to you to sort but they may have been taking this from his pension for some time. I think the local authority and the DWP overpayments will do some haggling as now he is in a care home he needs all his income.
Best of luck and I will do my best to help but I left DWP in 2005 so very rusty
 
Last edited by a moderator:

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,712
Yorkshire
Thats probably over 3 years worth of pension or more if for pension credit.:eek: Can't see how anyone can owe so much when they haven't even been paying him it recently. Unless they've been paying it to another account, or he's been claiming for years he's not been entitled but I can't see how.
The DWP seems to be like HMRC now in that they can get things wrong more often, like most things run by goverment it's probably trying to save money. It's like one person looks at a case and comes up with one decision, then days later someone on a different tier who has access to more or less of the system comes along and looks at same case and comes up with something different. My husband and sister have had no end of problems with HMRC and my sister has also had problems with DWP and I know lots of people that have. My sister had a wage rise of £3 a week rang to let DWP know and she got 3 different decisions on eligibility for same benefit, one she wasn't entitled to it at all anymore, one she owed them over a thousand pound and one saying she was still entitled to benefit at £5 a week less than before. She spent ages on the phone trying to get it sorted. She's not getting that benefit now and was glad not to have to deal with but when she told HMRC she wasn't getting it any longer so they could adjust her tax code they did that wrong and actually put it on twice, so are now charging her tax on twice the amount and she's currently doing the phone dance with them trying to sort it out. They're both really frustrating places to deal with, I hope you manage to get someone who can deal with it properly and get it settled.
Pension credit as I understand it is an extra benefit to bring pensioners up to a minimum weekly amount set by goverment that you should be able to live on. It's for people on state pension who don't have any or much other income such as private pensions or much savings. My mum gets it as she hasn't any private pensions or much savings, when she got AA (attendance allowance) they also increased her pension credit to include an SDP (severe disability premium). If your dad claimed it but was found to have other income that meant he wasn't entitled to it they could want that back but it would be a lot of years worth to make 30 thousand.
Lots of luck in sorting it xxxxxx
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
@imthedaughter , just wondering if it’s an “old” overpayment which your dad either agreed with/or ignored. This would account for the letter which would be sent once the pension was back in payment. It wouldn’t be a decision about what was owing simply a direction that the money would be recovered once benefits were paid.
It is a lot, could have been caused by a number of reasons ...... You will need to advise local authority about the reduced rate and do a check of the reasons. My guess is that he might have claimed pension credit at some point and failed to declare savings or income from a private pension......
sorry it’s down to you to sort but they may have been taking this from his pension for some time. I think the local authority and the DWP overpayments will do some haggling as now he is in a care home he needs all his income.
Best of luck and I will do my best to help but I left DWP in 2005 so very rusty
I have been wondering this too. Dad was always quick to claim anything he was remotely entitled to and slow to declare anything so it would not surprise me at all. At least as of today I know it's not an attendance allowance issue! I've also emailed the financial assessment person and asked for a new one as Dad can't afford to have this taken out plus the payments they have asked for. Thank you so much for the help.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
My mum gets it as she hasn't any private pensions or much savings, when she got AA (attendance allowance) they also increased her pension credit to include an SDP (severe disability premium). If your dad claimed it but was found to have other income that meant he wasn't entitled to it they could want that back but it would be a lot of years worth to make 30 thousand.
Lots of luck in sorting it xxxxxx
Thanks @annielou dad has been disabled for decades and had AA for a few years for sure. I think he had a bit of a problem with AA before and then he went into the home and it stops again then. Dad didn't save anything and cashed in most of his other pension which was stupid but he never was any good with making sensible decisions hence why it was so hard to tell he had dementia! Sorry being flippant I know but this is doing my head in!
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
Have been on hold most of this morning trying to speak to different departments and being passed from pillar to post. Am hoping I am going to get a follow up letter explaining what it's all about but have emailed the LA to ask for a reassessment. Feel slightly like I'm banging my head against a brick wall!
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
508
So it seems @Starting on a journey was right. This debt has been going for a few years. I contacted the LA and the told me he was already on that reduced payment and they had taken that into account when doing his assessment, so thankfully I didn't have to do that again! Still no idea what it is for though...
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
440
Perhaps he forgot to declare one of his occupational pensions or maybe that he had a bit extra savings but as it’s a big debt I would go for the occupational pension or mortgage interest if he had a mortgage.
Still it’s all clear with the local authority so nothing for you to worry about, although I do know it would have been an awful shock when the letter arrived!!
 

Up the Creek

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
42
East Anglia
Just a comment about the DWP stopping the pension. The new people living in your dad’s house might have returned correspondence as ‘not known at this address’. That would have been enough to put a stop on the payments being made.

Unlike private pensions which are generally paid at the end of each month the State pension is paid four-weekly (thirteen times a year); it gets paid earlier and earlier each month therefore check the whole bank statement before deciding it hasn’t been paid.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,921
Chester
So it seems @Starting on a journey was right. This debt has been going for a few years. I contacted the LA and the told me he was already on that reduced payment and they had taken that into account when doing his assessment, so thankfully I didn't have to do that again! Still no idea what it is for though...
If they've taken it into account it's not worth worrying about.

I remember when my gran died in 1994 my mum had to pay a substantial sum back as my gran had had savings over the limit for at least 20 years which she hadn't declared (She was 89 when she died)