Home Money Why did the DWP say my 90-year-old mother was owed £60,000 in state pension, when that was false?

Why did the DWP say my 90-year-old mother was owed £60,000 in state pension, when that was false?

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Late payment of state pensions: we have spoken to at least 20 different people in the Government so far. Some have turned out beautiful. Some have been unpleasant

Late payment of state pensions: we have spoken to at least 20 different people in the Government so far. Some have turned out beautiful. Some have been unpleasant

My elderly mother, aged 90, received a letter in December telling her she may be due some extra years of National Insurance.

It was discovered that he was owed an extra eight years of Home Liability Protection and was owed a state pension arrears.

So far we have spoken to at least 20 different people in the Government. Some have turned out beautiful. Some have been unpleasant. Some have been downright rude.

In February, in one of these numerous calls, my sister was told that my mother’s payment was now a large amount. The gentleman told us that he could see the figures and that they were around £24,000.

We have a record of the date and time of this call. We were told that his claim had been escalated. Maximum priority. Then nothing.

After a particularly unpleasant call center man told us that he always followed up on his queries, we took my mother to my sister’s house to wait for his call (he gave us a date and time). He never called.

My sister, fed up, called the Department for Work and Pensions and this is where it goes crazy. A lady told him on the phone that the claim was even higher, £60,000, and could be even higher…!

My sister spent 45 minutes on that call confirming things. She even got a breakdown of the payment and a reference number, but no letter arrived.

Then a gentleman called us, told us that he had worked for the DWP for 20-odd years and had never seen a big payout, and basically Mum was owed nothing other than a £400 payout that the previous member of the Staff had also spoken and we didn’t do it. I really don’t understand his explanation.

So how did we go from £24,000 to £60.00 to £400?

Do you have a question for Steve Webb? Scroll down to find out how to contact you.

Do you have a question for Steve Webb? Scroll down to find out how to contact you.

We were told it was a high priority and someone would definitely call back to explain things as they had been addressed to senior management. No call came.

We have requested copies of my mother’s NI records over the phone and in writing. No copies of NI have been received from her. We have requested a copy of her breakdown letter of the large payout that her staff member told us about. We have not received such a copy.

We were told that you cannot have a Government Gateway account online because you do not have the correct proof of identification such as a driving license and passport, so we are not happy to see your NI payments and pension details for us themselves.

Although we have a power of attorney (me, my sister and my dad) and it has been registered, another person in the call center today at the DWP refused to let me speak on my mum’s behalf, saying they can only speak to my sister.

I finally managed to get through again today and spoke to another person who didn’t even question my power status, listened to my story one more time and then interrupted me.

All we have is that the call informing us that the underpayment was £60,000 was recorded on my sister’s camera installed to monitor her dogs. You can clearly hear my sister asking me to confirm that figure, as my sister thought she had heard wrong.

This has caused my poor mother a lot of stress. Before registering the power of attorney, we had to have her with us to confirm that we could speak on her behalf. She is now very stressed and confused when she heard the two calls from her informing her of her big refund.

Is there a way to move forward with this?


Steve Webb responds: I was very concerned to hear about the experiences your family have had since they first contacted your mother about possible gaps in her National Insurance record.

Now that I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a recording of one of the calls, I’m even more concerned.

The background relates to a story we have written before about the system for providing protection for the National Insurance records of parents bringing up their children at home.

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1713764071 702 Why did the DWP say my 90 year old mother was owed

This was originally known as “Home Liability Protection” (HRP).

One challenge in addressing the missing HRP is that historical child benefit records have been destroyed.

That’s why HM Revenue and Customs (which manages NI records) is carrying out a massive “fishing expedition” to try to find parents who may have gone missing. The letter her mother received was part of this process.

We have now established that when your mother first retired she applied for a state pension but was told she was not entitled to it.

I only had eight years of NI contributions with a target of 39 years to receive a full pension.

A minimum of 25 per cent of her working life was needed to qualify for any pension, so she was rejected.

Fortunately, less than a year later her father retired and her mother became entitled to a 60 percent “married woman’s pension” based on her contributions, which she has continued to receive ever since.

Now it turns out that he was unfairly denied a pension when he turned 60.

There were eight years of HRP missing from her record and this would have reduced her target of receiving a full pension from the standard 39 years for a woman to 31 years.

With his eight years of actual contributions, this would have given him a contribution record of 8/31 or 26 percent, enough to qualify for a small pension.

The DWP acknowledges there is an underpayment and has now paid his mother £438 in pension arrears.

However, he sent his mother a completely baffling letter which seemed to suggest he was owed £438 a week, which is complete nonsense!

Given that her mother is now 90 years old, she understandably wanted to know if these underpayments had been going on for decades and had to make repeated phone calls to the DWP to try to get a direct answer.

Surprisingly, in one call he was told the arrears could be up to £24,000 and in another the call handler suggested it could be £60,000 or more.

He told me that his mother would like to do more for her grandchildren and that a lump sum would be a great help in this regard.

Unfortunately, it turns out that your mother is owed nothing apart from the original £438.

The reason is that since her father retired in 1994, her mother’s pension has not been based on her own National Insurance record, but on that of her husband.

Even with the HRP added correctly, your own NI stands at just 26 per cent, compared to the 60 per cent you can receive if you claim a married woman’s pension.

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Was HRP not included in YOUR state pension record?

If you think Household Responsibilities Protection is not showing up on your State Pension record, HMRC has a web tool to help you through the process of claiming it.

> Check if you are eligible for Apply for Home Liability Protection.

This means that the change to your NI record only affects what you were entitled to between your 60th birthday and your husband’s 65th birthday.

This raises the question of why DWP staff presented such different figures.

I don’t doubt for a moment that they were trying to help, but it seems that they simply didn’t understand the pension system or that the information they saw on their screens was confusing.

Either way, they shouldn’t have raised their family’s hopes by guessing what the correct number would be.

When I raised this with the DWP, a spokesperson said: ‘We are very sorry for the errors in the handling of this case and the service received by your reader, and we are working with her family to find a resolution.’

Although I’m afraid I don’t think there is any chance of the DWP paying your mother the figures stated over the phone, I do believe that this is a case of “mismanagement” which has caused distress to your mother and inconvenience to the entire community. family.

If you don’t hear anything else from the DWP, I would make a formal complaint, not least to improve the training of the people who answer the calls and make sure they are much more careful about what they say in future.

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