DWP Pension Credits Recovery from Estate

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Hiya,
Just need some advice really, my mum passed away Feb 2014 . I used a solicitor to sort out the estate and finances which I was unaware of till my mum had passed away. As I'm an only child I was the beneficiary . The solicitor distributed the estate out . I rang DWP myself two days after my mum passed away to tell them of her passing and that do they think I will owe them any money , in which I was told they owed me they sent me a cheque for £121.70 and that would be al that was needed.
Few months later I received a letter from DWP to say there was a discrepancy between assets declared at probate and when making the claim . I was horrified that this could happen my mum was terminally ill and had lots of health issues before passing .
I wrote to DWP explaining the situation regarding my mum and her illness and could they show me where he discrepancy was . My mum had to many savings which totalled £29,553 at death .
looking through papers now I see that when she claimed pc she had £22,500 In savings this then build up as time went on. They have now sent me another letter to say that they find that £3810.28 is owing as overpayment for pension credit I need to pay . Can DWP make me sell the property from the estate to recover the debt?, What is/was savings credit ? is there anything I can do ?


Thank you for your time

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  • teddysmum
    teddysmum Posts: 9,475 Forumite
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    This link explains pension credit, including how savings are considered.


    http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/understanding-pension-credit


    Income from savings is calculated as £1 per week for every £500 over £10000 in savings.


    They won't force you to sell the property, provided that you pay them what is owed. After all, it is a £3800+ inheritance to which you are not entitled.
  • hmg897
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    That's fair enough thank you for getting back to me .
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,051 Forumite
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    If your mum had an assessed income period with her Pension Credit then any change in savings did not have to be reported.

    If she had one then this would be mentioned on her Pension credit award letter.

    I am not saying that you do not owe this money but it is worth getting the amount checked out (if she didn't have an assessed income period)

    So, the first thing to do is to ask for a breakdown of the debt. You should be able to match up the savings they say she has with her bank statements. It could be that they have used the 'end' savings amount rather than a gradual increase.

    If you need help with this then contact CAB (try to find one with a benefits specialist)
  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
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    teddysmum wrote: »
    Income from savings is calculated as £1 per week for every £500 over £10000 in savings.

    That would equate to 3800 500 pound-weeks.
    Assuming the savings have built up constantly over time, that would be 3500 savings average, or 7 pounds a week less that she should have gotten.

    Was this over a period of around 10 years - if so, this might cover it.

    I note also that capital is not the total amount of money you have.
    Capital is the amount you have just before you are paid the next lot of income.
    Money that would normally be spent over the next income period on bills is not capital.
    Have they simply assumed balance at death = capital?

    I have never wrapped my head around what an assessed income period is.
  • teddysmum
    teddysmum Posts: 9,475 Forumite
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    rogerblack wrote: »
    That would equate to 3800 500 pound-weeks.
    Assuming the savings have built up constantly over time, that would be 3500 savings average, or 7 pounds a week less that she should have gotten.

    Was this over a period of around 10 years - if so, this might cover it.




    Working in £500 units:


    The credit deduction on £22500 of savings would be £25 per week.


    That on £29500 would be £39.


    Over simplifying, of course, as the savings didn't go up instantly, but £14 (the difference) over a year is £728, taking around 5 years to reach a total of £3800.


    However, pension credit triggers other benefits, so could it possibly be that the extra savings put the lady out of pension credit, meaning other overpayments were made ?
  • bengal-stripe
    bengal-stripe Posts: 3,349 Forumite
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    rogerblack wrote: »
    I have never wrapped my head around what an assessed income period is.

    No need to! - AIPs will be abolished as of April 2016.

    Existing AIPs will be terminated early, unless they have been granted "for life"
    (for the over 75s).
  • NYM
    NYM Posts: 4,066 Forumite
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    ....I see that when she claimed pc she had £22,500 In savings this then build up as time went on....

    Can someone with that level of savings actually claim PC ?

    I must confess, the entire Benefits system totally confuses me ..:(
  • teddysmum
    teddysmum Posts: 9,475 Forumite
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    NYM wrote: »
    Can someone with that level of savings actually claim PC ?

    I must confess, the entire Benefits system totally confuses me ..:(


    A single person needs to have total income of £188 or under per week. Included in the calculation of income is obviously the pension, any money from renting, payment for work etc but also an assumed £1 from every £500 of savings over £10000.


    eg someone with £16000 would be assumed to have income of £12 a week from savings, so could only have other income of £176.
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