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Weekly state pension in arrears after someone dies.

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  • H657
    H657 Posts: 20 Forumite
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    My mum died Monday 23/1/23, she was paid 4 weekly in arrears, and had just been paid on the previous Friday, so I assumed there would be no adjustment required.
    However, the paperwork received from DWP after I notified them said she was entitled to a payment for the full week 23/1 to 29/1/23, so on that basis I think your nan would have been entitled to the payments she received?
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,177 Forumite
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    edited 9 June 2023 at 9:22AM
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    To update this

    This morning my Mum has received a letter asking for payment back of the pension paid to my Nan for the period 13th-19th Feb. My Nan died on Tuesday 7th Feb, had her pension paid in the day before (Mon 6th Feb) and again on Mon 13th Feb, which is what the letter must refer to.

    The tell us once service was used.

    From previous replies and the link to the MSE article about it, my understanding is that Mum is under no legal obligation to repay this money. If she wishes to not re-pay it does she simply ignore the request or does she need to write back stating why she doesn't need to?

    If  Mum ignores is she likely to receive more letters about it? 
    Ignore my last question it appears from previous replies that you are sent the letter once. I will tell Mum that if she wishes to she can just ignore it. 
  • BooJewels
    BooJewels Posts: 2,951 Forumite
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    Aren't weekly pension payments in arrears?  In which case, the payment on the 13th Feb was for the previous week, not 13th to 19th?  She might only be due pension to the 13th, but was any paid after that date?

    As I mentioned overleaf, my aunt was a week behind your Nan and so I might well get a letter next week then - which is a nuisance as I was close to paying out to beneficiaries.  I did find an article somewhere on the Gov site that showed a chart of days of the week you were counted from and were paid on, determined by digits in your NINo. 

    My takeaway from that was that if you were alive on that day, you got the pension payment for the rest of that week - so potentially up to 6 days of payment after you died - because you were alive on your qualifying/payment day.  As my aunt died on the 13th (and got pension that day) and got one further payment on the 20th - I thought it was therefore square, with nothing to pay back.

    I'll have to wait and see if I therefore get a letter in a few days myself.  It's a bit naughty really, that the Tell Us Once service stops payments within a handful of days, but it takes them 17 weeks to ask for an overpayment back.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,853 Forumite
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    Weekly payments are paid in advance for people who received their SP before 6th April 2010, after that they they switched to in arrears.
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,177 Forumite
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    edited 9 June 2023 at 10:21AM
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    BooJewels said:
    Aren't weekly pension payments in arrears?  In which case, the payment on the 13th Feb was for the previous week, not 13th to 19th?  She might only be due pension to the 13th, but was any paid after that date?

    As I mentioned overleaf, my aunt was a week behind your Nan and so I might well get a letter next week then - which is a nuisance as I was close to paying out to beneficiaries.  I did find an article somewhere on the Gov site that showed a chart of days of the week you were counted from and were paid on, determined by digits in your NINo. 

    My takeaway from that was that if you were alive on that day, you got the pension payment for the rest of that week - so potentially up to 6 days of payment after you died - because you were alive on your qualifying/payment day.  As my aunt died on the 13th (and got pension that day) and got one further payment on the 20th - I thought it was therefore square, with nothing to pay back.

    I'll have to wait and see if I therefore get a letter in a few days myself.  It's a bit naughty really, that the Tell Us Once service stops payments within a handful of days, but it takes them 17 weeks to ask for an overpayment back.
    I also thought any SP was paid in arrears till I saw  keep-pedaaling's reply above. That applies in my Nan's case she was nearly 99 when she died. 

    The beneficiary situation is the reason I asked on here because there is an estranged relative who is a beneficiary of Nan's will. My Mum is sole executor if Mum pays out to beneficaries and then gets a bill, she hasn't a hope in hell of anything being returned. It's due to this and a service that's now due to take place later this month that Mum hasn't paid out. I'm going to tell Mum her legal position that she doesn't have to as per the below link , that was also provided on an earlier reply. 

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/01/dwp-has--no-legal-power--to-force-you-to-repay-pension-or-benefi/


    If you receive a letter asking for repayment, you can ignore it

    In a blog, Mr Lewis posted an official statement given to him by the DWP that stated there is "no legal obligation to repay this debt" and that it could not enforce "recovery of any unpaid debt". The DWP also added that it would only send out such a letter demanding payment once, which it confirmed to MSE.


    (the Mr Lewis in the article is Paul Lewis not Martin btw) 

  • BooJewels
    BooJewels Posts: 2,951 Forumite
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    I was the same @spendless - I'd done quite a bit of digging and couldn't find a definitive answer on the payment status for weekly pensions.  I might therefore be asked to pay a week back too. My aunt was also 95, so in her 80s in 2010.

    I have however received a letter myself in the post today from DWP - with a form to complete breaking down the Probate value they've now seen saying that she's potentially been overpaid benefits - I presumed pension credit in this case - as that's all she's ever had.  It says in bold not to distribute the estate as there could be a large claim on the estate from DWP and 'it may take some time' to resolve.   I don't mind telling you that I turned sick reading that as the house will complete either today or Monday and those funds were due to be distributed directly.  I decided that the sum could be anywhere between £0 and £38k (i.e. the total PC paid over about 9 years)!

    Luckily I rang to ask what it was was about and the phone was answered quickly and she was very helpful and took the numbers over the phone that I'd given on the Probate forms and did the calculations and said there wasn't an overpayment and she'll confirm it in writing.  I think it's because the bulk of the estate is the house value and they wanted to ensure that it wasn't just a cash asset.  I could have done without the fright though.
  • slackgarry
    slackgarry Posts: 59 Forumite
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    I received a letter from the bank regarding DWP wanting some of mums pension back. all her accounts had been locked untill Probate is issued.
    So I rang the pensions people and he explained it was a Voluntry payment and I could just put the phone down and that would be the end of it.  Dont think my mum would of liked that as she owed no one. So just payed it. That was all finished.

    So its only voluntry and just ignore if you want.

    Regards
  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,736 Forumite
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    Spendless said:

    The beneficiary situation is the reason I asked on here because there is an estranged relative who is a beneficiary of Nan's will. My Mum is sole executor if Mum pays out to beneficaries and then gets a bill, she hasn't a hope in hell of anything being returned. It's due to this and a service that's now due to take place later this month that Mum hasn't paid out. I'm going to tell Mum her legal position that she doesn't have to as per the below link , that was also provided on an earlier reply. 


    It is reasonable when distributing an estate where you feel that there may possibly still be a debt, to hold back some money to cover this - it can be later distributed if it turns out not to be needed 
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,177 Forumite
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    Ok, so have spoken to Mum. She doesn't wish to re-pay it, she also doesn't wish to just ignore either, which leaves her with this, from the earlier link.

    In a blog, Mr Lewis posted an official statement given to him by the DWP that stated there is "no legal obligation to repay this debt" and that it could not enforce "recovery of any unpaid debt". The DWP also added that it would only send out such a letter demanding payment once, which it confirmed to MSE.

    Mr Lewis wrote: "If you are not happy doing that then write back asking what statutory power the DWP is relying on to recover the money. It will then respond to say it has no power. You can then confidently ignore the payment demand. The DWP also cannot use common law to recover the debt."


    I've said I'll help word a letter. Has anyone any ideas on how to phrase it?


    Thanks  

  • WhiteCircle
    WhiteCircle Posts: 12 Forumite
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    BooJewels said:
    I was the same @spendless - I'd done quite a bit of digging and couldn't find a definitive answer on the payment status for weekly pensions.  I might therefore be asked to pay a week back too. My aunt was also 95, so in her 80s in 2010.

    I have however received a letter myself in the post today from DWP - with a form to complete breaking down the Probate value they've now seen saying that she's potentially been overpaid benefits - I presumed pension credit in this case - as that's all she's ever had.  It says in bold not to distribute the estate as there could be a large claim on the estate from DWP and 'it may take some time' to resolve.   I don't mind telling you that I turned sick reading that as the house will complete either today or Monday and those funds were due to be distributed directly.  I decided that the sum could be anywhere between £0 and £38k (i.e. the total PC paid over about 9 years)!

    Luckily I rang to ask what it was was about and the phone was answered quickly and she was very helpful and took the numbers over the phone that I'd given on the Probate forms and did the calculations and said there wasn't an overpayment and she'll confirm it in writing.  I think it's because the bulk of the estate is the house value and they wanted to ensure that it wasn't just a cash asset.  I could have done without the fright though.
    How long after probate was granted, did you receive this letter from the DWP? 

    I'm asking as they say don't distribute the estate until you get this letter from the DWP so wondering how long we should wait. I've looked online but not being to find any timescale.  Thanks.
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