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UPDATE on Pension Credit

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racyguy
racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
A lovely letter received this morning from the Pension Service.
Following the submission to them of the details of my net income, month by month since November 2019 to January 2022 (when the GPC award ceased) they have concluded that I was right in my estimation as to the level of Pension Credit I received compared to what I was entitled to. 
This all relates to the variances each month in the amount of tax deducted - it can vary by up to 40p each month X 5 pensions. 
No bank statements were given to the Compliance Officer for reasons previously mentioned in my other posts - they in fact obtained the info direct from HMRC which I told them to do months ago.

Seems that I do owe them some money from Nov 2019 - the grand total of £22!
They say that as this is less than £65 they are not asking me to repay it.
I estimated way back last year that it could have been circa £25.

So there we go. If they had used the HMRC source in the first place as I suggested there would not have been the aggravation I was being put to. Shame really that it came to having to close the award but it feels good now to have been found that I was correct all the way through. 

I do wonder though how much it has cost the DWP and the Pension Service to arrive at this figure? 
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Comments

  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    Hi @racyguy Great news. Well done.
    Thanks.  A weight off my shoulders. Why oh why cannot the DWP and the Pension Service not work with a claimant instead of making it 'them and us'? It would avoid a whole lot of trouble, stress and aggravation. 
    In one way I feel relieved that I no longer have to go through these Compliance investigations and Tribunal hearings X2. They have been making my life hell since 2016 right through until today - 2016 - 2019 and 2019 - 2022. 
    At the end of the day the first one ended up with a £500 overpayment that the Tribunal said was not to be recovered and this second one with a £22 overpayment that they cannot collect either.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,112 Disability Gamechanger
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    Why do I feel this is the end of a great and long running saga ?

    2024 Election won

  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    woodbine said:
    Why do I feel this is the end of a great and long running saga ?
    It certainly is. No more DWP/Pension Service investigations because I no longer put myself in that position because I do not claim any means tested benefits.
    As an aside, I have sent a letter to the Council telling them that I cannot afford the monthly CT payments in the manner that they have requested. I made a complete list of all of our income and expenses so that they cannot say that I have never disclosed the information. Maybe they could find it in them to reduce the debt by way of a one off discretionary award - they seem to be rolling in money with the additional £millions being handed to them by central government? 

    Yes the saga has been resolved.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,112 Disability Gamechanger
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    I might be wrong, but I suspect the best you could hope for from the discretionary fund might be £100, even that might not be available to cover debt.

    2024 Election won

  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    woodbine said:
    I might be wrong, but I suspect the best you could hope for from the discretionary fund might be £100, even that might not be available to cover debt.
    I'll take anything that is offered provided that there are no strings attached to the payment. £100 is £100 - every little helps.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    racyguy said:..  I have sent a letter to the Council telling them that I cannot afford the monthly CT payments in the manner that they have requested.
    ..but if you simply kept your PC claim going and/or claimed CTR you wouldn't owe them anything anyway.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    calcotti said:

    ..but if you simply kept your PC claim going and/or claimed CTR you wouldn't owe them anything anyway.
    Grief - I know all of that but I could not get to grips with and handle what the Pension Service demanded of me to keep the claim in play. Something had to give - my sanity or the PC claim.
    As for claiming CTR, there is no difference in both making that claim as well as what is expected from a claimant going forwards as to what the Pension Service demanded of me.
    Have you any real idea what many pensioners face when told to claim PC or CTR? Some are frightened to death others don't understand the system and there are others that remember National Assistance and how demeaning that was.
    Mention 'a means tested benefit' and the shutters go up - no thanks.

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,112 Disability Gamechanger
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    @racyguy I'm sorry I have to say this but the above post vergers on scaremongering, national assistance ended 56 years ago so any adult who remembers claiming it would be in their late 70's now or older of course.
    The only fair way to administer most benefits is a means test and in most cases for most people they are reasonably simple to apply for, and help is there for people who don't quite understand, forums like this as a good example.
    I admit that for those who have private pensions claims can become more complex but they are not designed to be impossible to navigate going forward they are purely designed to be fair.
    There is some truth in saying that some people don't apply for benefits they might be entitled to but this is usually because they don't know about them or don't understand they might be eligible, again something that can be sorted out by seeking help.
    Claiming that something had to give e.g PC or your sanity is in my very humble opinion over egging the pudding, we are many of us in the same boat if we want the benefit then we purely have to jump through the hoops. Simple really.
    I hate to see post that have the potential of putting people off claiming what is rightfully theres.

    2024 Election won

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    Those that claim means tested benefits all have to go through the process, not just those of State pension age.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    woodbine said:
    @racyguy I'm sorry I have to say this but the above post vergers on scaremongering, national assistance ended 56 years ago so any adult who remembers claiming it would be in their late 70's now or older of course.
    The only fair way to administer most benefits is a means test and in most cases for most people they are reasonably simple to apply for, and help is there for people who don't quite understand, forums like this as a good example.
    I admit that for those who have private pensions claims can become more complex but they are not designed to be impossible to navigate going forward they are purely designed to be fair.
    There is some truth in saying that some people don't apply for benefits they might be entitled to but this is usually because they don't know about them or don't understand they might be eligible, again something that can be sorted out by seeking help.
    Claiming that something had to give e.g PC or your sanity is in my very humble opinion over egging the pudding, we are many of us in the same boat if we want the benefit then we purely have to jump through the hoops. Simple really.
    I hate to see post that have the potential of putting people off claiming what is rightfully theres.
    Scaremongering? I remember well what happened under the National Assistance Board back in the 50's & 60's.Yep we are both very close to80.
    Help? We have two free agencies - the CAB & AgeUK, Tried both and have been told by them that they no longer do home visits. Getting to them would be extremely difficult. That is one of the problems. We have always had the DWP visiting service, as well as AgeUK & CAB offering home visits in the past.
    Now there is nothing.
    Private pensions? Yes it is very complex. You want to try working with what the Pension Service demand of you as regards just the upkeep of the award. I will repeat what was contained in my last letter to them prior to the claim being closed::

    "Yes you are quite right in identifying that all of the four annuities/pensions vary up or down on the previous month by up to 25p each month. That is entirely down to how HMRC calculate the tax liability. I have no control over these variances.  The correct level of taxation is if you take a complete financial year view – year ending each 5th April.

    Given that and the fact that you have already informed me that I must report these monthly changes even if the change is only 1p I find this very erroneous considering that I receive an income from 4 private pensions/annuities each month on different dates and 1 that is paid annually. All suffer tax at the basic rate.

    The cost to me each month in postage alone would be £3.40 for 4 first class stamps. I mention first class as the cheaper option of second class will only extend the delay between posting the information and you amending the award.  Over a year at the current price the cost to me would be 12 x £3.40 + 1 x £0.85p, a total cost of £41.65. I cannot agree that this is right or proper.  It has the effect of reducing the Pension Credit award by that amount every year.

    I am extremely surprised when I asked that you do not have an email facility in this day and age for claimants to use to report changes.

    The alternatives are:

    1. Treat the Pension Credit awards as payments on account with a review after the P60’s have been received after the 5th April each year with copies sent to you. Any difference in the annual award is sent to me or if an overpayment it would be written off subject of course to the £65 limit.

    2. You let me have 49 1st class prepaid envelopes each year

    3. You carry out a compliance check every couple of years and write off the resulting overpayment subject to the limit of £65.

    4. Or arrange for a one off extra payment to be sent to me to cover the postage costs of £41.65.

    There is no other reasonable alternative as I see it as I am not willing to spend the £41.65 advising you of every 1p of change each month.

     Please let me know which option you are happy with?"

    Most of our friends are of a similar age and circumstance with a good proportion not wanting to make a Pension Credit claim for the reasons I have already stated. I had the attitude that if I was entitled to an award I would claim it. It only became apparent following the closure of our AIP back in 2016 just what I was expected to do in order to keep the claim going.
    So pleased for you that you have the ability to jump through all of the hoops in keeping the benefit payments flowing in. Not everybody has that ability.

    I am not intending to put people off claiming what is rightfully theirs. I let people know how the system does not work for me. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,112 Disability Gamechanger
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    I really don't have anything to add

    2024 Election won

  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    I just thought that I would update my post because I have now brought all of the instalments as at the 30th June up to date. However there still remains approx £1540 of this years CT which is also due immediately. However I have agreed with the Council that they will keep the Order live until this money is paid at the rate of £220 a month over the next 7 months. Once the account is up to date they will get rid of the order - yippee! 

    My wife had a rather weird telephone call this week from someone saying that they were from Social Services?? Community Mental Health Team for the Older Person, or something like that and wanted to speak to me urgently?? 
    Who are these people?
    I don't want to telephone them as I have had no dealings with them so it must be a scam.
    Has anybody else had dealings with this bunch ?




     
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    All community mental health teams will be different in all areas. I had dealings with them for my daughter a couple of years ago and i can only say that they were amazing.
    They are probably contacting you to offer some help.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    All community mental health teams will be different in all areas. I had dealings with them for my daughter a couple of years ago and i can only say that they were amazing.
    They are probably contacting you to offer some help.
    I'm pleased that they were of help. Question? Did you contact them asking for help?
    However on the whole they don't have such a good reputation if you read the newspapers.
    Whoever they are I have never had any dealings with them thank goodness. I've no idea who they are or what they want - what I need to know is who gave them our telephone number which is ex directory?
    I don't want help from anybody I am quite capable of making my own decisions.
    Having them just telephone on the off chance I am treating them the same as window salesmen and the odd couple of people wanting to give me a lecture on why I should set up direct debits to pay into their charity of choice.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    My daughter was referred to them and they gave a huge amount of help. Sadly we moved local Authorities so no longer have any dealings with them.
    You shouldn't read too much into the "bad" stories you say you've read because not everyone will have a bad experience. Much the same as claiming benefits really.
    Can't answer your question about who contacted them regarding yourself, sorry. Potentially DWP contacted your GP and they referred you? It's only a guess because it's not possible to tell you who contacted them.
    I do remember you saying quite a few times accross many threads that you're unable to claim pension credit or CTR because you can't mentally deal with all the stress that comes with it... now's your chance because they maybe able to help you claim the benefits you're entitled to or at least give you details of someone who can help.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    My daughter was referred to them and they gave a huge amount of help. Sadly we moved local Authorities so no longer have any dealings with them.
    You shouldn't read too much into the "bad" stories you say you've read because not everyone will have a bad experience. Much the same as claiming benefits really.
    Can't answer your question about who contacted them regarding yourself, sorry. Potentially DWP contacted your GP and they referred you? It's only a guess because it's not possible to tell you who contacted them.
    I do remember you saying quite a few times accross many threads that you're unable to claim pension credit or CTR because you can't mentally deal with all the stress that comes with it... now's your chance because they maybe able to help you claim the benefits you're entitled to or at least give you details of someone who can help.
    Many thanks for your comments. I think that it is important to establish who and why someone is passing on confidential information. I have no idea who they actually are and where they are supposed to working from - so the mystery of who and why someone is passing on confidential information will probably be never known.
    Yes that is the case about CTR and PC. It's not just the form completion it's the ongoing stress of making sure everyone knows what net income I have and am getting from my pensions. Honestly I could paper a wall with the letters I have had in the past 12 months from the Pension Service, the DWP Compliance office as well as the Tribunal Service.
    I am still getting post from them. This morning another letter and demand came from them telling me that I owe another £67 because I had not kept them informed. They have gone back to Nov 2019 and are actually demanding 5p overpayment in one instance for 5 weeks! 
    What makes me angry is that whilst I will have to pay it - starts from Nov 2019 to January 2022 they are refusing to credit the £1 a week deduction they made for capital over £10,000 when the excess was the balance of weekly benefits. I had proved that since June 2020 my capital went down and down to almost nothing yet they still kept making these deductions from the PC. They can seemingly go back years and demand money yet they are refusing to give me money back.
     
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    racyguy said:
    My daughter was referred to them and they gave a huge amount of help. Sadly we moved local Authorities so no longer have any dealings with them.
    You shouldn't read too much into the "bad" stories you say you've read because not everyone will have a bad experience. Much the same as claiming benefits really.
    Can't answer your question about who contacted them regarding yourself, sorry. Potentially DWP contacted your GP and they referred you? It's only a guess because it's not possible to tell you who contacted them.
    I do remember you saying quite a few times accross many threads that you're unable to claim pension credit or CTR because you can't mentally deal with all the stress that comes with it... now's your chance because they maybe able to help you claim the benefits you're entitled to or at least give you details of someone who can help.
    Many thanks for your comments. I think that it is important to establish who and why someone is passing on confidential information. I have no idea who they actually are and where they are supposed to working from - so the mystery of who and why someone is passing on confidential information will probably be never known.
    All of that could be part of safe guarding and if it is this then rightly so because if something did happen and no one was contacted then that would be even worse. What ever the reason for them contacting you, it could simply be because they want to help and that really isn't such a bad thing.
    To find out then you will need to ring them.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • racyguy
    racyguy Community member Posts: 560 Pioneering
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    poppy123456 said:

    All of that could be part of safe guarding and if it is this then rightly so because if something did happen and no one was contacted then that would be even worse. What ever the reason for them contacting you, it could simply be because they want to help and that really isn't such a bad thing.
    To find out then you will need to ring them.

    Safe guarding?? If that's what they are after I would be amazed. There is nothing wrong with me that requires others to safe guard me against - I still have my faculties.
    I'll wait to see if they ring back and then I will question their motives and rights to confidential information.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,110 Disability Gamechanger
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    racyguy said:
    poppy123456 said:

    All of that could be part of safe guarding and if it is this then rightly so because if something did happen and no one was contacted then that would be even worse. What ever the reason for them contacting you, it could simply be because they want to help and that really isn't such a bad thing.
    To find out then you will need to ring them.

    There is nothing wrong with me that requires others to safe guard me against - I still have my faculties.


    I never said you didn't. It doesn't have to be anything to do with that. Anyway, only they can tell you what it's regarding so i'll not comment further.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,962 Disability Gamechanger
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    Weird for them to call you out of the blue @racyguy but maybe something you said while going through all the council tax stuff flagged on their safeguarding system. Safeguarding duties outweigh protection and are when people can break confidentiality and share personal information etc so maybe someone at the council was concerned about you so made a referral? 
    That's not a bad thing, I think it's good they look out for people and maybe they can find you some extra support for dealing with benefits and claims so you could one day reclaim pension credit <3
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