Britons urged to check as pensioner couple get £15,000 in DWP back payments – ‘Convoluted’

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Benefit and pension back payments may be available to some, as certain individuals may have received less than they are actually entitled to. Paul Brennan from Benefits Answers, said: “The system works like this: customers claim benefits, then the DWP sends them a letter saying they’re entitled to £x per week/month. 

“They rarely break it down unless you ask – so how does a claimant know it’s correct? They don’t. They take it on trust. 

“The DWP makes mistakes but they say the onus is on the customer to check everything is correct.

“Even if you get a breakdown, what does it mean? What even is a severe disability premium? How is Joe public supposed to figure that out? 

“Unless you can sit and work out what you should be entitled to yourself, you have no chance. The system is convoluted.”

DWP payment errors do sadly occur, and statistics have shown the extent of the issue.

Recent figures showed underpayments of 1.2 percent of benefit expenditure in the year to April 2022.

This amounted to £2.6billion of underpayments in the financial year ending 2022, the Government website states. 

There are instances where individuals may be able to get money back from the DWP.

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Mr Brennan added: “We’ve seen a case where a pensioner couple had been underpaid £200 per week for years. 

“Eventually they were back-paid a lump sum of £15,000.”

Of course, it is worth noting not every amount Britons receive will be this large or substantial, and the sums can vary.

However, amid the current cost of living crisis, Mr Brennan has stressed that a little may go a long way.

Aside from benefits, some of those in receipt of the state pension may have also been impacted by an error. There was no one specific error, which means it can happen, but is not guaranteed. 

It relates to widows, divorcees, and women who used their husband’s National Insurance record.

It is thought millions of women were collectively underpaid £1billion due to a system error.

The DWP has already started the process to identify those impacted and reimburse them, however, former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb encouraged women to contact the Department themselves.

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He recently told the BBC: “The scale of these errors is truly mind-blowing. 

“If the DWP has sat on this secret for decades, it makes you wonder how many other things simply get brushed under the carpet.”

Previously responding to the state pension underpayments issue specifically, a DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Resolving the historical state pension underpayments that have been made by successive governments is a priority for the department and we are committed to doing so as quickly as possible.

“We have set up a dedicated team and devoted significant resources to processing outstanding cases, and have introduced new quality control processes and improved training to help ensure this does not happen again. 

“Those affected will be contacted by us to ensure they receive all that they are owed.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the DWP for further comment. 

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