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DWP want my late mum's bank statements from 2003 and 2010

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  • DWP want my late mum's bank statements from 2003 and 2010

    Hello All and thank you in advance for your time

    My mum died in November 2022. I finally got probate, appointed as administrator by my aunty who remains executor, in September. My mum had dementia alzheimer's diagnosed in 2015 and lacked mental capacity to deal with her affairs and there was no POA.

    The week after my mum died I used the 'Tell us once' service. I got a bill for 150 for overpayment of attendance allowance, which I paid, and an HMRC letter saying she paid no tax so she owes no tax.
    The net value of her estate is 16,600 (Gross value 44k but she owed council 19K in care home fees and funeral and other bits).

    Then, a few weeks after getting probate I got a letter from DWP asking me to provide details of the estate, bank accounts, etc.
    I provided the info as best I could, explaining that my mum had absolutely no assets at all, only accumulated pension in her Post Office account, and thereafter Lloyds after PO ceased processing pension payments.

    DWP now written to me to say "As Mrs XXX was receiving an income-related benefit, they may have paid too much tax. ... We now need you send us more information to work out how much benefit they should have had" They have asked for LLoyds and PO statements, from 3/3/2017 until she died and also the single dates of 6/10/2003 and 07/04/2010.
    I now have the statements, but not for 2003 as PO said account only opened in 2004.

    I have gone back and added up the pension credit/income support payments since 2017 and looks like 10.5k. BUT she owed council 4.5k in 2017 which she didn't pay, as not compos mentis, and then another 14.4k accumulated since September 2021 toward care home fees. The council were able to take some money from her account on a weekly basis but not all she owed because they didn't know her assets, neither did I, until after she died and PO confirmed she had 25k in account when it was closed. Hence accumulated debt.

    My understanding is that she would have been allowed savings of 10K and that every 500 above that would be considered 1 of extra income, which would reduce the benefit she would have been entitled to by that amount, so if she got 90 a week, but had 12k in savings, the extra 2k would have reduced her entitlement by 4, to 86. Using this calculation I have gone back through her statements from 2017 and on the face of it it looks like she has been overpaid 10,600. But this does not take into account debts owed to council that went unpaid due to her lacking capacity.

    I shall point this out (supported by a statement from the council detailing all the amounts owed) that the 'savings' in her bank accounts do not take into account her council debts which she would have paid had she been compos mentis, which would have lowered her savings, which in turn would have affected the amount of income-related benefit she got.

    My questions, if anyone is able to help:

    1) Is it likely DWP will disregard her unpaid debts to council when calculating what her estate now owes them?

    2) Am I obliged to send DWP the statement for 2010? Only a few hundred pounds in savings then - she just drew her pension weekly - but are they looking for some other angle to claim more from her estate? The income support payments which show on statement as 'DWP Payments' were 31 per week back then. In case you're wondering, I had no contact with her for decades until last years of her life when I visited her regularly in care home, as she had no other visitors aside from brief and occasional visits from her elderly sister.

    3) Are there grounds upon which I can dispute their calculations? I mean, taking into account her real savings, i.e.minus debts to council, it looks like she will owe them about 4.5k if my calcs are correct, but DWP may well disagree.

    Any guidance on how best to proceed, i.e. what to say in my response letter to them, would be greatly appreciated.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Apparently, all normal legislation in regard debts owed, the DWP are exempt due to some legislation and can claim back any benefit over payment paid prior to death.

    DWP told me that any overpayment received after death, legally the DWP can't recover the overpayment but they send letters to Personal Representative in the hope they are paid.

    I'm going through the same as yourself and yeah, if your Mum was receiving means tested Benefits, they can ask.

    With my Dad, they wanted bank statements going back to 2003 to when he first claimed whatever benefit he was receiving, I guess they were hoping my Dad would have keep his bank statements, which he didn't and, what statement he have, due to his age and fragility, were just a mass of paperwork, never mind his dementia.

    DWP told me, just to request all bank Statements from my Dad's banks, going as far back as as they can, and that's what I've done and I'm still awaiting a reply.

    The banks said they can only go back 10 years, which can take a few weeks to recieve.

    If your Mum was over 65, you need to check whether your Mum was on an Indefinite Assessed Income Period (AIP), when my Dad had a DWP assessment, the lady said because he had the Indefinite AIP, he doesn't need to inform the DWP about his savings, unless he believes he will received more benefits, she said he could win a million pounds on the lottery and sill not have to inform the DWP about his savings.

    I've told the DWP about my Dad's Indefinite AIP but they still wanted his bank statements back to 2003.

    My Father had dementia too and when he got his diagnosis, they said he was exempt from a Council Tax due to his mental impairment

    When my Father got diagnose with a vision impairment, that too, he was told he was exempt from Council Tax

    However, due to other health issues and I think his age, he was in receipt of Attendance Allowance and this too, meant he was also exempt from Council Tax.

    What I've been told by the DWP, once they've assessed if there's an overpayment, you can request a breakdown of how and why it occurred and you can send the DWP calculations and breakdown to be checked independently; I believe the Citizen Advice Bureau can help confirm calculations and the DWP breakdown, to check it's correct.

    If, there's a DWP overpayment, then it can be claimed from what remain of your Mum's estate and from what I've been told, other than Inheritance Tax, debts owed to the DWP and HMRC Inland Revenue, all take precedence over any other debt

    If there's insufficient funds in your Mum's estate then you wont be liable for the shortfall and I assumed, they will issue a demand to the Personal Representative and expect it to be paid.

    However, if you've distributed the estate to beneficiaies and paid off debts after receiving the notifications from the DWP and they do issue a demand for an overpayment, then it could be your responsibility to recover what's you've distributed to the beneficiaies; which, if you can't recover it, then you may be liable.


    • #3
      Thank you, Monologue. This is helpful. I hadn't distributed estate before getting their letter so the money's there. When I write to them I will ask them to kindly provide breakdown of their calculations for any overpayment they want to claim.
      I don't think my mum had AIP. But whoever helped her fill in the forms upon which her pension credit was based got something wrong. She would not have done it herself. Actually, I will ask DWP for the information they were provided with that led to the overpayment.
      Thanks again for taking the time to respond.


      • #4
        might pay to visit Citizens advice they have dealt with this type before, There needs to be an Independent enquiry into the workings of DWP and cruel practices they adopt and also including prejudice to good order towards older people and inept office staff who if you make a complain they are also the ones who deal with complaints against them.

        Civil Service -= Civil Disservice.


        • #5
          Wow, thanks, Mike. It never crossed my mind they could effectively bully the elderly and vulnerable but now you mention it , I can see how easily that could occur... power-hungry employees, lack of training and supervision and accountability.
          Helpful to know re Citzens Advice. I will contact them once armed with DWP's claim/demands and supporting evidence. Many thanks


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