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DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

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  • DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

    Hi
    My mum died in April and left a house worth £270k plus a few thousand in cash (less than £5k)

    The house was held in trust for me and my 2 sisters and was held as tenants in common with my dad, who died about 11 years ago.

    DWP have now said that my Mum may have been overpaid pension credit and are asking for 10 years worth of bank statements.

    The he house sale is due to complete at the end of the month but we are told that the proceeds cannot be distributed until the DWP issue is resolved.

    My questions are:

    Will the house be taken into account by DWP when deciding if there has been any overpayment of pension credit?
    Can DWP claim any proceeds from the sale of the house if there has been any overpayment?
    I'm fairly certain that my Mum didn't have more than £16k in her bank accounts at any time in the last 12 years, does this mean that DWP can't claim that she has been overpaid?
    How long is the DWP likely to take to conclude their investigation?
    Anything else I should be aware of?

    Thanks very much in advance
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

    [MENTION=77627]Openlaw15[/MENTION]??
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

    ~~~~~

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

      Originally posted by Campbep View Post
      Hi
      My mum died in April and left a house worth £270k plus a few thousand in cash (less than £5k)

      The house was held in trust for me and my 2 sisters and was held as tenants in common with my dad, who died about 11 years ago.

      DWP have now said that my Mum may have been overpaid pension credit and are asking for 10 years worth of bank statements.

      The he house sale is due to complete at the end of the month but we are told that the proceeds cannot be distributed until the DWP issue is resolved.

      My questions are:

      Will the house be taken into account by DWP when deciding if there has been any overpayment of pension credit?
      Can DWP claim any proceeds from the sale of the house if there has been any overpayment?
      I'm fairly certain that my Mum didn't have more than £16k in her bank accounts at any time in the last 12 years, does this mean that DWP can't claim that she has been overpaid?
      How long is the DWP likely to take to conclude their investigation?
      Anything else I should be aware of?

      Thanks very much in advance
      Hi there Campbep


      Sorry about the loss of your mother. I'll assume you live in England or Wales and the current issue is gifts passed through your late mother's Will. DWP have no rights anyway if there are no overpayments.

      First of all, the onus is on DWP to prove the overpayments, not the estate to disprove it/ them. If DWP have made the mistake, as I understand it DWP cannot make any claims. So, ask DWP to look at their own records.

      If there is a fully valid Trust - it appears the property is protected from DWP claims. In trust means like an invisible legal seal - so no one can touch it. A trust normally means the right to sell property but if the property doesn't sell the property goes back to trust (resulting trust), and I believe it's the same with proceeds from any sale. In short, the beneficiaries do not have any property as the trust owns it. Was the Trust done by deed etc? The trustee should be dealing with this, as trust creates a trustee. Who is/ are the trustee/ trustees? I will take a look at the Will if you want me to. You'll have to attach it here - but if you email it to @Kati am sure she can redact it if you ask her nicely, when she gets time.

      Bank statements are a different creature and normally I believe you're not obliged to send them bank statements. DWP can only make requests. Only if the executor/ trustee/ beneficiary agrees to provide the DWP with bank statements are they able to access them: section 71 (4), Social Security Administration Act 1992 The bank will not supply them with the bank statements either as they owe the deceased's estate a duty of care.
      Last edited by Openlaw15; 4th September 2016, 17:35:PM. Reason: amended to resulting trust

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

        Thanks for the quick reply. I'm happy to send copies of both mum & dad's wills plus a copy of the trust agreement. Not sure how I can email them to you or [MENTION=49370]Kati[/MENTION] though. First day on the site today so getting to know my way around.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

          Originally posted by Campbep View Post
          Thanks for the quick reply. I'm happy to send copies of both mum & dad's wills plus a copy of the trust agreement. Not sure how I can email them to you or @Kati though. First day on the site today so getting to know my way around.
          I tagged Kati but it's a Sunday, so am sure she'll do this through the week now. DWP could take potentially months before they let this go. So, take a seat and strap yourself in for the ride. Now go and relax yourself!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

            Originally posted by Campbep View Post
            Hi
            Will the house be taken into account by DWP when deciding if there has been any overpayment of pension credit?
            No. A Property that you live in is disregarded as capital. Even if she owned some or all of the house, it would not have made a difference to her Pension Credit claim.

            Can DWP claim any proceeds from the sale of the house if there has been any overpayment?
            They can claim the overpayment from the estate. Whether the house forms part of her estate will depend on the Wills.

            I'm fairly certain that my Mum didn't have more than £16k in her bank accounts at any time in the last 12 years, does this mean that DWP can't claim that she has been overpaid?
            No.
            She could have been overpaid Pension Credit because her income was higher than she declared. A fairly common thing in this situation (NB I am not saying it applied to your mum) is that she may have declared her state pension but not some sort of widow's pension she received after your dad died. She will also be treated as having ‘assumed income’ of £1 a week for every £500 (or part of £500) of capital she had over £10,000.

            Do you know what her income was?

            How long is the DWP likely to take to conclude their investigation?
            It will be quicker if you co-operate.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

              Originally posted by Campbep View Post
              Thanks for the quick reply. I'm happy to send copies of both mum & dad's wills plus a copy of the trust agreement. Not sure how I can email them to you or @Kati though. First day on the site today so getting to know my way around.
              If you've got scans/pics of the documents, you can email them to me as attachments (kati@legalbeagles.info) with either a link to this thread or telling me your username. I'd happily redact and post up on here for you xx
              Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

              It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

              recte agens confido

              ~~~~~

              Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

              I can be emailed if you need my help loading pictures/documents to your thread. My email address is Kati@legalbeagles.info
              But please include a link to your thread so I know who you are.

              Specialist advice can be sought via our sister site JustBeagle

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                Originally posted by Campbep View Post
                Hi
                My mum died in April and left a house worth £270k plus a few thousand in cash (less than £5k)

                The house was held in trust for me and my 2 sisters and was held as tenants in common with my dad, who died about 11 years ago.

                DWP have now said that my Mum may have been overpaid pension credit and are asking for 10 years worth of bank statements.

                The he house sale is due to complete at the end of the month but we are told that the proceeds cannot be distributed until the DWP issue is resolved.

                My questions are:

                Will the house be taken into account by DWP when deciding if there has been any overpayment of pension credit?
                Can DWP claim any proceeds from the sale of the house if there has been any overpayment?
                I'm fairly certain that my Mum didn't have more than £16k in her bank accounts at any time in the last 12 years, does this mean that DWP can't claim that she has been overpaid?
                How long is the DWP likely to take to conclude their investigation?
                Anything else I should be aware of?

                Thanks very much in advance
                How much are DWP asking for as the overpayment, and is it through a DWP solicitor? It is simply too onerous for you to provide 10 year of your late mother's bank statements. Under property law, if any money has been mixed in bank account, it's simply not possible for any person to make a claim except through court, it's known as 'tracing.' If you show DWP there is money in that account, it's likely they'll try to claim it. Debt Camel say to co-operate but if you provide the statements don't be so surprised if you get hounded by DWP - as then they'll know there is money. DWP are simply ruthless, they'll threaten you through their solicitor. EVEN DWP law states that they can't demand bank statements except through permission so that implies you simply do not have to, Parliament were clearly trying to limit the powers of the state, ie DWP, which is government. If you got money out of a cash machine, would you show a complete stranger your balance? Why not....the same applies to DWP.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                  Thanks for the reply.

                  Mum was 93 when she died and the only other income she had was state pension and any widows pension after my dad died. I'm not sure about the widows pension but the only pension my dad had was state pension, so no company pension scheme.

                  The house was held tenants in common with dad and held in trust for me and my 2 sisters.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                    Some info HERE on assessed income periods, may help with your response to DWP

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                      Why don't you look at a few bank statements and come back here when you can say something definite about her income? Just ignore [MENTION=77627]Openlaw15[/MENTION]'s scaremongering about the DWP and look at the facts and see if she was overpaid PC. Once you know the answer to that, you will be better placed to decide what to do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                        Sorry I meant to ask - what she living in the house when she died? Because the rules on capital will be different if she was in a home by that point.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                          She was living in her home and was never admitted to hospital or any other care home.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                            The house was held in trust for me and my 2 sisters and was held as tenants in common with my dad, who died about 11 years ago.
                            If your mum and dad were claiming PC as a couple, then when your dad passed away your mum would have or should have been reassessed.
                            Your mum was 93 and 11 years ago at the age of 81/82 .
                            If a customer is aged 75 or over when the assessed income period is set, itwill be set indefinitely – so it will not end automatically after five years.
                            This means that they do not need to report changes to pensions,annuities, equity release payments or capital as they happen. Other changesin circumstances still have to be reported.
                            My mum and dad claimed PC as a couple but when mum passed dad was no longer entitled, this seems like a similar situation and as always the DWP are penny pinching or trying to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DWP claiming overpayments of pension credit

                              Thanks for the replies. The main thing I'm concerned about now is whether DWP can claim any of the proceeds of the house sale, bearing in mind that is was held as tenants in common with it passing in trust when firstly my dad died, his half share effectively passing into trust for me and my sisters, and now that my mum has died, her half passing into trust. Does the trust put it out of reach of DWP? The remainder of my mums estate was cash in the bank, less than £10k.

                              DWP were informed when my dad died 12 years ago and the only income my mum has ever had is state pension and pension credit so I can't see that she owes anything to DWP.

                              Comment

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