Government demand for overpaid money following my wife Anne's death

When Anne was alive she was getting the higher rate of disability allowance (!Now known as PIPS) as her cancer was terminal. Just after two months following her passing I get a letter saying an over payment had been made following her death and I was requested to pay it back. My mind went numb. Anxiety set in. And I felt deeply hurt at such a sensinsitive time. All for a paltry £86 +. There were various methods to reimburse the money but I decided to write a cheque. It took three writen cheques before I eventually wrote the final one correctly. Even then as I sealed the prepaid envelope up I had doubts so I slit it open to see it again. It was OK, I then had to reseal it with celotape before posting. My head was in a spin. Now I’ve received yet another letter this time from the state pensions scheme saying they had overpaid Anne’s pension and wanted something like £300+ repaid. I cant even bring myself to look at the letter again to see the correct amount. Im having to ignore it. I’m not going through that pain again. My emotions are still raw. Think how much money both these organisations are saving since Anne’s death with no further payments yet they still want their final pound of flesh. All government departments plus banks and building societies relating to Anne had been informed through a scheme called ’ Tell All.’ arranged through the registra of births and deaths when Anne’s death was registered. So how come this distressing situation has arisen? And both organisations are denying any blame for this situation. It was just an error!

Love and Light


Hi Geoff

The same has happened to me following the death of my mum. She was on a state pension and 3 payments were paid following mums death. I received a letter asking for 300 plus pounds back.
I have informed them that they will get their money back when the grant of probate is through and I can access mums bank account.
It feels heartless of them but I guess people would delay informing for longer if they thought they could continue to get pension etc for a bit longer.
When I opened the letter it hurt though.

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I’m sorry your having to go through this …there’s absolutely no personable attitude at all it one cap fits all they have no regard for our loss… my husband died 15 months ago at 36 … leaving me and my two very young children … a while back I was sent a letter saying that he had underpaid his tax by £998 and because my name wAs on the bill as well I am responsible for it … I’ve had to go onto benefits … first time I’ve ever claimed a penny and now there taking 103 pound a month of of my benefits to pay it back and as a single mum to two small children it’s crippling me … I wouldn’t wish our pain on them but maybe just for a second our circumstances should be taken into consideration


Hi all
Read this from the website You will have to use the Search box to find the article as this site deals with many subjects involving money. Try something like this until you find it " Goverment demands for overpaid state pensions is illegal. HERE is a paste and copy of the information

Bereaved people who receive state pension overpaid in error after someone’s death are not legally obliged to refund it, the Government has confirmed.

It admits letters sent to relatives requesting repayment do not spell this out, but says those who phone the number given are told they won’t be pursued for the money.

The Government explained its procedure for attempting to recover overpaid state pension and other benefits after someone’s death following a case featured on a recent episode of BBC’s Money Box.

Presenter Paul Lewis tweeted: 'DWP demands relatives of recently deceased repay pensions that it failed to stop quickly.

'A listener was told she should pay £625 for grandma who’d died with nothing.

‘DWP admits to @Moneybox it has no legal right to recover the money. But letters don’t say that.’

Bereaved relatives who use the Government’s Tell Us Once service should get all benefits paid to their loved ones stopped swiftly, but sometimes it is too late to do this, especially if some payments are made in advance.


Love and Light

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Thanks for that info Geoff as usual you are on the ball. I too had a similar experience to you. As far as I was concerned everybody that needed to know had been informed of Brian’s death yet I too received a letter from the pensions asking for money back. I rang them and made it clear (in plenty of words) I was not pleased with their uncaring attitude when I was so recently bereaved. I ignored the letter and to this day have heard nothing more about it. One of his pensions also asked for money to be repaid and the ridiculous thing was that they owed me a great deal more and I was still waiting for it to be paid to me. I asked them why they couldn’t just take the money I supposedly owed them (a paltry amount) from the (large) amount they owed me. They didn’t seem to understand how to do that!!!. I have never heard anything about the money I owed them since.
They do try it on don’t they and hope that they can intimidate people. I worked in finance and Admin and not easily intimidated.

Pat xxx

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Michelle, I am absolutely shocked that you and your children should be treated this way. Why should you have to pay your husbands unpaid tax. Did you get professional advice as this sound’s so unfair and never right, if not, then do so immediately.
I used to help and advise people on the dole (as it was called then) with their money and rent allowances. I was told by a top unemployment officer that the people that yelled the loudest were the ones that got help and the people that accepted what they was told got very little help and their file went to the bottom of the pile. I found a young woman living on crisps and an apple a day having not received any money and her rent hadn’t been paid for months, she was facing no money for food and eviction. I took her to the ‘dole’ office myself, made complaints and she received her money and rent within the week. I obviously made an impact.
Take care and good luck.

Pat x xx

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Strangely, after 18 months I’ve just had a letter saying his pension had been underpaid and I could put in a claim for it. It doesnt say how much through. This was a surprise.

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I am so sorry for your loss My thoughts are with you. I also received £86 per week & when I first received it they said it was paid 4 weeks in arrears so you surely you would be entitled to the money after her passing . Also her pension is paid in arrears so surely this also cannot be correct.
The tell all form should have notified these people so if they haven’t dealt with it straight away it really isn’t your fault.
I am so sorry for you having this terrible worry & they should help you more than just demand payment.
Maybe citizens advice can help you. I do hope so

Hi Michelle you shouldn’t be liable for your husbands tax unless you are the executive of your husbands will or it is a joint tax account,hopefully you may find some help somewhere that is a lot of money to be taken especially at this sad and worried time .
Kind regards MM69

The very same thing happened to my dad about 2 months ago. My dads 83, so we helped him make the call, he was so worried. It turns out, it was their mistake as we had informed them about mums passing. What upset me was the letters they had sent him and he didnt tell anyone, cause mum always sorted out the money. It was awful fir him, but thankfully, they had my call and emails on record, informing them of mums passing, or they would have expected my dad to pay back almost 2000 pounds. Ridiculous.

Theresa, I wonder how many other elderly people are being bullied like this and out of fear paying up for something they shouldn’t have to, plus your poor dad should certainly not have had to cope with this added worry…
I was thankful that I was capable of dealing with all the paperwork but it did cross my mind how many grieving people were out there without a clue what to do. Age concern are very good at helping. I fortunately didn’t need their assistance and your dad was lucky having you to help him. I did come across a bank that was very slow as well as investments of my husband that couldn’t seem to complete things until I made waves and threatened to complain for some reason they suddenly completed all paperwork and I even had a goody gift from the bank but again I was capable of dealing with these situations, what about those that can’t.
This sort of thing shouldn’t happen.

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I swear, ur so right,Pattidot.

I received a demand from DWP for a repayment of £170 fro overpayment of PIP. It bothered me and being an honest sort I duly filled in the cheque and put it in the prepaid envelope intending to post it the next day, Then I stumbled on the article written by Paul Lewis who presents Moneybox on Radio 4 which stipulated that the DWP can ask but you have no obligation to return any monies owed? He stipulated in his article that they would send you the letter but if you dont respond they wont chase you for it and that turned out to be the case in my particular circumstances.

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