The pain I don't need

My wife died suddenly on May 23rd this year and I’m in bits. I’ve been trying to cope but yesterday, the day of the week she died on was especially hard. I received a letter from The DWP saying they had overpaid my late wife by £700 in 2018 and also had a civil penalty of £50 against her which I am must pay. My poor wife just missed out on getting her pension at 60 by a few months so now they won’t have to pay anything out to her.

I hurt and upset me so much that all they are worried about is their money whilst I try and cope with the loss of my soulmate, she is a number to them but was my whole life.

Chas, I am so sorry for your pain and suffering. As if losing your wife isn’t enough. With regards the DWP letter, I think you should take advice, maybe from CAB. I’m not sure how responsible you can be for a spouse’s debt as it’s my understanding that we’re not but unfortunately there’s always exception to the rule. Please take advice before paying. Take care Chas. xx

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Thanks Kate, I read up on it and I am liable as the person looking after her estate, if the overpayment was made when the person was alive it has to be paid back, i just wonder why they didn’t adjust her payments and collected it earlier, its 2 years ago. Apparently if they make a payment when the person has passed then its purely voluntary if you pay it back or not.

Chas xx

Ah, if only we were entitled to their pension. Sadly and wrongly, not the case. The bereavement payment is a cop out. A fraction of what out loved ones had paid into the system. Yes, better than nothing but not enough. My husband had only drawn on two and a half months pension when he passed. I’m puzzled by Chas saying wife would get her pension at age of 60 as that has changed. :thinking: Perhaps he wasn’t meaning the state pension. I can’t get mine until I’m 66. I would still question paying back the £700 though. As you say, always worth checking these things. x

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That’s the old system Tillwemeetagain. We’re now just palmed off with the Bereavement payment. I believe the rules are different if the surviving spouse is already drawing a state pension of their own. Hopefully Chas is reading this and can see the number you’ve offered. x

I got Mick Bt pension full for 3 months and then half until I go x

Private or company pensions are different to state pensions Kim, but thanks for your input. It’s interesting but I fear we’re going off topic for Chas. x

I know it’s all confusing with our mind states at present

Hi Kate, I meant that my wife just missed out on getting her state pension at 60 because they changed the rules, she was born 8 months too late and missed the cutoff so she would have to wait till she was 66, she was 62 when she died.

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Sorry Chas, I misunderstood. Not sure if any of the above chatter is helpful to you at all. I wish you well and hope you get everything sorted. x

I looked up Bearevment payment but because I am of state pension age I don’t qualify, seems like the dice is always loaded in their favour, I. might be bloody minded and tell them to take me to court.

Honestly Chas, you should speak with Citizens Advice Bureau because they will tell you exactly what you’re entitled to and also your rights with regards your beloved wife’s overpayment. Please do. x

Hi Chas
Kate has given you an others some good advice re checking out exactly what one is entitled too as it is very complicated and has to very specific to you.
I’m a retired welfare rights officer working in Social Housing, my team advised on entitlement to our customers. Such a valuable service which helped many who had been bereaved.
Can I just give a little bit of general info. State Pension for woman will reach 66 in October this year, and also for men at that point. It’s been moving, over the last 10 years, from May 2010, that is the last time it was paid at 60. Your wife wouldn’t have just missed out Chas.
As Kate advised there has been changes to bereavement allowance too. BA replaced widows pension which was only to women years ago. It was amended in 2017 and is now time limited.
Inheriting you’re husbands state pension is still possible but restricted to certain ages, so for example both over state pension age, husband had a higher state pension than his wife, she should be able to claim the higher payment.
Rules are different for private pensions of course.
The rules for overpaid benefits and recovery are complicated but it is correct what you say Chas, if the overpayment happens after the person has passed away, a letter will be sent asking for it to be repaid but it doesn’t have to be. A call to the department issuing the letter usually is suffice. If the overpayment is historical then again the department will ask but please get independent advice before you pay it. The rules about estates are complicated.
So, the best advice is contact CAB or Age Concern if you have any issues around your finances.

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