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How to claim for a deceased person’s pension underpayments

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11/07/2022
If you believe your deceased family member was underpaid state pension, you can now claim via a website.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a website allowing the next of kin or executors of deceased people who were potentially underpaid state pension, to make a claim.

The DWP has previously said that it will pay out to next of kin or executors where it finds payment errors for those who have died.

However, this was only if it could trace them. It has previously admitted that as it doesn’t always have contact details, it could not locate the families of thousands of pensioners who were underpaid

Following criticism about the lack of information or guidance for families, the DWP has now launched a website where family can enter details of their deceased loved one to check if money is owed. It applies to England, Scotland and Wales.

You can check here: Request information about underpaid State Pension for someone who has died.

It comes as annual accounts from the DWP revealed nearly double the number of people had been identified as having been underpaid state pension than originally estimated.

Initially, around 134,000 people – mainly women – were flagged as having been underpaid the state pension to the tune of £1bn in what was called a “shameful shambles”.

However, last week, the 2021/22 annual report revealed the number affected by errors was closer to 220,000, and at an estimated cost of £1.3bn.

The website lists the likely group of people affected, such as widows, divorced women, those over the age of 80 and those in receipt of state pension payments below standard thresholds.

‘Justice for those who have passed on’

Steve Webb, former pensions minister and current partner at pension consultancy, Lane, Clark & Peacock, said: “It is welcome, although long overdue, that DWP has provided a way for families to check if a loved one was underpaid state pension.

“I regularly hear from people who say that an elderly relative was convinced their state pension was too low and who want justice for someone who is no longer with us. This website will allow next of kin and executors to provide details in such cases and get them looked into.

“I hope this means that a much higher proportion of underpayments will result in a payout. This process obviously comes too late to benefit the person who was underpaid but at least their family will receive some compensation for the error.”

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