The growing scandal of the multi billion pound payments owed to pensioners and claimants by the DWP

Readers of my blog will be familiar with the scandalous story of the billions owed to 50s born women who both suffered maladministration and direct discrimination over the raising of the pension age from 60 to 66.

But what has emerged over the past year appears to show that this is part of a pattern where pensioners and disabled people are frankly swindled out of their money by the incompetence, maladministration and meanness of top management and politicians who run the Department for Work and Pensions.

Far from the 50swomen being an isolated case where mistakes were made those at the top of the DWP administration appear to have a playbook to deprive people of their rightful pensions and benefits, especially if they happen to be women. Nearly all the cases hit women much worse than men and as I have highlighted before – men have had privileges denied to women – such as the long running auto enrolment scheme that allowed men to have their national insurance contributions paid by the state from 60 to 65 while denying women any such privileges.

One of the worse cases which saved the state billions was a decision not to pay out extra pensions to people whose firms had contracted them out of Serps – an old style second pension- so they lost out of a Guaranteed Minimum Pension still payable in the public sector. A lot will have been women

The blog I wrote on this – despite being fiendishly complicated to explain- attracted over 15,000 hits – yet only two people got any compensation as the DWP made it difficult to claim.

Time to sign this petition

Christopher Thompson, a retired expert on this, has put up a petition to Parliament to protest about this and restore the indexation, but sadly only 311 people have signed. If everybody who read the blog signed it it would force the government to have to explain to Parliament why they did it. So please sign if you can.

Then there was the case of 237,000 pensioners – again a lot of them women – cheated out of £1.46 billion from their pensions – by miscalculations by the ministry raised by former pensions minister, Sir Steve Webb. The department is slowly trying reimburse them – some have decades of extra pension owed -but it will take at least to 2024 before it is completed.

Now Sir Steve has found another scandal which only affects women who should have received credits for looking after children from the late 70s. He has launched a campaign Mothers Missing Millions to try and get women’s pensions raised to make up the money – in one case a women was not credited with 14 years contributions.

And you have to add the scandal of the 118,000 disabled people put on a lower rather than benefit rate where the ministry has declined to compensate them – only giving money to the one person who complained to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Even the Ombudsman has been silenced by the ministry who refuse to budge on this issue -leaving him appealling to MPs for help.

Time for an inquiry into the running of the DWP

What I am saying here is if you put all these cases together it is quite clear there is a pattern of underpayment and maladministration where the department do their best to avoid doing anything about it. It is without doubt discriminatory against women and suggests that ministers don’t want to pay them.

It is time women pressed all MPs to take up these issues. There is a strong case for an inquiry into the running of the DWP – there are too many cases for this to be just a coincidence.

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15 thoughts on “The growing scandal of the multi billion pound payments owed to pensioners and claimants by the DWP

  1. Scandalous. It must be the most incompetent department in Government. Who knows how many more errors have been made. It needs to be investigated.

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  2. Thanks David and Happy New Year. I have signed Christopher’s petition (currently running at 460 signatures). Keep up the good work.

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  3. David – The Ombudsman wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on 21st December. That letter has now been published on the PACAC website today 10th January. You and your readers might be interested in the content.

    I have signed Christophers petition.

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  4. Link to letter referred to:

    https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/33398/documents/181519/default/

    ‘If we recommend DWP pays the sample complainants financial remedy for the impact maladministration in its communication about State Pension had on them, we will ask DWP to also pay remedy to anyone else affected in the same way as the sample complainants.’

    DWP say ‘NO’ – see comment 29/12/22.

    https://davidhencke.com/2022/12/12/exclusive-betrayal-parliamentary-ombudsman-dumps-on-3-6-million-50s-born-women/#comments

    Or could the phrase ‘affected in the same way’ be very restrictive and involve many difficult hoops to get through?

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  5. I have signed Christopher’s petition.
    Not only was we not given enough warning. Now Jocylene has proved Women where and still are being discriminated against by those in power. And we will not be silent!!!

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  6. Dear David Hencke,

    The DWP is in chaos about ALL its admin, as the Tories keep changing the rules and systems.

    The DWP never told you what you were entitled to, and especially since 2010.

    You never know where to write, because all they give is a PO Box number, which when you look at post codes is just a postal service and not an office.

    Benefit claimants mostly don’t get timely post about benefit interviews and disability / sick benefit re-assessment appointments.

    The welfare state is gone, replaced with a system focused on sanctioning you into starvation and homelessness. Just like the Poor Law then workhouse system, to punish the poor for the crime of poverty that mostly could not possibly be their own fault.

    Sanctions kill. Benefit denials kill. Pension age rises (at least 3 or 4 between 2010 and 2015 all done by Steve Webb, former Lib Dems MP and Pension Minister) kill. That is their purpose.

    www dot over50sparty dot org dot uk

    Like

  7. The DWP can recover money from the estate of dead claimants:

    https://www.gov.uk/benefit-overpayments/repayments-when-someone-has-died

    Does anyone know if benefit can be paid to the estate of dead claimants who were wrongly deprived of income for years?

    In the case of pensioners wrongly deprived of pension, the number of dead claimants is likely to be at least in the tens of thousands. Some of these pensioners may have died prematurely precisely because they were robbed.

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  8. Incompetence and sheer audacity of this government to even think this would be tolerated .. because they are in the position they are it means individuals can’t seem to make headway in getting justice but together we can .. please sign 👍

    Like

  9. We have been there and done everything possible!
    They can just ignore us we can’t go on strike
    Unless we go hunger/ strike outside parliament
    Maybe we should all refuse to pay our poll tax
    Then we can go to court and explain our plight 😡

    Like

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