Woman handed almost £10,000 after DWP mistake

A woman has been given almost £10,000 by the Department for Work and Pensions after complaining about the payments she was getting – and the mistake could have hit thousands of people.

The retired woman was handed £9,800 after spotting that she had been underpaid for more than a decade

Kathleen Brennan, 73, lodged a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman as a £9,800 windfall landed in her bank , according to This is Money.

She had previously only received a 12-month backpayment of £1,300, despite the Government underpaying her for 13 years, reports The Mirror.

In the UK, the rules state that if your partner was born before 17 March 1943, and you reached state pension age before them, you should receive 60% of his state pension once he reaches retirement age too.

Since 17 March 2008, the DWP says these increases have been automatic, but women before that had to make a claim to get the full sum they were due.

Those who had to make a claim are only getting a one-year backpayment, while others are receiving a full payout.

Whether you receive a one-year or a full backpayment depends on whether you reach state pension age before or after your husband, as well as his date of birth.

If your husband reached state pension age before 17 March 2008, and you did so after him, you get a full backpayment.

This is because the DWP should have taken account of your husband’s state pension status, and automatically increased your state pension in line with it when you started receiving your payments too.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We are aware of a number of cases where individuals have been underpaid state pension.

“We corrected our records and reimbursed those affected as soon as errors were identified. We are checking for further cases, and if any are found awards will also be reviewed and any arrears paid.”

It said if your husband reached state pension age before 17 March 2008, you will have to make a claim to have your payments increased.

If you think you’ve been underpaid, you can get in touch with the Department for Work and Pensions to have your state pension reviewed.

If you haven’t yet retired, you can contact the Pension Service, which administers the state pension, to check your payments are correct.

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