Unpaid benefits

I am after some advice. Yesterday my PIP benefit was due it's paid monthly when I checked my bank account it had not been paid in. Now with the memory loss I have and bouts of confusion I double checked that I had the dates right. I was convinced that it was due as my bank balance was £6!! So I phoned the PIP helpline and the chap I spoke to was very helpful.

He was confused about it as I was, he said for some reason the payment had not been authorised. So I said will I get paid as I have some direct debits due and also my rent is due next Tuesday. The advisor said it will take up to 5 working days to reach my account. I explained my situation and i am going to be hit with bank charges. He told me to phone the bank and explain my situation to them.

Bottom line is I should not be having to phone my bank and why if my benefit wasn't paid and I inform them why does it take a week to pay me? Now i am sure if I owed the DWP money and told them it would take a week to pay them would they be sympathetic to my situation. I very much doubt it. Has anybody out there had any similar experience to mine, and if so what was the outcome. So now with all my health problems I have another problem to contend with

5 Replies

  • Hi, I agree this is not fair & if the roles were reversed you would be expected to repay immediately. A solution might be to get an advocate to make the calls for you, my husband has one for these sort of difficulties. Advocates will only act on your behalf & many organisations have them now. Try Headway, a disability organisation, or if you are over 50 Age Concern. A friend or family member can also be your advocate, you will just need to confirm this when you call DWP or your bank & for the rest of the call your advocate can deal with them. My husband finds it helps as he gets confused plus has a short temper when he doesn't understands things. Hope you get it sorted.

  • I suspect they say 'up to 5 working days' as a max time period but it could be in your bank in the next day or two. No doubt getting the payment made involves several different departments - someone to authorize it, someone to enter it onto the computer system and then finance to activate the payment!

    I think organisations like the DWP have to disconnect themselves from the difficulties that it causes benefit claimants when payments are late or not made etc. Unfortunately it is not the individuals fault that we get to talk to it is the system and the are not able to bypass the process that has to be gone through to reinstate/start the payment. It does rightly make us angry and upset though and most people need that money on the day it is due because most don't have back up monies to tide them over late payment situations!!

    At one point I was overpaid and I have to say that the DWP were very reasoned about how they claimed the money back. Yes I did have to pay it back but they took small amounts each month over a 2 year period and if that was too much for me to afford I was advised to contact them and they would adjust the returned payments to an amount I could reasonably manage.

    Having said the above like you if suddenly faced with your situation I would I am sure be angry and very worried about going into the red and then facing overdrawn charges that weren't my fault. I understand why you are annoyed that you should have to be making phone calls to your bank but it may be best if you do because the bank will probably waive the charges whereas if you don't let them know they will charge you and then it takes a lot of letters and effort to get them repaid.

    Best wishes

  • Thanks for your advice

  • You used to be able to claim back charges if they were caused by a problem that was their fault. I'm not sure if they still do it, but there must be some help somewhere on the tinterweb :)

  • Hi Jimbo. I agree you shouldn't have been inconvenienced this way as a result of DWP's own error, but I'm sure that any bank would scrap the charges if they were made aware of your circumstances.

    As any failure to meet payments has been caused by the DWP, you need to contact the bank immediately and explain, although you or a representative may need to actually visit the branch, depending on the bank's security policy.

    Sorry you've been upset by yet another administrative cock-up. :-( x

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