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Pension credits nightmare

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Has anyone else had problems in the last 3 weeks, there’s been no advisers to complete a claim and they can only do a ring back to the claimant with a 4 hours time slot. Which has been on average 3 days from first contact, it took me 35 minutes this morning just to get to speak to someone about a new claim.

Elliot Kent
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Presumably this is connected to yesterday having been the last possible day for PC claims by mixed age couples and the various take up campaigns being run in connection with this, including in the mainstream press?

I would expect the lines to calm down a bit.

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Welfare Benefits Advisor - Clarion Housing Group

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Yes I’ve been experiencing the same delays and during one call last week I was told it’s following the letters to all over 75s about the TV licence reforms next year, hence lots more queries to check entitlement & claim PC G so that TV licence remains free! I was also told overflow of calls is being diverted to another team, not within the Pension Centre and staff are overwhelmed with callbacks so they often don’t happen within the specified timeslot and the alternative is completing a paper form but this will add further delay to the processing time- if you can initially persevere on hold and insist on an IDOC being registered then the date of claim is protected. Really not good customer service from PC though!

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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Sorry to say this but the administration from Pension Service of late has been shambolic.

With respect, I’m not sure we should be making excuses for their lack of planning when they knew about the deadline for claiming and could have planned for extra staff deployment. That planning would have been in keeping with Guy Opperman’s pledge to Parliament in a recent PQ Pension Credit: Telephone Services

We’re still hearing about gatekeeping by the level 1 telephone service where they refuse to allow people to make a new PC claim as well.

Gareth Morgan
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Managing director - Ferret, Cardiff

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It depends whether the load is mixed-age or TV Licence related, whether they could have forecast it, I suspect.  I imagine that the TV licence numbers are higher, by a long way, than backdated mixed-age claims.

Out of curiosity, I’ve done a rough calculation, using average PC amounts, TV licence support costs for over 75s, how many people got free licences, etc.

If about 188,000 over 75s claimed PC, then the costs to DWP would be greater than the government saved by abolishing the free licence. Using the global 40% under-claim estimate, that’s about 12.7% of the qualifying licence holders. The underclaiming rate should be higher for over 75s, bringing it down to just over 10% of the qualifying licence holders.

They may have blundered.

[ Edited: 14 Aug 2019 at 01:32 pm by Gareth Morgan ]