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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19: Welfare benefit issues  →  Thread

Pension Credit claim

JayKay
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Benefits adviser - Penwith Housing Association, Penzance

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Hi

I have been working with an extremely vulnerable client.  She has recently been awarded Attendance Allowance from 10 February, which means that she is now entitled to Pension Credit.  She is unable to make a telephone claim by herself, and also unable to complete a claim form without support.  I have telephoned the Pension Service to see if there is any way for her to make a claim without her losing out - as I am concerned that it can only be backdated by 3 months, which means we need to get a claim in by 10 May, which is looking unlikely as I am not currently able to visit her to assist her.  Pensions Service say that her claim will only start from the date that the claim for is received by them, not the date that a form is requested and also say only she can request a form.  I’ve checked the regulations and they seem to be wrong about date of claim (Claims and Payments reg 4F) but is there any way I can register intent to claim on behalf of the client?  I don’t have written consent from her at the moment, and getting it to me and then the PS would take a considerable amount of time.

Thanks

Vonny
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Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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Are you able to fill out the online form with her by phone, print it and use one of your local corona support networks to get it to her to sign and then post it for her?

Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare benefits - Craven CAB, North Yorkshire

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If it helps, online PC claims are “due to be available online during the week commencing 4th May 2020.”

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/456/pdfs/uksiem_20200456_en.pdf

Downloading your own claim form now might be a better bet though.

JayKay
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Benefits adviser - Penwith Housing Association, Penzance

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Unfortunately I have no access to a printer at the moment. I am working from home, my personal printer is broken and our office is closed so I cannot download a form to complete and get her to sign.  Very unlikely she would open to the door to anyone she doesn’t know (she hides under the table in the kitchen if someone knocks on the door), doesn’t open post (6 years worth piled against her front door so she can’t even open it).
The online claim form would definitely be a solution..but I will keep thinking for now.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Jon (CHDCA) - 28 April 2020 10:36 AM

If it helps, online PC claims are “due to be available online during the week commencing 4th May 2020.”

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/456/pdfs/uksiem_20200456_en.pdf

Downloading your own claim form now might be a better bet though.

Yes, we heard about this yesterday.

Why not refer the client for a home visit, they’re still operating afaik.

JayKay
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Benefits adviser - Penwith Housing Association, Penzance

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Call number two to the Pension Service - got someone more helpful, who has registered the intent to claim and we now have 28 days - by which time hopefully either the lockdown will have lifted or the online claim system will be up and running.
Couldn’t have referred her for a home visit as she wouldn’t answer the door to them.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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JayKay - 28 April 2020 11:24 AM

Call number two to the Pension Service - got someone more helpful, who has registered the intent to claim and we now have 28 days - by which time hopefully either the lockdown will have lifted or the online claim system will be up and running.
Couldn’t have referred her for a home visit as she wouldn’t answer the door to them.

Can I ask, was it the level 1 or level 2 Pension Service? The first people you speak to work for G4S and we hear regular complaints about how obstructive they can be for people wanting to make a claim.

Well done on getting hold of someone sensible anyway.

JayKay
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Benefits adviser - Penwith Housing Association, Penzance

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It was still Level 1.  Had never heard of intention to claim, said it wasn’t possible.  Then said he would do a quick check to see if she was entitled - went through entitlement and at the end said ‘yes, she is entitled she now has 28 days to make the formal claim’.  So completely contradicted himself, but it got the end result that I wanted.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Thanks Jay, I thought that might be the case. According to our colleagues in the Pension Service, the level 1 call handlers never refuse someone the ability to make a claim for Pension Credit. Hopefully you can get your client sorted alright now, good luck.

hkrishna
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Welfare rights worker - CPAG in Scotland, Glasgow

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Claims can now be done online:

https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim