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End of entitlement / overpayments following claimant death

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Citizens Advice Sheffield

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Total Posts: 4

Joined: 14 February 2019

Hi all,

I have been hunting around for any information on this but have had no joy from the usual sources. I’m trying to establish - for legacy benefits generally and also for PIP - when the claim ends if the claimant dies, assuming there is no joint claim to complicate matters. Does the claim end on the date of death, or is there a run-on period?

DMG Vol 1 Chapter 4 para 04145 cryptically states that in the event of a death, the awarding decision can be superseded as of the first day of the following benefit week, but that “In the majority of cases, there is no requirement for an awarding decision to be superseded so as to end entitlement.” - but I’m not sure how else entitlement would be ended?

I am looking into this because I’m dealing with a number of cases where there has either been a significant delay between the claimant’s death and the notification of death to DWP; or where DWP has been notified of death but has continued to make payments for some time (the record is 2 years so far).

I would like to be able to calculate, in such a case, how much the DWP will eventually reclaim: will it be the full amount of the payments received after death; or do I need to exclude one week’s worth of benefit from the first payment received after death, if the claimant died in the second week of the payment cycle? Or something else?

Any pointers gratefully received!

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Welfare rights adviser - Plumstead Community Law Centre

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Joined: 17 June 2010

There is an 8 week run on for carers allowance, but I also think you should be looking at challenging any decision by the DWP to recover ongoing overpayments because there is s a duty on registrars to notify the DWP (and the billing authority for Council Tax)  of any death registered on their patch.

That being the case it can be presumed that registrars are carrying out their duties and it follows that once the DWP have been notified of the death it becomes strongly arguable that any ongoing overpayments do not arise in consequence of a failure to disclose on the part of the claimant or recipient ( difficult to see how the deceased can fail to disclose that (s)he has died)

I have successfully run this argument a few time in HB cases, but the issue has not cropped up so far for other benefits