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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Benefits for older people  →  Thread

Pension Credit Processing Delays

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LouiseG
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Financial Wellbeing and Welfare Benefits - Livin Housing Ltd, Co. Durham

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Hi has anyone noticed a long delay in processing new claims? I am waiting on several online applications made from mid November but nobody is receiving any awards. There is nothing unusual about any of the claims. I am wondering if it is specific to the North East area?

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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There have been a lot of problems processing PC and State Pension claims for a few months now, mainly due it seems to staff being reassigned to other parts of the DWP.

We’re having a meeting with various people from PS next month and can highlight the fact that these still seem to be happening and see what they say. They seem to have caught up with things on the SP side of things in general but I’ve heard similar tales to you from other advisers about PC claims.

LouiseG
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Financial Wellbeing and Welfare Benefits - Livin Housing Ltd, Co. Durham

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Thanks for your response. Disappointing , but hopefully processing times will improve.

Caroline E
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Richmond CAB

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I’m having a series of problems with PC processing delays. In one case my client claimed in advance to avoid a gap after his UC ended, and was told his claim wouldn’t start to be processed until he reached retirement age, and then would be at least 35 days. That’s just as bad as the wait for his first UC payment was, and allows no time for errors or queries. We were told he couldn’t have an advance, so it’s worse than UC. We’ve written a JR pre-action letter and are waiting to see. It’s pretty dire.

MaisieM
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Rossendale and Hyndburn Citizens Advice

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I’m having the same problem. I had a client who was told her award would be processed by 13 April which was 28 days. On 13 April the estimated processing time was said to be 35 days. We are now at 58 days and still nothing. When I tried to to check they said they didn’t know what the delays were now. My Facebook newsfeed is suddenly full of sponsored adverts from DWP encouraging me to check whether I am eligible for pension credit. I just wish they’d deal with the claims they’ve already got.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Must say, we’ve not heard anything similar recently but obviously you’re encountering problems so have suggested to a colleague that we should try and follow up with Pension Service contacts next week. Can’t promise anything but will see what response we get back in due course because its clearly absurd that they’re running take-up campaigns about claiming PC at the same time as telling people they can’t claim in advance of reaching SPA as well as the unreasonable delays that you’re encountering.

Caroline E
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Richmond CAB

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Adding to my previous entry - there’s been no reply to the JR pre-action letter by the deadline, no response to a complaint, and so far no reaction to the MP getting involved. I don’t know if the DWP are calling our bluff, or if (probably more likely) there’s just nobody there! We’re getting further advice from CPAG on JR. The client’s over £120 pw worse off, HB claim isn’t being processed, and CTR is suspended. He’d lost SDP with his UC claim and should be getting SDA with PC, so he really been looking forward to this birthday…

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Caroline E - 19 May 2022 06:55 AM

Adding to my previous entry - there’s been no reply to the JR pre-action letter by the deadline, no response to a complaint, and so far no reaction to the MP getting involved. I don’t know if the DWP are calling our bluff, or if (probably more likely) there’s just nobody there! We’re getting further advice from CPAG on JR. The client’s over £120 pw worse off, HB claim isn’t being processed, and CTR is suspended. He’d lost SDP with his UC claim and should be getting SDA with PC, so he really been looking forward to this birthday…

That’s dreadful Caroline, I have written to Pension Service contact and highlighted this thread so hoping someone might see your post and get back to us in due course.

Caroline E
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Thanks Paul. A complaints manager rang yesterday and will get back in “about 7 days”, and CPAG are being brilliantly helpful with JR. “In due course” no doubt it will all be sorted, and the DWP will feel it’s all OK now because they’ll have made the backpayment. But we’ve had no explanation, and this is a pretty horrible time for our client, who was just trying to do his best. There’s a frightening lack of incentive to do a better job.

Caroline E
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Richmond CAB

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The claim was processed, and there’ll be a consolatory payment for poor service. There’s still a big backlog and it’s taking 35 days for claims. It’s not clear whether they’re still holding claims until birthdays to start that process. I was told my client shouldn’t have been refused an Advance payment - but also that in practice it takes longer to arrange an Advance than to process the actual claim. So perhaps the trick is to insist on the Advance, in the hope they’ll do the work on the claim. We’re still waiting on Housing Benefit of course, as that was also held up.

SarahBatty
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Durham Welfare Rights

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Well they’ve got a couple of weeks to catch up on processing before their ‘Pension Credit’ national ‘day of action’ on 15th June - the intention of which is to generate more claims to process!

DISABILITYADVICESERVICE
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Disability Advice Service, East Suffolk

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I am an advisor at a disability charity and have made around 15 PC applications (since February 2022) and no one has heard anything back yet.

I have called PC and just been told ‘backlogs’. They have taken client details and promised a call back within 48 hours with an update and never heard anything. It’s very worrying and we have had to spend on crisis grants/funding to help get the clients though.

Has anyone had any success yet?

MaisieM
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Rossendale and Hyndburn Citizens Advice

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DISABILITYADVICESERVICE - 14 June 2022 01:21 PM

I am an advisor at a disability charity and have made around 15 PC applications (since February 2022) and no one has heard anything back yet.

I have called PC and just been told ‘backlogs’. They have taken client details and promised a call back within 48 hours with an update and never heard anything. It’s very worrying and we have had to spend on crisis grants/funding to help get the clients though.

Has anyone had any success yet?

No! I have just phoned about a claim I made on 15 March. First I noticed they have deleted the recorded message which said there was a 35 day wait for claims to be approved. I was told they couldn’t tell me anything other than confirm that a claim had been received and they would have to send an email to the processing section to find out what was happening. I was then told it will take 5 days for them to open the email and another 5 days to reply, so even the vague promise of a call-back within 48 hours has been dropped.

DISABILITYADVICESERVICE
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Disability Advice Service, East Suffolk

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Oh my goodness. I sent a letter complaint last week I got so frustrated! Even more so that it is so out of our hands and all we can do is ‘wait’!
Thank you for replying.

EJ
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Benefits advice line - Coventry City Council

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And delays to PC will delay the 1st instalment of the Cost of Living payment…
And the DWP did their PC media launch this month
And our LA have commenced a PC take-up project.

Heavy sighs
Elaine

Aurelia
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PA Housing

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I have contacted PC 4/7 as assisted with online claim 11/4/22 I have same experience of person above can be told absolutely nothing apart from will be called back in 5 working days. We tried to give dates that she not available to take calls due to being in health appointments but she would not take the info and just said she would need to call back. I understand from gov that they increased claims from 3K to 10K a week following PC awareness campaign however they need to get these delays sorted out before adding to the issue of backlogs. I don’t think its acceptable not to inform people how long the delays are.