Widow’s treatment by DWP ‘has been inhumane and cruel’

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From DNS via DisabledGo:


This part particularly caught my eye:

This year, Laurel was unexpectedly granted support of about £700 per month under the Dutch National Survivor Benefits Act (ANW), which ensures a basic income for those who have lost a partner and is intended to be paid on top of other monthly benefits.

But the first payment was made in a lump sum three years in arrears, and when DWP found out, it stripped her of most of her UK benefits, including ESA, housing benefit, council tax benefit, and even the care component of disability living allowance, which is not means-tested.

I'd say Laurel definitely has a case on the DLA part.

A large part of the complaint turns on which country should be paying her benefits, with the DWP saying that it should be the Netherlands. However, she and her husband had been in the UK for three years when he died, and it sounds as if he'd been working (presumably paying taxes and National Insurance) for two of those years. I'm pretty sure that means responsibility for benefits would have transferred to the UK, so the DWP would be wrong to refuse them to her.

The only part I can see the DWP getting away with is the part about having too much money in the bank due to the Dutch benefit payment in arrears. I know UK back payments aren't supposed to be counted against the savings limit, but I don't know what the rules say about back paid benefits from another country.

All in all, another reminder of how remarkably poorly the DWP can behave.