DWP urges Britons to check they are getting right support

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) states errors in claims could lead to incorrect payments. Subsequently, some could be missing out on hundreds of pounds worth of support which could be fixed by taking action.

In 2023, the DWP is seeking to address fraud and error, helping to avoid common mistakes.

These errors can lead to incorrect payments being made, and debt building up. 

The vast majority of benefits are paid correctly to millions of people who are eligible.

However, overpayments can occur often due to genuine mistakes where people might forget to update their claim when personal circumstances change.

If a person gives the right information, their benefits will continue to be paid correctly, and the system will work more efficiently.

The DWP says reporting changes could even mean a person finds they are eligible for “other benefits or further support” which could even be worth hundreds more. 

It is thought the Department spent approximately £217billion through the welfare system in 2021/22, supporting 23 million people.

However, fraud and error can prove costly, so the Government is keen to reduce this as much as possible. 

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Tom Pursglove, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “We understand there’s lots going on in people’s lives and circumstances change which can make your financial situation become complicated and change your benefit entitlement.

“We want to ensure people are aware of all of the support available to them.

“I encourage everyone to use our online tools and get in touch with DWP to continue receiving the right level of help.”

To avoid genuine mistakes, or lack of awareness, the Department has shared common scenarios which could impact someone’s claim.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Someone has moved in or out of the claimant’s home
  • Someone was abroad for more than four weeks
  • Someone’s income, savings or occupational pension has changed
  • An individual got married or divorced
  • Someone is going into hospital for an extended period
  • The individual has become self-employed, or, has had a change impacting their business or earnings
  • An individual or someone in their home has stopped or started education.

Other instances where there is a change in circumstances could affect a person’s entitlement.

They can find out more on the GOV.UK website, as well as receive guidance on how they can report the change.

The Department also offers free telephone calls to the benefit hotline on 0800 731 0469 if people are unsure about their benefit claim. 

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Today, the DWP has also announced the schedule for the cost of living payments in 2023/24.

Millions of Britons are set to get up to £1,350 in support from spring 2023 onwards.

A £900 cash boost will be offered to eligible low-income households on means-tested benefits, split into three payments over the financial year.

A separate £150 payment will be made to over six million people living with a disability, while pensioners can expect to receive £300 on top of their Winter Fuel Payment once again.

The timetable is as follows: 

  • First cost of living payment – £301 – during spring 2023
  • Disability payment – £150 – during summer 2023
  • Second cost of living payment – during autumn 2023
  • Pensioner payment – £300 – during winter 2023/4
  • Third cost of living payment – £299 – during spring 2024.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt added: “These payments are on top of above inflation increases to working-age benefits and the Energy Price Guarantee, which is insulating millions from even higher global gas prices. Tackling inflation is this Government’s number one priority and is the only way to ease the strain of high prices, drive long term economic growth and improve living standards for everyone.”

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