Reply To: Delayed notification of changes in circumstance


I would like to take a pre-emptive guess at what the answer should be.

It seems clear to me that the claimant has no duty to report the start/end/change in the amount of either component of Pension Credit: the whole thing is left to ETD. The claimant’s reporting duties are to the DWP.

Having said that, if the claimant delays in telling the Pension Service about a detrimental change, they will be clobbered for an HB overpayment somewhere down the line. But suppose the DWP then adds on its own separate delay after the change is reported to it? There would from that point on be a separate cause of DWP official error for the recent portion of the overpayment.

So I think the answer is: the overpayment period will have to be split to isolate the part that was truly the claimant’s own fault. ETD layout will have to deal with this somehow.


Claimant is on Guarantee Credit of £5 a week, too young for SC. Starts part-time job paying £60 a week net on 1 November 2003. This should be enough to take him/her out of Pension Credit altogether. Doesn’t tell the DWP until 1 December 2003, by which time three further payments of £5 a week GC have been made. DWP decides this notificatin was not “timeous”, therefore claimant is to blame. On 10 January 2004, council receives ETD announcing end of GC. The effective date of the change is w/b 1 November or thereabouts, because it wasn’t reported promptly to DWP. So there is an overpayment. But the cause of the o/p from the beginning of December onwards is DWP official error.

Note that in cases where the claimant does report the change to DWP timeously, there is no overpayment at all: not even a DWP error one. It simply doesn’t take effect until the council finds out. The above analysis only applies to cases where there was some initial delay by the claimant.

That’s my guess.