Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dead granny cheques

UK -- More than £57m in benefits were paid to dead people last year, government figures have shown.

The junior work and pensions minister James Plaskitt said 98% of overpayments happened when death occurred too late to stop an automated payment.

The most overpayments - £34.4m - were made for pensions, with £13.3m paid in income support.
He said overpayments were also made "when a claimant dies and it becomes apparent from probate records that the information provided in the original claim was inaccurate."

The £57m included £8.1m paid out in pension credit, £0.1m in jobseeker's allowance and £1.6m in incapacity benefit.

The year's total represented 0.075% of total benefit expenditure.

Mr Hammond said the overpayments indicated more "mismanagement" at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Details about the overpayments to dead people come after the department revealed that £2.6bn was overpaid in benefits during the same year due to fraud and error.

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