The pension pay due to tens of thousands of women - make sure you claim what’s yours

Hundreds of women on state pension living on menial amounts could be entitled to back-dated claims worth thousands, according to a recent report.

The BBC published this article about the complexities of the pensions system and why many are unaware of the special rules for married women.

It tells of Mrs Davies who was living on a state pension of just £1 a week, after spending many years as a stay at home mum and only working for short periods as an administrative assistant. As a result, she was told she had built up almost no entitlement to a state pension in her own right because she had not built up enough National Insurance (NI) contributions.

Despite her husband querying this at the time, the DWP insisted that was all she was entitled to. However, earlier this year, she discovered she was owed £61,000 and entitled to £82.45 per week.

Women who qualify are those who are getting a tiny amount, known as "graduated retirement benefit" (GRB) under the old state pension system, which ran until 1975. In Mrs Davies case, this was just £1 a week, but this is enough to qualify for a married woman's pension. They can backdate their claims to their husband's 65th birthday and could be in line for tens of thousands of pounds.

Mrs Davies is not alone. In March, documents revealed in the Budget showed an estimated 200,000 pensioners could be collectively owed up to £3bn after the under-payment of state pensions for decades. There is now a review taking place to trace all the women who have been affected by systemic failures and award pension pay rises - some of which stretch back to 1992.

There are potentially thousands of women living on menial state pensions, who may be entitled to tens of thousands in back payments. These are not automated and therefore relies on women reaching out to the DWP to claim for it.

If this applies to you, you need to get your skates on as the DWP says it can take up to 5 years to process claims. It is also essential that attorneys, deputies and executors claim any payments due as well - and these payments will make a difference to thousands of families.

It is also worth checking to see if you are entitled to an Attendance Allowance if you need someone to help assist you around your home. This is a non-means tested benefit, so lots of people are entitled to it owing to their health needs. The application form is over 50 pages - which is already a barrier to many and therefore no claim is made.

For more information and legal guidance, contact the Private Client team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

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