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Woman On DLA Taken Off DWP System After Hoaxer Reports Her Death

April 27, 2015

Shocking, worrying stuff.

A woman was left penniless after a hoax caller rang the Department of Work and Pensions to report her death.

Instead of demanding a certificate to back up the claim, it appears a worker simply ‘deleted’ Janet Millward from the system.

Janet had no idea she was ‘deceased’ until her benefits were stopped.

And within days, letters offering bereavement advice started arriving addressed to the “Estate of Miss Janet Millward”.

Both her housing benefit and Disability Living Allowance were scrapped and the tax office wrote to her “personal representative” giving tips on how to settle her estate.

Now the DWP has apologised for the mistake, which it blamed on human error.

But Janet, 50, wants to know why the word of one person in a phone call was enough for her to no longer exist.

The mix-up happened after a man claiming to be her son ‘Alex Millward’ rang the DWP to report her death.

Unemployed Janet, who does not have children, says within moments a chain of events was put in place to erase her.

She said: “They know everything about me. Why didn’t they check? Why didn’t they pick up the phone? It just beggars belief.

“They just pressed a button and that was that. It effected everything.

“Why was a death certificate not asked for? When my brother died last year we had to provide a death certificate for everything.

“I want to know why such questions were not asked. It is unbelievable. Somebody, claiming to be my son, can just ring up and say I have died, and that is enough.”

Janet relies on the £240 benefits she receives once a fortnight to survive.

“I was extremely distressed. All my money was stopped.

“I was getting letters addressed to the representatives of Miss Janet Millward. But I was not dead.”

It took two weeks to correct the error and Janet, from Wythenshawe, Manchester, contacted her Labour MP Mike Kane, who took up her case.

He has since received a letter from the DWP apologising for the mistake.

The letter said: “Unfortunately, due to human error, a date of death was incorrectly input to Miss Millward’s records.”

HM Customs and Revenue also wrote to Janet, saying: “Our records did show you as deceased and thus the system generated a letter to your address re this.

“I can confirm that I have now updated your record to show you are not deceased and can only apologise again for any distress this may have caused you.”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. fubar permalink
    April 27, 2015 10:20 am

    Bet it was IDS or McVey that made the call…lol

  2. April 27, 2015 12:05 pm

    Reblogged this on Through My Eyes and commented:
    Horrific- I have no words other than that one.

  3. April 27, 2015 4:19 pm

    Thats the DWP to a tee you start a conversation with them and however small it always escalates to a epic scale so much so you come away in a collapsed state having spent up to 2 hours going through so much detail anyone would think you were running the country

    The bottom line is if you ever speak with the DWP then prepare yourself for a chain of events over the coming months which will go on to haunt you for a lifetime

    The bottom line you speak with them at your peril

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