Incapacity Benefit and Pension Credit annual snafu…

Since I reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit, at this time of year it’s a source of aggravation. The purpose of PC, by the way, is to bring my IB up to the national minimum income for people** over 60 (why people under sixty are considered capable of getting by on IB alone, I’ve no idea), but pretty much the only advantage to turning 60 was that people threw money at me.

** Not to be confused with the national minimum wage, of which this is but a fraction.

I was told, earlier in the year, how much PC I’d be paid, then, this week, as the IB annual increase kicked in, it was reduced by a couple of pounds, Not a lot but over the course of the year it mounts up and makes accurate budgeting impossible (and on a limited fixed income that matters).

The thing is that both IB and PC are administered by the Department of Work and Pensions, and the figures for this year’s IB have been available for months, so why is it that the PC people can’t get together with the IB people and get their figures right before notifying claimants?

As it is, the system is massively inefficient (and annoying), and what I want to know is on what do the PC people base the figure in their annual notification to claimants, and why is it always wrong? It must be based on something but whatever it is it’s not my IB.

So why don’t the people who administer PC just access the actual IB figures as soon as they’re notified to the claimants (in my case, the first week in February this year)? Perversely, my PC increase notification for this year is dated February 13, so the correct figure was actually available to them had they bothered to obtain it. But they didn’t. So every year they must send out thousands – millions, for all I know – of PC notices that are wrong, and have to be corrected in April.

That is a colossal waste of resources and simply cannot be justified, not when the solution is as simple as two departments communicating with each other. Mind you, wasting time and money isn’t entirely unknown at the DWP’s PC division. Last year I was reassessed for PC three times. There’s no justification for that either, and I eventually wrote to them saying once is understandable, twice is inefficient, but three times is simply persecution. They didn’t, of course, bother to reply.