Winter Fuel Allowance error

I have had a resident contact me to let me know about the following error that had happened to him. I hope others will check their allowances.

I have been receiving Winter Fuel of £200 each year but this year it has been cut to £100 because there is someone else who is entitled living in the same house. You may recall from your visits that there is indeed someone else in this house but that the house has been divided in to separate flats. When I called the DWP to query what had happened I encountered several recorded announcements, bearing in mind that I was paying for the call, before finally getting a person to speak with.

It appears that the mistake had occurred because the DWP rely on a postcode checker to verify their information and as two separate households are not shown in that checker, the assumption was made that I was living with someone. I would presume that my neighbour has had her payment cut for the same reason but she has not checked the letter she received. Noticing that the cut had been made was purely chance because I normally just put the letter away without reading it too closely.

What annoys me is that the error was made not because of information received but because it was not checked by any other method first. One would think, wrongly, that there would be some kind of communication between different sections of the same Department. This is bad enough but I was told that the extra money would be sent but I would not get it before Christmas and possibly as late as 31st March next year! I am fortunate in not needing too badly this year but I wonder how many people would be that fortunate? I was told that I could write to my MP but if they knew how brilliant my MP is, I doubt that suggestion would have been made.

“Caring” Government at its finest!