Martin Lewis urges people not to ignore HMRC letter that could award £10,000 | Personal Finance | Finance

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Martin Lewis has warned pensioners that they could be due back thousands due to a State Pension error.

Between 1978 and 2010 Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP) was automatically awarded to those claiming child benefit or to people receiving income support because they were looking after a sick or disabled person.

HRP was intended to reduce the number of years of National Insurance (NI) credits needed to get a full state pension.

But the Government admitted that the system was flawed and National Insurance credits were not transferred across properly in some cases.

This issue has affected around 210,000 people, of whom around 60,000 are now deceased.

Those that are affected by the issue are being contacted by the HMRC with those over State Pension age being prioritised.

Those with family members that were affected but have passed away will still be able to make a claim on their behalf.

Martin Lewis advised that those who took time away from paid work at some point from 1978 to 2010 and didn’t include your National Insurance number on your Child Benefit or Income Support claim before May 2000 may be affected by the issue.

Mr Lewis advised that this is most likely to affect those aged between 60 and 80 but could affect people from anywhere between 41 and 90.

Mr Lewis wrote on MoneySavingExpert.com: “The system was beset with errors, leaving many having gaps in their NI records that should be there. The Govt is now writing to those affected, so if you get a letter, DON’T ignore it, it can be worth £10,000s.

“Generally, the Govt would prefer you to wait for the letter, but if you want to contact them now (it risks clogging the system) there’s help in our Home Responsibilities Protection guide.”

MSE reader Janet told the team she has recevied back more than £15,000. She said: “Dear Martin, following your show [alerting people to the letter] I applied for HRP as I stayed at home after having my children.

“I have received £15,000+ in backdated arrears and my pension has increased by £44/wk. I have to pay income tax on the arrears, but still have a substantial amount in my bank thanks to you.”

To check if you are one of those affected you should first check your state pension and your National Insurance record to ensure your NI records show complete years of HRP/credits. This is applicable to those who reached pension age after April 5, 2010.

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