WASPI payouts from DWP could be even higher than damning report recommended | Personal Finance | Finance

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campaigners have taken a step forward in their efforts to secure higher payouts for the millions of women affected by the issue.

A report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman previously recommended payments of between £1,000 and £2,950, in line with Level 4 of its injustice scale.

But interim PHSO ombudsman Rebecca Hilsenrath has now said some WASPI (Women Against State Pension inequality) women could get above this amount.

She told MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee this week: “The findings that the recommendations that we made were based on the sample cases that we dealt with.

“We did not find any incidence there of direct financial loss but we don’t exclude that possibly being the case in relation to other cases.”

WASPI chair Angela Madden said on Thursday that she was pleased to hear the PHSO concede there could be a case for bigger compensation.

She believes the women should get Level 6 compensation, of £10,000 or more, as they did suffer financial losses.

She told : “There are women that we know have lost out financially. We think a lot of women have suffered direct financial loss.

“If like me you’d given up a full time job to look after a frail parent or someone else, that feels like a financial loss, that feels like a huge financial decision.”

She said many MPs know of how they were affected by the issue. Ms Madden said: “We know so much of the evidence.

“This is why so many of the MPs are on our side as well, because their constituents have been writing to them for a few years now.

“There are probably on average 6,000 WASPI women in each constituency. So the MPs have heard all the stories that we have heard as well.

“This is why the All Party Parliamentary Group recommended a solution at Level 6 of the Ombudsman’s scale.”

One MP backing the WASPI cause there should be payouts of £10,000 or more to right this “stain on UK justice”.

But Ms Hilsenrath warned there is a high threshold to qualify for the top Level 6 compensation.

She told the MPs: “We look at Level 6 compensation under our health jurisdiction for potentially avoidable deaths.

“It’s an extremely serious level of impact. This is from an organisation which is not primarily about financial compensation.

“Most people that come to us our motivated by the fact that they want an apology, they want the system to change to ensure that other people don’t suffer the same experience they have.

“I don’t want to make a flippant comment here, but we’re not a tribunal or a court. We’re not going to award the high levels of compensation you see in negligence cases.”

Ms Madden also spoke before the MPs, for two elements of compensation. This would include a scale of payouts depending on how long a WASPI woman had to wait for their state pension, and separate compensation to cover direct financial losses.

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