A disabled Ukrainian national has won £13,000 in Pension Credit after the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) “ignored” his application.

Ivan - not his real name - is on two crutches, partially sighted and has recently been living in a hostel while waiting for the extra payments.

He had moved to the UK in the late 90s but unfortunately had not regularised his stay until less than 10 years ago. He qualifies for Pension Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and with his health failing had applied for pension credit last June.

According to the lawyer behind the challenge, Diane Morrison of the Hackney Community Law Centre, the DWP had "simply ignored" his application for Pension Credity.

A public law challenge secured the large backdated payment from the DWP, forcing them to “take action when they could have done something much sooner,” she added.

Ms Morrison said. “And with the lack of Law Centres around, there will just be more and more of this happening.”

Ms Morrison said the Pension Credit payment will afford Ivan some “basic decency” in case his other payments were to stop, particularly in light of his failing health.

Ivan’s only income over the last year is the Personal Independence Payment, provided to those with a physical or mental health disability which causes difficulty in everyday tasks.

Having not worked in the UK for long enough, Ivan is not eligible for the State Pension. He is entitled to Pension Credit, as it is a payment for those of pension age who are on a low income.

This comes only weeks after a similar case, in which a Universal Credit claimant was owed thousands of pounds by the DWP but was also allegedly ignored until Ms Morrison threatened the DWP with legal action.

Anna - not her real name - had appealed a decision by the DWP that she was ‘fit to work’ in April 2022.

When Anna won the appeal, the DWP owed her more than £3,500 of Universal Credit - but they failed to either accept or appeal the decision, something usually done within a matter of days.

The Tribunal Centre which heard the case told Hackney Gazette that the decision was ‘flagged’ to the DWP, raising questions around why they failed to respond.

Only after Ms Morrison threatened to take the DWP to court did they make the payments to Anna.

Ms Morrison said in May: “It’s not that they forgot or they didn't know what they're supposed to do, they just chose not to act.

“But the people who don't have this assistance, what happens to them?”

Both Ms Morrison and Anna believed these are cynical tactics employed by the DWP. Anna said: “[The DWP] think we will say nothing, so they think: 'let's just carry on with it'. But I know my rights.

“It's very stressful. Whoever has to deal with a similar thing, I really feel sorry, but [the DWP] don't feel sorry for you.

“You have to be strong and put on a brave face, don't give up.”

Lea Bridge Labour tweeted in response to Anna’s case: “It is so important for people to know how much they can be helped by their local law centre, and how important it is to stand up to Government departments like the DWP and to stand up for justice.”

Hackney Community Law Centre is a charity providing free and independent legal advice, and is part of the Law Centres Network.