ESA Underpayments - update from DWP

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Monic1511

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ESA Underpayments - update from DWP

  • on: 18 Jan 2020 07:39PM
This has been circulated by the DWP but is unlikely to appear in the press
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esa-underpayments-progress-on-checking-january-2020/january-2020-esa-underpayments-forecast-numbers-affected-forecast-expenditure-and-progress-on-checking

Official Statistics
January 2020: ESA underpayments: Forecast numbers affected, forecast expenditure and progress on checking
Published 16 January 2020

Policy background and introduction
1. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008 for people who have limited capability to work because they are disabled or ill. From March 2011 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began reassessing people on incapacity benefits (for example, Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance) for eligibility for ESA.
2. More than 2 million claimants were receiving incapacity benefits before reassessment began and we have now reassessed around 1.5 million people, nearly all of those who required a reassessment.
3. The department is correcting some past underpayments of ESA, which arose while reassessing incapacity benefit claims.

This Table gives details on the amount of underpayments to people still living
Table 1: Progress on checking cases potentially affected by underpayments of ESA on conversion from previous incapacity benefits
Out of the 600,000 cases to be checked:                                           12 January 2020   13 October 2019
Number of cases that have started the reassessment journey (see note 6)             600,000           570,000
Number of cases the department has contacted to gather data to review their claims (see note 7) 520,000   490,000
Number of cases that have completed the reassessment journey (see note 8)          581,000            510,000
Number of cases completed the reassessment journey without payment of arrears (see note 9) 468,000     410,000
Number of cases qualifying for arrears payments                                      112,000          100,000
Total amount of historical arrears paid to date                                    589 million      552 million
Average arrears payment to date                                                    5,000             6,000


sorry if the table is squint but I wanted to show the historical arrears paid to date 552 million   >yikes<

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: ESA Underpayments - update from DWP

  • on: 19 Jan 2020 09:07AM
Thank you  :-)

I remember post being made in Ouch Too at the time where we did talk about this and I am think part of the reason the huge underpayment happened was because many claimants felt 'lucky' to get ESA in any amount. They did not ask if they were entitled to Contributions Based ESA and Income Based ESA. they did not want to rock the boat and draw attention to themselves for fear of losing their claim. Worse still their were people who did ask and they were told their benefit had been calculated correctly.