Home News DWP says thousands of Brits owed £5,000 after system error

DWP says thousands of Brits owed £5,000 after system error

43
0

Thousands of Brits could be due an average pay-out of £5,000, following an investigation into underpayments by the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finished checking 600,000 cases after a system error meant some claimants weren’t being paid enough.

But in scenarios where the DWP couldn’t contact you, or if you didn’t respond to its request for information, you can still ask them to look at your case, as the Mirror reports.

Read more: No Ashton Gate fanzone for England Euro 2020 final

The mistake relates to the DWP failing to assess if people qualified for income-related ESA rather than just the less generous contribution-based ESA between 2011 and 2014.

For example, some had missed out on premiums like the enhanced disability premium, which is worth up to £24.60 per week.

It had been estimated that ESA claimants could be owed £5,000 on average but a “small number” on severe disability premium could be owed up to £20,000.

In its final update on the investigation today, the DWP said it had contacted 519,000 people to check its previous ESA payments.

Of this amount, around 118,000 people qualified for money back with £613million dished out in arrears.

From the total figure, 53,000 people the DWP needed to check had since died and it contacted 22,000 next of kins instead.

The total amount of arrears paid back to 7,000 next of kins stood at £26million.

However, there could be more people due money in ESA back payments as the DWP says it wasn’t able to contact around 4,000 people, including approximately 3,000 cases where the claimant had died.

For around 72,000 cases, including approximately 4,000 cases where the claimant had died, the individual or the next of kin did not provide the information needed to review the case.

People who didn’t respond but do get in touch in future will still have their payments reviewed, the DWP has confirmed.

Around 77,000 people, including 28,000 cases where the claimant had died, had been identified from the overall 600,000 figure as not entitled to arrears and therefore not contacted by the DWP.

How to check if you’re due money

The DWP has been contacting affected claimants to let them know their case is being looked into.

But if you didn’t respond or missed their message, you can still ask them to look into your claim.

Contact the DWP on 0800 169 0346 for more information.

ESA was introduced in October 2008 for people who have limited capability to work because they are disabled or ill.

Most people now claim the “new style” ESA but there are two types of “old style ESA” that some people are still getting which are called “income-based ESA” and “contribution-based ESA”.

Income-related ESA is being replaced by Universal Credit so you can’t make a new claim for this.

How much you can get depends on what stage your application is at, as well as your individual circumstances.

This will be:

  • Up to £59.20 a week if you’re aged under 25
  • Up to £74.70 a week if you’re aged 25 or over

After you’ve been assessed, you’ll then be placed into either the work-related activity group or the support group.

You’ll get:

  • Up to £74.70 a week if you’re in the work-related activity group
  • Up to £114.10 a week if you’re in the support group

If you’re in the support group and on income-related ESA, you’re also entitled to the enhanced disability premium.

You may also qualify for the severe disability premium.

Get the best stories about the things you love most curated by us and delivered to your inbox every day. Choose what you love here

Previous articleQueen Elizabeth wears rare ruby brooch for Manchester visit – only been worn five times
Next articleNew study finds reason why some people have milder Covid symptoms than others

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here