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NAWRA receives reply from Esther McVey over potential ESA underpayments

24 January 2018

Letter to new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about income related ESA.

Last year, NAWRA (National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers) members identified many former Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants who had been migrated to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and only been awarded contributory ESA. 

This is because the DWP had failed to apply the regulations and their own guidance and undertake a financial assessment to check entitlement to any top up of income related ESA.

In July 2017, NAWRA wrote to the secretary of state for work and pensions, David Gauke to raise our concerns.

In December 2017 David Gauke made a written statement acknowledging the government’s error.

NAWRA wrote to Esther McVey, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to follow up on this matter. She has now replied

She states that a special team has been set up to review claimants potentially affected but that Section 27 of the Social Security Act 1998 imposes a limit on arrears in certain cases.

NAWRA will be replying to this letter on the basis that section 27 of the Social Security Act 1998 does not apply in this situation.