DR UK says disabled people should not pay for the DWP mistakes on ESA

Tue,20 March 2018
News Benefits

Commenting on the NAO report into errors in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Ken Butler, welfare benefits advisor at Disability Rights UK said:

Read NAO report

“The National Audit Office report makes for sorry reading.

“It shows a shambolic catalogue of mistakes which have had a massive impact on tens of thousands of disabled people who qualified for benefits they were denied. The report highlights the £340 million owed to disabled people, all of whom would be on a very low income.

“We welcome any efforts made to identify those affected and pay them money that is rightfully theirs.

“But disabled people should not be expected to pay for the DWP’s mistakes. The government’s unwillingness to backdate payments beyond 2014, citing legal restrictions, means that disabled people could still be underpaid arrears of up to £150 million. 

“It’s also inconsistent – we know of cases where backdated payments have been made to 2011. We would encourage anyone affected to seek advice from benefit specialists to challenge the government’s position through the appeals system.

“Overall, this report is the latest in a series of examples of the poor administration and implementation of welfare reform. From inadequate assessments through to poor policy making, disabled people continue to hit by changes to a system which is supposed to help them become more independent and fails to do so."

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