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DWP refuses to pay back £150m to disabled claimants

This news post is about 6 years old

Flawed transfer meant many were wrongly assessed

Claimants are being refused backpayments over the botched migration from incapacity benefit to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

As much as £150 million is owed to disabled people by the Department for Work and Pensions, a National Audit Office (NAO) report published last week shows.

It concludes that DWP underpaid about 70,000 people between February 2011 – when the reassessment process began – and the end of 2014, because of its failure to realise that many of these claimants were entitled to income-related ESA.

However, the social security’s appeal tribunal only ruled on 21 October 2014 that DWP had been wrongly following social security legislation, allowing ministers to say they can legally only pay arrears to those whose claims were still live on that date and who were subsequently underpaid.

This means that it will not pay back an estimated £100 million to £150 million in arrears that date from before 21 October 2014, which DWP says it cannot legally pay.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “It is disgusting that DWP are refusing to refund payments disabled people have lost due to their errors and incompetence.”

She described DWP’s refusal to pay all the refunds as “theft.”

The DWP is still likely to have to pay about £340 million in back-payments for claims that were live on 21 October 2014, with average payments likely to be about £5,000, although a small number could receive as much as £20,000.

DPAC has called for an exception to be made by DWP, so the back-payments are disregarded in the same way as criminal injuries compensation awards.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “We have already reviewed over 4,000 cases, of which around 1,500 cases were incorrect and have been paid arrears of just over £9 million. The first payments were made in September 2017.

“When we were made aware of individual cases relating to this issue in 2013, these were dealt with at the time and additional guidance was put in place.

“The vast majority of cases transferred to ESA were done so correctly.”



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Lorraine richardson
about 6 years ago
I'm fighting for enhanced mobility was given standard 22 pounds a week. It's a joke my 9 year old gets that and I'm 53 with a lot of conditions did disagree but they said no now I'm going to appeal. My life is crap can't do a lot. Enhance would help me alot
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Gen William Taggart
about 6 years ago
Just don't mention over £100 Billion that has been defrauded from claimants since the Migration from Incapacity Benefit/Incapacity benefit paid as income support. It relates to the Right of Supersession (Social Security Act 1998), basically with the Right of Supersession, were an existing award in benefit is in place, the onus is placed upon the state to prove that the claimant is no longer entitled to that award.If a benefit is replaced, like for like, this allows processing without a supersession, however the former Coalition Government altered the transition legislation to ESA, meaning a claimant was invited to claim. No matter the outcome they just terminated the existing award in err of law.They did this as for ESA the claimant has to continually prove entitlement, which is incompatible with the earlier law.There have been numerous tribunal findings that revisions of existing awards of benefits in the manner that occurs with ESA is unlawful, however the DWP continue to 'revise' as renewal assessments.What does this mean,1. None of the existing claims were legally terminated. 2. None of the ESA reassessments have been legally carried out. 3. All of these claimants have remained entitled to their previous awards for all this time.Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith and the Rt Hon Theresa May were informed of this serious legal problem back in late 2010. They did everything in their power to bury the matter, including having (proven) fault evidence placed before a Tribunal which was supposed to addressing these legal points. Then having the Judiciary block any investigation into wrong doing.
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Gen William Taggart
about 6 years ago
These are the points in law of which a Special Tribunal (with just a Judge) was supposed to address, this was after the previous judge declared she "was not suitably qualified to here this case"."1. The Data Protection Act 1998, and the associated issues of the Department of Work and Pensions allegedly wrongfully declaring ATOS Healthcare as a Data Processor, when prior rulings by the Information Commissioner would clearly define them as a Data Controller in the Capacity of conducting the WCA.2. The Right of Supersession (Social Security Act 1998). In which the state has not been showing sufficient or obtaining for the purpose of, evidence to Supersede an existing award of benefit. No supersession has been applied, which is in contravention of Social Security Act 1998, on existing awards, by the department of work and pension. (Those subject to the migration process).3. That Declarations 4, 5, 6 of the ESA50 questionnaire, are allegedly in contravention of Article 7(1) ‘forced submittal to retrospective laws’ and Article 8 ‘forced termination of right of privacy’ of the European Convention of Human Rights. As well as being enforced with no right of Refusal in sharing of Private Personal information with other Data Controllers in contravention of The Data Protection Act 1998 and that ATOS Healthcare has not been correctly declaring themselves as a Data Controller in respect of the WCA in direct contravention of The Data Protection Act 1998.4. That the existing award of Benefit Made under the Social Security Act 1998 (Incapacity Benefit Paid as Income Support), be reinstated as per regulation until the outcome of said Upper Tribunal.”Instead with the help of the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, the case was unlawfully relisted just minutes before the hearing (the claimant was not actually informed until during the hearing of the change of case). They went ahead anyway, ignoring the actual evidence and falsifying the dates on the evidence to suit their outcome. You can see the original email here the judge openly refused to accept the evidence that proved their case to be unlawful, I still have the email with all the server headers CRC checks the works, which proves their lies.The judge ruled it was a fictional earlier date, thus disposing of the matter on a regulation 22 time out, rather than addressing the serious points in law.This was after myself having to survive on zero income for two years, whilst my local MP at the time, Theresa May look the other way. As she was fully aware that her Government had broken the law.
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