Many ESA claimants to receive backdated payments

This article is 75 months old


Around 70,000 severely disabled and ill claimants are set to receive backdated payments of up to £20,000 after being wrongly underpaid for years by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the National Audit Office has revealed.

They were underpaid between 2011 and 2014 after being transferred from older benefits on to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) during a government overhaul of incapacity benefits.

The error occurred during the transfer process when claimants’ full entitlements were not properly checked.

The DWP has said that they are working to identify and repay people affected and that some payments have already started. They said that everyone who could be affected will be contacted directly by the department.

Turn2us says it is important that this happens as quickly as possible.

Alison Taylor, Director of Operations at Turn2us, said:

“It is disappointing to see so many sick or disabled people fall through the crack and fail to get the support they have been entitled to. It is important that anyone that may have missed out on their full ESA entitlement is paid back promptly and efficiently by DWP.

“Welfare benefits exist to provide a safety net for people in need. Anyone struggling with money should use our free and confidential online tools to check what support could be available.”

Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator


National Audit Office press release: Investigation into errors in Employment and Support Allowance

Guardian news article: Underpaid disability claimants to receive up to £20,000