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Burning money: Okay, the DWP hasn’t actually burned any cash, but the fact that 75,000 ESA claimants have been deprived of £500 million could be equivalent to burning banknotes in front of the poor.

And how many more will pass away before they get restitution from the DWP? I ask merely for information.

In fact, whenever the DWP – or any other government department – announces a “mistake” of this nature, in which members of the public who are desperately in need of money are deprived of it, it seems reasonable to suggest that the first questions about the situation should be: How many people were adversely affected by this? And how many of them are still alive?

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams put it mildly when she said:

“This is yet another example of the total failure of this Government to provide people with the support they need.

“From the chaotic introduction of Universal Credit to the quiet pushing back of the state pension age of 1950s women, it’s been one disaster after another from the Department of Work and Pensions.

“The Government must act immediately to provide the support people are entitled to and apologise to all the people who have struggled to heat their homes and put food on their table.”

And Nick Dilworth, who has followed the DWP’s disastrous history for many years, has good advice for everybody who has been affected:

https://twitter.com/Mylegalforum/status/931588473747836928

He adds:

There are a couple of really important points here.

Firstly – considering the DWP knew about the mistake nearly a year ago, and said nothing: How do claimants find out whether they have been underpaid?

Secondly – in light of the fact that the DWP has taken 11 months to pay 1/75 of the people affected, why are claimants being forced to wait for the money the government owes them?

Here’s Nick again:

Mrs Mike is on ESA. If she has been underpaid – which wouldn’t surprise me in the least – how many years do you think she’ll have to wait for the cash?

Mistakes in paying out benefits claims could cost up to £500m to put right, the BBC has learned.

The errors identified by the Department for Work and Pensions affect the main sickness benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The BBC understands that assessors wrongly calculated the income of around 75,000 claimants.

Ministers say that they are aware of the problem and that repayments have begun to be made.

The department, which says it discovered the mistakes last December, is understood to have contacted about 1,000 people so far.

It says it is still trying to understand the scale of the problems with ESA, which is paid to about 2.5 million people, and will contact anyone affected.

Source: Mistakes in benefits claims could cost up to £500m – BBC News


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