Tories have made ‘mistakes’ totalling £500 million in ESA benefit payments. How many of those affected have died?

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:

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

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:



  1. Julia Hawkes-Moore November 18, 2017 at 2:39 am - Reply

    This is horrendous news.
    I have been too ill to work for 30 years, and I was forcibly ‘changed over’ from Incapacity benefit to ESA (Support Group) – having to win one Appeal in which ATOS was clearly seen to have lied to the DWP in the process. ATOS had actually deleted the comments of their own ATOS Doctor’s report in which she declared that I was unfit for work, was unlikely to recover, and should not be assessed again.
    30 years ago I was paid £125 pw on Incapacity benefit. 30 years later I am still paid exactly the same amount. Has there really been no inflation whatsoever in the intervening 30 years?
    How would you live on £6,500 for 30 years?
    Now we know that the DWP has been deliberately with-holding payments to the most sick and vulnerable in our society – and keeping it a secret from press, public and claimants.
    How does that fit in with Theresa May’s lying pledges to support the disabled?
    It is time for heads to roll from this callous greedy bloody-handed disgrace of a Government.

  2. Damien Willey November 18, 2017 at 9:29 am - Reply

    I tried digging up more on this yesterday, but the bbc story seems to be the only one circulating. If people cannot check for themselves how are we to trust the DWP will contact everyone affected?

Leave A Comment