DWP benefits errors cause £5,000 refunds for ESA claimants

Tens of thousands of people on sickness benefits are set to receive backdated payments at an average of £5,000. 

It is thought the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will have to pay anything up to £1.7bn in backdated payments and subsequent future adjustments due to the gross government error which has left many people living on the breadline and facing insolvency.

Miscalculations were made when people were transferred onto the main sickness benefit, the Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Worse still, it appears neither the people receiving ESA nor the people responsible for dishing it out seem to have a clue how it’s calculated. Strong and stable, mathematically unable.

DWP estimate 180,000 owed money

The DWP have admitted they estimate anything up to 180,000 people have been underpaid with a government promise (coughs) to have it all paid back by April 2019. Until then those affected are expected to crack on with the struggle until the overpaid monkeys have successfully managed to pull their head from the arses.

At best the government reckon they owe £970m to claimants, however I reserve the right to act on the side of caution in believing that until Carol Vorderman has confirmed it to be accurate.

Transfer to Universal Credit pending

Unfortunately the ‘fun’ isn’t over yet, with the mass transfer of people over onto Universal Credit not far away. And, judging by their first few attempts, we can expect more monumental cock ups yet to be unearthed.

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David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. An award winning personal finance and lifestyle blogger, he shows how it is possible to live extremely well for less.
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