DWP officials admit that 30,000 more Brits are owed extra ESA cash due to benefits error
Officials have revealed that a total of 210,000 people are now owed on average £4,000 because they weren't paid enough in the past.
Around £920million in back payments is expected to be dished out to make up for it, and £328million has been dished out so far to 58,000 Brits.
The average payment has been £6,000 so far.
On average ESA claimants are owed £5,000 but some on a severe disability premium could be owed £11,500 each. A “small number” could be owed around £20,000.
Some may also have missed out on free prescriptions and seen their kids go without free school meals.
Between 2011 and 2014 some Brits had not received all of the cash they were entitled so – and had missed out on premiums like the enhanced disability premium.
The error was only found in 2016, and now the Department for Work and Pensions is reviewing more than half a million cases again – and hope to be done by the end of the year.
But it's too late for 20,000 cases where the Brits involved have died.
At first ministers thought just 70,000 were to be hit, but now the total is triple that.
DWP staff said that they are making "good process" on fixing the blunder and officials are ploughing through all the old cases.
1,200 staff are working on the cases too – which will hike the total bill for the error up to around £14million
Labour's Marsha de Cordova, Shadow Minister for Disabled People, said today: "Once again disabled people are suffering as a result of the chaos at the heart of the DWP.
"This mess is yet another example of the hostile environment created for disabled people by this Conservative Government. It is scandalous that tens of thousands of disabled people have died before receiving the social security that they were owed.
“Labour is clear that those affected by these errors must be compensated. The Government’s continued failure to right its wrongs is disgraceful."
A DWP spokesman said today: “We are making good progress reviewing and correcting cases and repaying claimants affected by past ESA underpayments, with over £300 million of arrears paid so far.
"All claimants in the first phase have now been contacted and we have 1,200 specialist staff working to ensure no one loses out.
"Where a claimant has sadly died we are ensuring that any arrears owed to them are paid to their next of kin.”
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