ESA Underpayments

The Department for Work and Pensions have finally admitted that many thousands of people migrated from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Allowance were not properly assessed and awarded their full entitlement. People who were living alone and in receipt of Middle or High Rate Care of Disability Living Allowance or the Standard or Enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment were entitled to a Severe Disability Premium so long as nobody was claiming Carers Allowance for looking after them. Also those people who were receiving the support component in ESA or Disability Living Allowance highest rate care or Personal Independence Payment Enhanced rate care components should have been getting the Enhanced Disability Premium on top of their ESA.

People who think they may be affected do not need to do anything as DWP have drafted in hundreds of extra staff to review the thousands of cases potentially with an underpayment.

Anyone deemed eligible will be sent an ESA3 form to complete which will ask whether you were living alone on a certain date, what savings or capital you had at that time etc. It’s quite straightforward but anyone with dyslexia, learning difficulties or unable to complete forms for any other reason can ask Dial West Cheshire for help.

Once contact has been made by DWP you should expect your arrears within 12 weeks. Arrears under £5000 will be disregarded as capital for 52 weeks. Arrears over £5000 will be disregarded for 52 weeks or until the termination of your award, whichever is longer.