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Mistakes in benefits claims could cost up to £500m

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Didn't see this anywhere so have posted, apologies if already done,.

 

Needless to say, well, well, haven't they got themselves into a bit of a mess?!!

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42012116

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This is the IB to ESA conversion which completely ignored any IR ESA they might now be entitled too.

 

The gist being the DWP argued that Conts and Income ESA were separate benefits and you had to apply for it on conversion.

 

Welfare Right workers argued (and won) that ESA is a single benefit and any failure to award any part of it was down to lack of investigation by the DWP.

 

Massive thread on it here https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/5928/P135/

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As some one who has been through this process myself, and has been on the exact same amount for over 4years now... I'm wondering if I'm one of those who have been underpaid... I got converted from IB to ESA and was told that I wouldn't be getting any annual increases in ESA at all and couldn't tell me for how long... more than 4yrs later and I'm in more poverty than I was then.

 

Crossing my fingers that I'm due some kind of repayment of any arrears, as that may get me out of debt entirely.

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OK, I've had a quick read through of that thread... What I can gather is this... I was transferred from IB on to cont ESA and never informed that there were additional options... I was lead to believe that my cESA was frozen until such a time as ESA caught up with IB amounts and that the extra payment was nothing more than a top up... I'm starting to think that 'I AM' one of those who may have been underpaid for more than 4yrs.

 

DWP say they only became 'aware' of this in Dec 2016... whilst the thread has been going for almost 4yrs and I've read posts that quote letters sent to ministers & DWP.... Seems like this is more of a deliberate attempt to deny people in the name of austerity, and another way to keep the sick and disabled on the bottom rung and unable to support themselves at all.

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I'm going off on a slight tangent but what surprised me recently was the Sun feeling sorry for people on benefits. Rupert Murdoch must have developed some compassion!

 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4874020/mum-four-found-dead-in-freezing-home-after-failing-to-pay-heating/

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Has anyone heard any more about this?

 

I called my local welfare help centre, and the woman answering the phones hadn't even heard anything about it... Told me to just wait for the DWP to contact me.

 

If they've not done so after more than 4yrs... I can't imagine that they'd voluntarily be offering me 4yrs of back payments.

 

I have no idea how to even find out if I should have been moved on to irESA instead of dumped onto cESA after being moved from IB... because that amount hasn't changed in over 4yrs, cost of living keeps going up, rent keeps going up, they keep increasing my council tax payments each year because they can get away with raising the % of contributions for those on benefits.

 

I desperately need help and advice... but my local welfare rights service have no clue... Where do I go?

 

I tried that rightsnet site discussion boad, but you can't sign up unless you are part of some organisation... So can't ask for help there... So I'm kinda relying on getting some good advice here.

 

If I should have been on irESA from 2013, that's more than 4yrs of back payments owed which amounts to several thousand pounds... Money that could finally get me out of the debt I've built up over that period because I never have enough money to live on... and the mental stress it's having on me is significant, especially at a time when my physical health has been in decline and I can't even get crapita to do the assessment for PIP.

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Update on this for anyone interested.

 

I spoke with a local welfare help service again (not just the receptionist who didn't even know about it), who informed me to get an ESA3 form fill it out and make a claim for backdating the ESA to when I was transferred from IB. I did that a few weeks ago and today spoke with some one who informed me that as of the 21st Dec I was being transferred on IR ESA and will be getting an extra £13.50 a week.

 

However, they don't deal with the backdating side of things so that will be dealt with by another team/dept and I will have to wait for a response on that. But it's a step in the right direction and means I can breathe a little easier money wise... at least until I find out how this will affect my LHA and CT benefits... They normally give with one hand and snatch it away with another.

 

But they never argued anything regarding medical records/forms/proof from doctors and so forth... transferred me over to it from the day after my last payment.

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