Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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womble6952womble6952 Member Posts: 2 Listener
My stepson has been in receipt of DLA & ESA in the support group for the last 8 year's. He has now received a letter from the DWP advising he stopped getting DLA 5 Years ago. Due to this he has been overpaid ESA and the DWP are demanding he repays this money back! No one has wrote to him until now, five years later. Can anyone advise where we can get correct information regarding this issue! Does DLA effect ESA payment. Hope anyone can help!


  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @womble6952 I will pass this onto our @BenefitsTrainingCo to see if they can help!
    Senior online community officer
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi womble6952,

    When a claimant is in receipt of DLA middle or higher rate care component, it means they may be entitled to a severe disability premium on their ESA, if for example, they live alone and don't have a carer claiming CA for them. It may be that this premium, which is part of ESA, is what has been overpaid. Apart from that, DLA payments doesn't affect ESA at all. 
    If he is not happy with the decision he is entitled to ask for a full explanation and ask for a mandatory reconsideration and an appeal. If the overpayment is as a result of official error then the DWP have no legal right to ask for any money back. You said that he has been getting DLA for the last 8 years then later on said that it stopped 5 years ago so I am a bit unsure as to what actually has happened with his DLA, but still the same rule above applies. Good luck with it, it may be that he could do with seeing a local adviser face to face for practical assistance with this issue.

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  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,532 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2018
    I would not faff about getting an explanation as they’re largely computer generated and often wholly irrelevant as to why benefit actually stopped. Go straight to mandatory reconsideration and use the form at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/683380/if-you-disagree-with-a-decision-made-by-dwp.PDF.

    Now, at the same time (do NOT delay the MR for this) you need to do a subject access request under the Freedom Information Act (read more at https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/personal-information/) and explicitly say that you’re doing it because of an alleged recoverable overpayment of ESA and SDP in particular.

    The reason you’re doing this is simple. When DLA ends ESA are sent a WAR (Work Available Report). ESA should Act on that immediately and remove SDP. So, you have two potential scenarios. One is that no WAR was generated, in which case you have your “official error” and DWP cannot recover the money. Two is that a WAR was sent but ESA failed to act, in which case you have... well you get the picture.

    You could simply ask the question as part of the MR. State that you believe a WAR ought to have been generated so when was it and why wasn’t it acted upon? However, over the years I have come across numerous cases (and I mean literally hundreds) where DWP swear they have no record of a specific type and only mysteriously find them either when an appeal is reviewed before proceeding or because an SAR was done. They were especially good at losing home-visit reports. We’d go from zero to double figures 

    Your call but this is essentially DWP incompetence at its finest. They’re trying it on. So, over to you...
  • womble6952womble6952 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks for the information regarding ESA & DLA.
    I have visited Disability Stockport with my Stepson and introduced him to an adviser their. We have also written back to ESA regarding a Mandatory Reconsideration. I have also requested i become an appointee on behalf of my stepson, due to his learning difficulties. No one will speak to me unless my stepson is present. We live in different parts of the country, this does not help!
    I have downloaded, Find out how to request your personal information pack and, will read it with great interest! especially the part about the WAR (Work available report) i am trying to find out who made the official error! DWP or ESA for failing to act. 
    I will post any outcome regarding this issue.
    Once again thank you for your valuable help

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