Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Confused with ESA and possible underpayment.

YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
The relevant history is that in mid 2009 I claimed Contributory ESA and was put in the Support Group. This continued for 3 years until reassessment in 2012. A new award was made by the DWP for a short period in 2012 until late April 2013 when I became 65.

In 2012 I was made aware of Guaranteed Pension Credit, made a claim and was subsequently given an award.

For the period 2009 to 2012 I realised some time later that I would have been entitled to both Contributory and Income Based ESA. or Guaranteed Pension Credit as a top up to the contributory ESA. Obviously this was my fault for not making a claim for the means tested element on the original ESA application form (part 2) and/or making an earlier claim for GPC.

So effectively I have lost out for that period (2009 - 2012) of the means tested element/benefit,

I resurrected my old DLA claim in early 2011 (having lost it between 2004 and 2011) and was awarded High Care & Mobilty indefinitely.

The Pension Service refused to backdate the GPC from 2012 to 2009  and the DWP refused to backdate the ESA Income based element from 2012 - 2009.

What options, if any do I have to resurrect that claim?

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Yadnad, 

    As you have already stated you could have claimed a means tested element at the time. When you claim ESA it asks you if you want to claim ESA C, IR or both. If you only tick the C box you can't really blame the DWP for not assessing you for the IR part and there are no backdating rules of benefits for three years. I can't see that you have a case.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Yadnad,

    As Lee says, I'm not sure there is anything you can do. Pension Credit backdating is limited to three months. If you didn't ask for backdating at the time then even the 3 months would be difficult to get now.

    There's a similar problem with ESA. A claim for ESA is a claim for both types, but in this case I can't see what information the DWP had which would have allowed them to look into your entitlement to irESA. If you didn't indicate that you wanted them to consider irESA, then they haven't done anything wrong, as Lee says. 

    The only thing I can think of is whether you feel you could complain about the way things were explained on the ESA form & accompanying literature? If you complain, make it clear what your loss was (how much benefit) and why you weren't able to understand that you might qualify for irESA and needed to fill in that part of the form. It is confusing, but it will depend on what the forms, leaflets etc said at the time.

    For Pension Credit, I think it's harder because it doesn't sound as if there was anything official that you misunderstood. However, if you did have any interactions with an agency which should have told you about PC (any part of DWP, the local authority, an advice agency) then you might want to consider a complaint against whoever you think should have pointed out your PC entitlement to you.

    If that doesn't apply however all I can say is that I'm really sorry - there isn't a statutory duty to make sure people get the benefits they are entitled to if they don't claim, unfortunately.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
Sign in or join us to comment.