Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA IBR letter has led to some interesting questions..

Good evening everyone. So I would like to say that I received a decision about potential underpayments when I migrated over from IB, and unfortunately I was not entitled to anything. 

After receiving the letter I did some research into my old bank statements to see if at the time I was being assessed there were any reductions in my money. Now the date I was assessed (migrated) was between May 2012 to 2013. Anyway the payments I received were exactly the same amount as I received on IB, now as I understand it, that initial year I migrated from IB to ESA I was entitled to the contribution based amount for the first year. Which is fine.

Now this is where it's starts to get interesting. After that initial year, I was put onto income based ESA. I know this for a fact because last year I requested a letter from the DWP as to proof on my claim. On this letter it clearly states that my income based started May 17, 2013. Weekly amount of £127.50. So when I went to old bank statements, I checked this date with the date of the first payment of my benefit, which was May 30, 2013. It seems that instead of increasing like it should of (contribution based to income based) it actually decreased significantly, even going below the contribution based rate I received in the first year of £110 per week. 

Now this continued from May 2013 to Apr 2016. I've counted as many as 74 payments that I seemingly have been underpaid. The weird thing about this period is also the payments. None of them ever went above £200 fortnightly, and there where periods when they were sometimes £192, sometimes £197 and there's even a few of £181! 

Now I genuinely wouldn't have even checked or looked into this if I hadn't received that initial IBR form. Anyway I rung up the DWP, (which took me 30 minutes to get through) and spoke to a girl concerning this. At first she said she couldn't check if what I was saying was true because she couldn't see my records! Anyway when I told her I'd never come off the benefit she said she'd put a wrong number in on the computer and miraculously brought up my records. 

Now she agreed that what I was saying was right and that there must of been a simple explanation as to why I was underpaid! First of all she said:

The premiums must have come off. Now I'm no benefits expert but why would my premiums have come off? I've never come off the benefit plus at the time I was also claiming DLA higher motobilty and middle rate care. If anything my benefits should have increased with me being moved to income based. Plus even if the premiums had been taken off I would have still gotten the contribution based rate. Also my money suddenly just jumped up to what it should of been after the 3 year period in question.

She also said:

It would of been deductions. Only thing is, the only deduction I had was a social fund loan at the time, which was for £340 which with my basic maths skills doesn't take 3 years to pay back.

Needless to say I've now been left with a lot more questions than answers. The girl took my number and said someone would call me next week. Unless I'm seriously missing something I can't see how I haven't been underpaid. It's so stressful. 

Has anybody else come across this problem? If so what happened?

Thanks for listening anyway, I'll keep everyone who's interested up to date on this thread 😊


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    You can always take all your paper work to a local advice centre, tell them all your past circumstances etc and they will check if you were underpaid or not. This link will tell you what's available in your area. https://advicelocal.uk/

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,997

    Scope community team

    Hello @SC83, this all sounds very confusing. I think Poppy's advice is best, as you'll be able to have someone go through the paperwork with you. Please let us know how you get on with this, it does sounds like something isn't quite right! 
    Senior Community Partner
  • SC83SC83 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    So it turns out that the reason my money reduced was after a year of the contribution based, I was put into the work related group. Now at the time I was just about to go into hospital for major brain surgery. I spoke to the lady on the phone and explained that I can't see how I was in a work related group when I was about to go into hospital. 

    Anyway I've made an appointment to see a case worker at the citizens advice to see if it's worth appealing. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @SC83 and thank you for updating us! I really hope the appointment goes well and that they are able to provide you with some good advice!

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You may have been re-assessed for another work capability assessment at that point and were placed into the WRAG. WRAG has always paid slightly less that support group. The only way to find out is to look back at previous decision letters but unfortunately, you're out of time to do anything about that now.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
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