esa underpayment. — Scope | Disability forum

esa underpayment.

wullmcg
wullmcg Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi I'm wondering if anyone can help me regarding the esa underpayment.

Comments

  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,376 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wullmcg and welcome to the community.

    Ask your question and someone will try and help you. It may help if you ask in the Ask a benefit advisor section, but please be aware that they are busy at the moment and may take a few days to reply. Other members might have the answer for  you though, depending on the question.

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  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,799 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @wullmcg, and welcome!

    My understanding is that some people have not been paid their full entitlement of ESA, with means-tested benefits being omitted from people's payments. It sounds like ESA are in the process of directly contacting those affected, so if you are one of the people who has been underpaid, they should contact you. You could attempt to contact the DWP if you'd like to know whether you're affected, but I imagine there will be a backlog of callers enquiring about the same issue. Hope this helps! 

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wullmcg I hope you get a result.  Reading from what I know the government have underpaid ESA claiments estimates around £500 million I believe.  So I hope you get a result.  I know I claim ESA and I am in the support group.  So I do not know if I will be effected and get extra.  Mind you would be nice especially this time of year.  All of us.  I am being cynical I suppose the government will find a way to stop the flow of people enquiring and make us all suffer.  I know the words DWP stand for in my eyes Disabled Wont Pay in my experiences dealing with them.  Here to all lets hope and pray.
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  • wullmcg
    wullmcg Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi thanks for reply ...
    My understanding of the situation is that it's income related over contribution related.. I'm not sure the difference tbh. I contacted them and got through to some woman who said I wasn't eligible after 30 seconds or so... I honestly believe she just said that because it was far to quick to check the dates of when the underpayments were. Plus I wasn't on any benefits at certain time. I also checked and when I was with letters I could find it was income related. .. so I would need to check more.. obviously I haven't got all letters or nowhere near. So I'd need to rely on on hoping I find other letters. As I can't see them being honest. 
    Call me cynical but she let out an audible sigh when I was on phone as if it were coming out her pocket.
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,376 Disability Gamechanger
    @wullmcg it is estimated that up to 75,000 claimants were underpaid when moving from incapacity benefit to esa - hence being connected to the income related ESA.

    In the first 11 months since this was first highlighted they have resolved around 1,000 cases. So there is a slight backlog. The DWP are reportedly bringing in extra staff to deal with this and will contact affected claimants as they get to them.

    It is worth remembering that DWP staff are human, and I would imagine since this story broke that they have been inundated with calls and have very little information to go on, so the  odd sigh would not be surprising. I doubt if the staff have even been given any real information, other than trying to stop calls going further and clogging the system even more.

    Of course it is not a satisfactory situation considering all the cuts that have been made and continue to be made making life difficult for those who need the support. And 1000 claims resolved in 11 months is a very poor turnover considering at this rate it would take over 70 years to resolve! But then it is perhaps not surprising the way the government keeps pushing through changes before doing proper assessments of what is involved or how it will affect disabled people.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • wullmcg
    wullmcg Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Yes I completely understand it from their point of view...
    I just thought the complete dismissal of my enquiry in the matter of seconds wasn't correct as it would have been impossible to go over everything in that timescale an could have been handled better. 
    I do know they're under pressure also though. 
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,376 Disability Gamechanger
    @wullmcg I agree that the called could have been handled better. Also if they did identify that you would not have been affected to take a few more seconds to explain why to you. 

    As I don't know what the system they use is like I have no idea how quickly they can identify what benefits you were on historically. If you were moved from incapacity benefit to ESA before the 31st March 2015 then such a quick response would seem suspect.

    To be honest I am a little suspicious of the claim that it was restricted to this period as the problem was identified by the Office of Natioal Statistics and not the DWP, so what changed in 2015/16 to correct the error and does this mean that the DWP was aware of the problem and trying to hide it? Or are they just restricting it to the time frame identified by the ONS?

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • davysaw
    davysaw Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Slightly off subject but I need advice, I'm on esa at the moment and have been told via letter that as of 2nd December 2017 it should go up by £10 a week, but this hasn't happened and I'm scared to call them to get this corrected because 1) my luck isn't good and 2) I struggle speaking to people due to major depression and anxiety and ptsd. I stutter badly when the anxiety kicks in and I'm frightened I'll mess things up, so should I just let it Go?
  • lamarie12
    lamarie12 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    How do you find out if you have been under payed from esa
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,217 Disability Gamechanger
    davysaw said:
    Slightly off subject but I need advice, I'm on esa at the moment and have been told via letter that as of 2nd December 2017 it should go up by £10 a week, but this hasn't happened and I'm scared to call them to get this corrected because 1) my luck isn't good and 2) I struggle speaking to people due to major depression and anxiety and ptsd. I stutter badly when the anxiety kicks in and I'm frightened I'll mess things up, so should I just let it Go?
    It is likely that this is just the £10 Xmas bonus, payable one week only.
    DWP letters are often unclear and many people were confused by their letter about this

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • davysaw
    davysaw Member Posts: 2 Listener
  • Cyclops16
    Cyclops16 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi everyone, first post here.
    I see this is a conversation about ESA underpayments.  
    I had a phone call from the DWP on Friday morning.  The lady was saying my case was under review (I presume to do with underpayments).  She told me I was on contribution based ESA, that would also explain why I got a statutory fine from the NHS for £100 as it said I wasn't entitled to free prescriptions, etc. I didn't know I was in the contributions group as I haven't worked in the last 20 + years due to illness and being Partially Sighted, also cannot read the small print on the back of the prescription form that apparently says only those on Income related ESA can have free prescriptions, the Chemist over the years has just handed over the prescription which was sent electronically from the Doctor's and I haven't had to sign for anything, not even see the back of any prescription as I always get the front bit stapled to the bag of my meds, the Chemist has never asked me what ESA group I am in . I thought ESA was ESA, not groups within groups for specific things . She said (DWP lady) looking at it I should be in the Income related group as I live completely on benefits and have done since 1999, when I was awarded Incap Benefit and then ESA.  She was being very specific in the dates she was asking about from 2013 (that's when I had my last ESA medical, etc. if I remember correctly), she was asking about savings, who was in my house, etc.  This gets me worried as I have never had the DWP phone me up directly and ask questions. Is this to do with any alleged back payments as she was specific with dates 2013-present and said I would get a reply within 12 weeks.  I am confused with all this as I have just recently had my DLA (for life stopped) and had to reapply for PIP and went to one their "medicals" 2 weeks ago. I haven't has so much interaction with the DWP in a long time, but 2 things at the same time (ESA and now PIP) gets me worried.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,743 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,
    Those that transferred from IB to ESA were automatically placed on Contribution based ESA and weren't assessed for the Income related top up. DWP recently admitted to the error and are now in the process of contacting those that it may have affected. This phone call was because of that error and there's nothing to worry about. The reason you were asked about partner and savngs etc is because that's the questions that need to be answered to know if you're eligible for the income related top up.


    As you live alone and you have no other income, depending on the amount of savings if any then you'll be entitled to the Income Related top up. This is an extra £16.40 per week on top of your ESA and it will be backdated to when you transferred to ESA. 

    You also say that you have a DLA award...if you claim mid/high rate care DLA and no one claims carers allowance for you then you should have been claiming Severe disability premium of £64.30 extra on top of your ESA. Once the DWP give you their decision on the income related top up then you can apply for the SDP. If you no longer have the DLA award and you were claiming mid/high rate care DLA sometime during your ESA claim then you should contact ESA and ask to claim SDP for the time you were entitled to it and this will also be backdated to the date you were eligible. Hope this helps but yes, relax there's nothing to worry about. 
  • Cyclops16
    Cyclops16 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    edited September 2018
    Hi Poppy, with the old DLA I only got low rate mobility and low rate care for myself, but that may change with the new PIP medical I had to attend 2 weeks ago, still awaiting the outcome as I haven't had any money (DLA) since April. Apparently there was a time limit from ending DLA to applying to go on PIP that had to be adhered to for continuation of payments until PIP decision made, but I didn't know about it, as I didn't receive that letter, and the first I knew was the PIP application through the door, wanting it back by 19th June, so mine is basically a new claim from when the PIP paperwork went back on 19th June, still awaiting decision.  So, it is a tense time and with the DWP now asking questions it is even more tense.  I don't live alone, I have been a lone parent since November 2003 and with Full custody (Full Parental Responsibility and Residence Orders) since September 2004. My youngest daughter (17) can't claim even though she helps me dress, putting on my socks and my underwear  ( I am her Father), shower and cook, etc. as she is still in full time education at College. She has been registered (local Council) as my Young Carer for a while, from  when my eldest became 18 . My eldest Daughter (20) still lives at home but has her own ESA and PIP from last December, after a full diagnosis in September as she has NEAD (Non Epileptic Attack Disorder), after she left College. Over the years it has been a team effort between us to get things done and we have just muddled through.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,743 Disability Gamechanger
    When DWP re-asses your ESA and they add on the Income related top up it will be backdated to when you transferred to ESA from IB. If your PIP claim is successful and you're awarded the daily living part then you'll be able to claim severe disability premium of £64.30 per week on top of your ESA. Your youngest daughter living with you is still classed as a dependant for as long as you're claiming child benefit for her. Your eldest daughter claims a qualifying benefit so either of those won't go against your SDP claim and you'll be classed as living alone. It will be backdated to the start of your PIP award, of course you do need daily living award for this. Fingers crossed on the PIP decision for you and hopefully DWP won't be too long sorting out the Income related top up. Good luck.
  • Cyclops16
    Cyclops16 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Poppy,  Just a quick update.  I went to the Bank yesterday (Saturday 29th Sept), to draw out my last £40. To my surprise I had an extra £2,600, when I asked about this, the Bank clerk showed me this had come from PIP. I can only presume at the minute that I may have been awarded the enhanced rate PIP for daily living and mobility and it back dated 17 weeks or so.  I can't tell for definite yet, as I haven't received a letter yet, as I presume this is at the printers as I require large print letters, so not the standard generated letter. Hopefully, I will get it this week to look at the breakdown as to the amount , but doing some rough calculations, this £2,600 I received is only explainable by getting both enhanced daily living and mobility rates, nothing else comes close.

    Now I just have to wait for the outcome of my ESA reassessment from Contribution based to Income based, since September 2013 and that should, in theory be done by the 3rd week in November (as that is the full 12 weeks, they allow for checking)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,743 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    That does indeed sound like Enhanced rate for both PIP. It's not unusual for payment to go into the bank before the award letter arrives. As you are classed as living alone (for this purposes of SDP your daughers don't count) providing you still claim child benefit for your youngest daughter, you'll now qualify for the severe disability premium (£64.30) extra per week on your ESA.

    Once they have assessed your claim for the Income Related top up you'll be able to apply for this SDP. You'll need to ring ESA and ask to apply over the phone. You also need to ask for it to be backdated to the start of your PIP award, so not only have you got that nice PIP backdated money, you'll have the SDP backdated and the Enhanced disability premium too.

    All of this backdated money will be disregarded for 52 weeks for all means tested benefits and won't be classed as savings within this time.

    I'm so happy for you, it's great news! Thanks for coming back and letting me know. Celebrate and buy yourself something special, we all deserve a treat every now and then! :D

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