My colleague, Jonathan Ashworth MP, the Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary, spoke in Parliament on Thursday 13th January 2021 about the scandal of mistakes which were made by the Department for Work & Pensions when moving people from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Allowance between 2011-2014. These mistakes led to 118,000 people losing out on money which they were entitled to as the Department failed to assess their claims properly.

At the time, the 118,000 people were moved onto Contribution-Based Employment and Support Allowance and their income was not assessed to see if they should have been entitled to extra money, such as the Severe Disability Premium, which they would have received if their claims were dealt with properly. They also missed out on passported benefits such as free prescriptions and eye tests.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has considered this issue because a vulnerable person with significant long-term health needs, recovering from a heart bypass, was forced to endure years of hardship, trying to live on less than 50% of what she was entitled to. The Department for Work & Pensions’ incompetence and failure to provide compensation has been judged as maladministration.

The Ombudsman has asked the Conservative Government to pay compensation to everyone affected by the mistakes made, however, I am disappointed that this will not be done automatically, and individuals will have to make a formal complaint to ask that their case for compensation be considered.

I would be happy to help any of my constituents who have been underpaid Employment and Support Allowance between 2011-2014 to take their complaint to the Department for Work & Pensions. If you think you have been affected, please complete my ‘contact me’ form below and a member of my team will be in touch.

Contact Barbara

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