NAWRA members have identified many former Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants who have been migrated to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and only been awarded contributory ESA. This is because the Department for Work and Pensions have failed to apply the regulations and their own guidance and undertake a financial assessment to check entitlement to any top up of Income Related ESA.
Update 10 Oct 2017: We have received a letter from David Gauke, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He confirms that officials are currently investigating this matter and will be in contact once they have completed this work.
Update 14 Dec 2017: David Gauke made a written statement acknowledging the government’s error.
Update 9 Jan 2018: Esther McVey has been appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in a cabinet reshuffle. We have written to her to follow up this matter.
Update 23 Jan 2018: We have received a reply from Esther McVey.
Update 9 Feb 2018: NAWRA has replied to point out that section 27 of the Social Security Act 1998 does not apply in this situation.
Update 15 May 2018: NAWRA has received a letter from Esther McVey about the DWP limited backdating after the error in migrating people from incapacity benefit to ESA. They are now quoting the decision in CSE/33/2017 – which is available from the rightsnet discussion forum which agreed with applying s27 of the Social Security Act 1998 (the test case rule) (which NAWRA disputes).
Leave to appeal in this decision is being applied for and hopefully the judicial review launched by CPAG will clarify the situation.