Over 118,000 Disabled people denied compensation from DWP after benefits error cut payments

(Article first published 13 January 2022 on Disability Rights UK,)

Over 118,000 Disabled people ”are facing injustice” by the DWP after being denied the right to compensation following its “blunder over benefit payments”, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has said.

The PHSO is calling on the Government to urgently rectify the injustice, something which it is so far refusing to do.

In July 2018 – after an investigation by the National Audit Office, an inquiry led by the Public Accounts Committee and legal action from the Child Poverty Action Group – the DWP finally agreed to pay full arrears of benefit to all those who missed out.

The DWP has since corrected the ESA error and set about paying arrears to those affected. But it still will not allow them to claim compensation for the life-changing impact this error may have had.

Despite its refusal to comply, DWP’s own policy states that people should be offered compensation if they suffer injustice and hardship because of administrative errors.

The Ombudsman urges anyone affected by this issue to contact an advice agency to seek help and support.

The full PHSO report and a case summary are available from https://ombudsman.org.uk/.

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