It was recently revealed that The Department for Work and Pensions is having to pay back over £1.5bn in overdue sickness benefits after underpaying those who moved onto the Employment and Support Allowance scheme.
A document published recently by the DWP has stated “We estimate that around 180,000 people could be owed arrears payments, with around 105,000 estimated to be repaid during 2018-19 and 75,000 during 2019-20.” The payments are averaging out at returns of £5000-£7000, dating back as far as 2011, previous statements claimed that these paybacks would occur by April 2019.
The original decision was to only pay back those who had been affected in 2014 or later, but the Child Poverty Action Group challenged this, allowing all of those affected to receive the payments which they were due. Frank Fields chair of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee states that the “best estimate is that it owes £970m – but the final bill could be even higher.
A major concern people are facing the uncertainty surrounding these payments. How were these payments missed in the first place? Are the amounts they are set to pay back to people accurate for how much is due? How has it taken so long to discover these mistakes? These and many more questions are being asked, and right now there does not appear to be a great deal of confidence with the answers being produced.
If you have any questions regarding your payments, or want to speak to the DWP directly, they have a freephone customer service contact number 0800 055 6688.
For more information, or to contact us here at Wheelfreedom, please call us on 0800 0258 005, or contact us through our Facebook page, or on Twitter @Wheelfreedom.