We are delighted to share the news that the Department for Work and Pensions will now correct underpayments of employment and support allowance for all disabled people affected following CPAG legal action.
Employment and support allowance (ESA) came in as a new benefit for people with disabilities in 2008. From 2011 the coalition government started moving people over from incapacity benefit to ESA. However, many people who were moved onto ‘contributory ESA’ were not assessed for entitlement to ‘income-related ESA’, which is means tested. These people therefore missed out on additional support such as the enhanced and severe disability premium – which helps them manage the additional costs associated with their disability.
When the government started to correct their error, they limited backdated payments to a date in October 2014.
CPAG issued a legal challenge earlier this year against this course of action – the government should have been correcting the underpayments to the date when they began in 2011. And yesterday the government conceded that CPAG was correct. As a result, many thousands of people with disabilities will receive money they should have had all along – money that will help support them and their families.
Our legal challenges ensure low-income children and families get the support they need.