See what's happening in the Community

You are not logged in.   Log In

Meet the team

As well as sharing experiences with our friendly online community, registered members are able to contact our experienced online team. The Centre is staffed during office hours and the online team aim to reply within 24 hours.

Psychologists and experts from other Maggie's Centres and partner organisations also facilitate some group and individual sessions.

Picture of Topic Benefits advice


Topic Benefits advice

Read weekly blogs from benefits advisor Tom. Post questions, share experiences around financial support in the conversations, message Tom privately or book an online ‘live chat’ session.

  • 144 conversations

DWP checks on underpaid ESA

Started by Tombenefits   on 23 April 2018 at 14:11
Edited on 23 April 2018 at 14:20


This post and an a accompanying Benefits Blog - available here - is inspired by a query from a Centre member this morning.

The issue may affect many other Centre members so I have enlarged on my reply to her and posted here and as a blog. Like my questioner, you may be feeling a little concerned by letters appearing out of the blue from the DWP to check entitlement for Income-related ESA.

Might this be a portent of your long settled Contributory ESA running out or a portent and forewarning of the joys of a health re-assessment to come?

Such letters and troublings can and do happen, but not in this case :-)  It is part of yet another checking exercise that the DWP are being forced to undertake by the Courts. 

It' s entirely separate from the one relating to unlawful discrimantion in PIP,  that I had posted about here. But there is a bit of a worrying pattern developing...

This time it's less high falutin' legal issues and more  just a case of the DWP not having done the job thoroughly when moving people over from the old system for benefits when too unwell to work to the new ESA one.

DWP realised the problem back in 2013, but just hoped to quietly get away with doing the job properly from then on, and not checking on those who had lost out until then.

Not so said the Court  they have to do the job properly As a result, some 330,00 people need to have their ESA checked in case they lost out in the past errors. And of them some 80,000 will be due for some back money :-) 

It was only a small amount each week, but over time it mounts up so for some it may run into thousands of pounds. So the DWP letter is almost to ask  "Have you been financially injured in a DWP accident that was not your fault"  :-) ?

So be not alarmed ; these particular letters mean you no harm nor hassle :-) 

It's just a phone check to see if you might have been affected. The outcome will either be no change at all or a pretty sum in backpayments :-)

How pretty that sum, will depend on a further Court ruling to come,  about how far back the DWP have to go in correcting their error and underpayment. 

Getting Government departments to just simply do the right thing, seems harder work these days... But pesky benefits advisers will continue to press them :-) 

So do find out more in the Benefits Blog - available here

And please do post your general queries, comments or concerns by joining this Conversation and posting below.

Or for a private chat to double- check that you are getting all the ESA - or indeed any other benefits to which you are entitled - please message me

But please, don't have ESA nightmares :-)

Best wishes,

Tom :-)

Picture of Tombenefits

    Registered Office: Maggie's, The Stables, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU   Registered Charity Number: SC024414
    The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust is a company limited by guarantee   Company Number: SC162451