Nov 182017
 

Thanks to Nick Dilworth who wrote this template letter

You can follow him @Mylegalforum http://ilegal.org.uk/

 

[Your Address]

 

The Customer Complaints Manager

[Address of your Employment & Support Allowance Office]

*shown on your most recent correspondence from them

 

Date

 

Dear Sir / Madam,

National Insurance No:

Arrears of Employment & Support Allowance which may be owed to me through your official error

My attention has been drawn to some recent media coverage by the BBC entitled ‘Mistakes in benefits claims could cost up to £500m’ (dated the 17th November 2017).  As a result of this I am making an official complaint, I believe I may be affected and entitled to arrears of Employment & Support Allowance.The media coverage states:

“The errors identified by the Department for Work and Pensions affect the main sickness benefit, the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).  The BBC understands that assessors wrongly calculated the income of around 75,000 claimants.  Ministers say that they are aware of the problem and that repayments have begun to be made.  The department, which says it discovered the mistakes last December, is understood to have contacted about 1,000 people so far.  It says it is still trying to understand the scale of the problems with ESA, which is paid to about 2.5 million people, and will contact anyone affected.”

 

Having made some enquiries, I understand that I may be an affected individual because I underwent a ‘conversion’ assessment from older Incapacity Benefits / Income Support paid on the grounds of incapacity for work / Severe Disablement Allowance.  My recollection is that this was subject to a decision made by you on or about the [insert date].

The conversion process should have been carried out in accordance with the Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) (Existing Awards) (No.2) Regulations 2010 and it is my understanding that in confirming your decision you should:

(a) have ensured I was entitled to the correct amount of ‘transitionally protected’ benefit at a rate whereby my converted Employment & Support Allowance award was equal to what I received before conversion and should have continued to be protected on a ‘mark time’ basis until the level of Employment & Support Allowance either caught up with my transitionally protected amount or until the 5th April 2020.

(b) As part of the conversion decision making and notification process you should also have checked any existing contributory award to see if I may qualify for an income based amount on the converted Employment & Support Allowance award as confirmed by the Upper Tribunal in [2015] UKUT 342 (AAC) where it was held [In considering Regulation 8 of Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) (Existing Awards) (No.2) Regulations 2010]:

 

“Given the unified nature of ESA as described in paragraph 25 above, the determination by the Secretary of State of the amount of ESA to which a person would be entitled on conversion under regulation 8(1) in my judgment must encompass consideration of both the contributory amount and the income-related amount.”

 

I am therefore asking you to confirm that neither of the above omissions (a) or (b) occurred as a result of any official error on my claim.  If official error has occurred and I have been underpaid in consequence of that error, please ensure that you pay me any amounts owing to as a matter of urgency and without unacceptable delay.

Please note that this request is an official one which you must treat by way of an anytime review or supersession request.

I must further point out that this request applies to a retrospective decision and therefore applies in cases where there may have been a subsequent successful appeal against any initial decision to refuse or otherwise restrict the Employment & Support Allowance award made.  Likewise, the fact that I have since stopped claiming Employment & Support Allowance or taken up another claim to other benefits does not prevent me from making this request.

So that I can check the accuracy of your records please treat this letter as a Subject Access Request and supply me with copies of my pre – conversion awards and all claim details pertaining to my Employment & Support Allowance claim from the point of conversion of my claim.

Please also consider this as a complaint of potential maladministration on my claim and consider issuing me with an appropriate compensatory or special payment.

On a final point, please make me aware of the effect which this may have upon any other benefits such as Housing and or Council Tax Benefit paid at the point of conversion.

I look forward to hearing from you and trust that you will look in to and act on this request as a matter of urgency.

Yours faithfully

 

 

[Name]

[suffusion-the-author]

[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 20:38

  8 Responses to “Template letter for claimants who may be affected and entitled to arrears of ESA”

  1. Gee can you guys type any smaller as those letter are so huge!

  2. my friend received a phonecall last thursday from the dwp basically informing her she was not getting a pip premium(she doesnt have anyone in receipt of carers allowance for looking after her) for a year as they made an error on her enchaned pip claim….she was told they would back date all the diability premium money they owe her dated back to begining of jan 2017 when her pip goes into her account next…..her pip went in yesterday but she only got her normal monthly amount of £310 so she hasnt got a clue why they phoned her telling her she was due to get a back payment on pip premium when clearly it hasnt happend!….has anyone else received a call simillar?

    • It has happened to me before. This is my 2nd time going to tribunal. I have been 7 months without benefit (took without out warning and well before entitlement end date). I have been assured on 3 seperate calls that I will be backpayed to when my benefit was stopped but I know this is not the case. I have took names, dates & times of when I was assured backpay, but im sure this wont matter and they will fob me off just like last time loosing out on 7 months of benefit.

  3. excellent template do you mind if I post and share on Fightback with credit of course?

    Thanks Nick/Dpac

    Michelle

  4. The DWP have yet to admit the full nature of the error, but sufficient is known to say it relates to claimants who underwent incapacity benefit to Employment & Support Allowance ‘conversion’ assessments from around March 2011 on. It would be helpful if the DWP made an official announcement but my guess is they will be taking a cautious approach in publicly admitting official error. The problem appears to originate out of the DWP’s failure to apply the correct premiums when confirming these conversion awards. Some claimants will have been on contributory awards (Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance) and the DWP should have assessed the ESA to include any premiums such as the Severe Disability Premium and Enhanced Disability Premium, this would have meant some people should have been made aware of a potential income based ESA entitlement. This may have meant claimants also lost out on ‘passported’ benefits such as free prescriptions etc. In other cases the DWP may not have calculated the correct amounts of ‘transitional protection’ by ensuring people did not lose out in receiving a lower amount after conversion when compared to the amount they received beforehand. I’ve worded the letter in sufficiently general terms to allow claimants to use it and register a request for the DWP to double check their awards.

    No one should have to go through a Work Capability Assessment simply because they are asking for their award to be checked.

    In an ideal world, the DWP would assist the process properly by making an official announcement and likewise the government would provide agencies with funds to allow trained advisers to help people through these problems, unfortunately that isn’t the world we live and the best we can do is to work together and try and suggest ways of bringing this to the attention of the DWP on an individual basis rather than waiting for them to contact everyone concerned.

  5. But I still don’t get what the error is. Did they calculate the amount wrong or did they not apply sdp when swapping from IS to ESA?
    How do you even know that you have been affected? I’m wary if contacting DWP just in case it triggers another assessment.

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