The BBC has revealed that the DWP have made mistakes in calculating the employment and support allowance (ESA) of around 75,000 claimants. The total bill for putting things right, including extra staff time, could be as much as £500 million.
According to the BBC the errors began as far back as 2011 and involved claimants being forcibly moved from incapacity benefit (IB) to ESA. The errors continued through to the 2014-2015 benefit year.
It is not clear yet what the errors involve, the BBC say only that “assessors wrongly calculated the income of around 75,000 claimants.”
If the figures are correct it would suggest that, on average, the cost of putting things right for each claimant will be over £6,500.
The DWP are not denying the allegations.
They have admitted that they discovered the error last December and have so far contacted 1,000 affected claimants.