DWP Exposed for £32,000 Underpayment of Disability Benefits

5 Apr 2024 | Edward Taylor
camden road

Table of Contents

Osbornes Law has assisted a vulnerable client to recover underpaid disability benefits totalling over £32,000.

Our client, a disabled young man, suffers from a serious rare blood disorder and significant mental health problems which include hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. He lives with his mother, who is his carer, but herself suffers from advanced cancer.

In July 2022, our client sought assistance from Osbornes Law to challenge a refusal by the DWP of an application made in March 2021 for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) benefit. With the help of Senior Associate Edward Taylor, the decision was challenged by review and then by appeal to the Social Entitlement Tribunal. In the meantime, Mr Taylor conducted investigations of the DWP into our client’s Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) benefit, noting that he had been placed in the “Work Related Activity Group”. It was therefore considered that our client was able to work, which Mr Taylor was troubled by in light of the severity of his conditions which would ordinarily entitle an applicant to be placed in the “Support Group” where higher rates of entitlement exist.

On 10 July 2023, our client’s PIP appeal came before an independent 3-panel Tribunal comprising of a Judge, a doctor, and a layperson. Accepting Mr Taylor’s submissions, it was unanimously determined that our client is entitled to an award of PIP, both in terms of his care and mobility needs. For the care component, our client was awarded the enhanced rate, with the standard rate applicable for mobility. The DWP’s submissions were wholly rejected. As a result, the DWP owed our client in excess of £15,000 since March 2021, which it subsequently paid, with further payments made in respect of his ongoing established entitlement to the benefit.

In terms of ESA, the DWP recently conceded that it ought to have placed our client into the Support Group since 2019, with their failure to do so running contrary to their own records which recognised that basis of entitlement, only to falsely attribute the lower paid “Work Related Activity Group”. In consequence, the DWP owed our client a further sum, on this occasion in excess of £17,000, which it paid to him while ensuring ongoing correct ESA Support Group entitlement.

Edward Taylor comments:

“This case exposes two instances of inexcusable conduct by the DWP and paints a picture of the government attempting to avoid paying disabled individuals what they are entitled to. While my client has received help and achieved success, he did not have the funds at the times when he needed them, and there will be many other disabled people receiving less than what they should.”

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