Government apologizes to 118,000 people who accidentally saw benefits cut

The government has apologized to 118,000 disabled and sick people who accidentally saw their benefits cut when they moved to a new system.

Ork and Pensions Minister David Rutley “unreservedly” apologized directly to Ms Yu, a claimant whose benefits were cut after she moved to Employment Support Allowance (ESA), allowing her to heat her home and buy food. was incapable.

According to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman, at least 118,000 people with disabilities and health problems were unfairly deducted payments when they were taken from other benefits to the ESA.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says it has since corrected the error and paid a total of £613 million to those affected.

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Labor Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth (PA)

Labor Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth told the House of Commons the apology was welcome but “it’s no good ministers who are putting fingers in their ears and pretending there’s no big problem here.”

Mr Ashworth cited the report as saying the issue was an “irregular injustice”, which he said was “affecting some of the most vulnerable in society”.

He asked whether the government would give compensation.

Mr Rutley replied: “In these situations, we are generally not compelled to come forward with payment of blanket compensation, but we will consider the views of the report.”

He added: “We will also ask people that if they want to contact us, the DWP, if they feel they should be available for compensation, they can contact the various helplines set up by us.”

Mr Rutley told the Commons that a “formal” amnesty would be extended with additional payments for the 118,000 lost.

“I would like to begin by apologizing to Ms. Yu and the experiences highlighted in the Ombudsman’s report,” he said. “The department will, of course, formally apologize and make additional payments now after the PHSO report is published.”

Mr Rutland also said: “We all make mistakes. This was clearly a big one. And all I can say is that we will learn the lesson. But we also took a very… proactive response when we became aware of the scale of the problem.”

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SNP MP Alan Brown (PA)

SNP MP Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) said: “It is outrageous that it has taken the Ombudsman to determine that compensation has been paid for seven years due to 118,000 claimants. Of course people were forced to live in poverty. Must be compensated for being.”

Mr. Rutland said that the government, Ms. U.

Having made this error, the DWP refused to allow him to complain to the independent case examiner, and failed to tell him of his rights to approach the Ombudsman.Labor MP Clive Efford

The minister was responding to Labor MP Clive Efford, who said: “My constituents suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, arthritis, hypertension and Graves’ disease, and this decision has given them a much shorter survival than they were between May 23, 2012.” left for. , and on 12 August 2017 the amount was £80 per week.

“The DWP, having made this error, refused to allow him to complain to the Independent Case Examiner, and failed to inform him of his rights to approach the Ombudsman.”

The MP for Altham asked whether the government would accept the Ombudsman’s recommendation and pay £7,500 to compensate its constituents, and apply a “reasonable” interest rate to payment of profit arrears in excess of £19,000.

The minister said: “We apologize unconditionally for the situation in which constituent Ms Yu found herself. We will pay compensation and pay those interests as well.”