Thursday, 19 June 2014

Government keep around £1 BILLION PER YEAR meant for disabled people

There has finally been national news coverage on the appalling failures of IDS welfare reforms.

We are now informed that a staggering 700,000 sick or disabled people are stuck in sickness benefit limbo waiting a year or more with no ESA decision.

With around 265,000 stuck with no PIP decision, leaving many without disability support they will qualify for and are entitled to.

Now, I could lay out very detailed figures for what those people are likely to be receiving while they wait, (if anything) what they will be likely to be awarded based on past performance and will do at the end of this post.

But the most conservative estimate, assuming all 965,000 people get the lowest awards possible is £15 Million per week. The highest is £26 Million per week. 

That's between £780 Million and £1.35 BILLION per year. 

So let's assume an even £1 Billion? 


Money that people with cancer and Parkinsons and bowel disease and heart failure and cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy and any other condition you can barely imagine are entitled to. Money they desperately need to live in dignity. Money the public want them to have - no-one wants genuine people to suffer. 

And every last penny is the result of the multiple failures of Iain Duncan-Smith, Lord Freud and their hopelessly out of touch teams. 

Yet I'm sure you're barely aware of it. Whilst 30,000 people risk missing out on a nice holiday through passport delays blanket the front covers of our newspapers, a MILLION people denied support they need to live is barely even mentioned.

Remember, these are only estimates for claims that will end up with a POSITIVE decision. Forget the "scroungers and the skivers" politicians are so determined to convince you are the only ones affected.

These are the ordinary people living extremely challenging lives caught up in the monstrous failures of IDS welfare reforms. 

Note : 

At March 2014 712,000 ESA and 266,000 PIP claimants were awaiting assessments and decisions.

We can assume that more than half of the ESA claimants will get an award of ESA based on past figures. Even on the lowest WRAG award, that is 8.75m a week

Early PIP stats suggest that 45% of all PIP claimants get an award first time. This is only likely to increase with appeals as with DLA

So depending on final award PIP claimants are losing between £6.85 Million and £17.5 Million per week. (And they are getting NOTHING all the while they are stuck in assessment though positive awards will be backdated)

Some PIP claims will already receive an award as are transfers of existing claims and this bass been factored in.

*As the equally brilliant @Mr_ceebs pointed out, that is about £50 million in interest payments the DWP should not have received. Enough to keep 1,000 of those stuck in ESA limbo full ESA for a whole year.

**Huge thanks for the facts and figures behind this article to @Ephemerid213 and for the kind permission to reproduce them here. **


  1. Thanks, Sue.

    Could I just clarify - "Some PIP claims will already receive an award (DLA) as they are transfers from existing (DLA) claims...." etc.

    To all reading - I couldn't be accurate with this as the DWPs one and only release on the subject does not specify how many of the PIP new claims are from people with existing DLA awards nor how much they currently get.

    Otherwise, I think my figures are pretty close. Which is very scary.

  2. Regarding backdating, I have now had 3 people approach me regarding DLA to PIP transfers.
    I am told that the legislation states that the new award (PIP) only kicks in after the decision has been made. You receive DLA up until the day before.
    However this means that there is no backdating. So if your award goes up, (eg lower rate to enhanced) you miss out permanently. And the longer the delay, the more money you lose.
    I have already had one person tell me they have lost roughly £900 due to this.

    If however you were a new claimant this wouldn't happen. So long term (if you were confident of your claim and could manage without the money for a bit) you would actually be better off to close your DLA claim and make a new claim as a new PIP claimant. In that case your PIP money would be backdated all the way back to your initial application.

  3. the only problem Spoonydoc is that just even talking to the DWP opens a can of worms and should never be recommended to anyone other then the very fittest as having to be speak and write to the DWP for up to a year could and will make many people more ill then they already are

    if your in receipt of a benefit my advice to anyone is to keep your mouth shut even thou you may be losing some money as opening your mouth to think you may be able to claim more you may very well find you'll end up with nothing and end up having to go to a tribunal 2 years down the line

    which wont be worth it as the stress will have taken it's toll not only on yourself but your entire family

    the bottom line is it's not worth it

    1. I wasn't necessarily recommending anyone do this.
      I was making the point that the government said no one would lose out.
      This is, to put it bluntly, a lie.
      If nothing else in certain cases transfer DLA claimants are losing out by hundreds of pounds in comparision to new PIP claimants.

    2. Well, the lies are nothing new, are they?

      We have been lied to on a massive scale for four years - and it's high time this government were called to account.

    3. a good point and your right

      my ESA is now taxable where under IB is was not so as you say the government have lied and could never be trusted

      to get from DLA to PIP is a mine field and over the next few years most wont make it despite the government figures and what they tell you

      bring back invalidity benefit they were the good old days

    4. Nick - IB is/was taxable, I received a letter every April telling me the taxable amount.

    5. it was only taxable for those claiming after 2001 had you like myself been claiming before 2001 it was not taxable

  4. you have to remember that these assessment are for life till the day you die and all benefit claimants will need to bear this in mind as the DWP will give you more grief then you think and will certainty take many to an early death espically those who live alone

  5. Hi,

    A bit off topic but still concerns benefits, WCA. Not sure if to post this or not but there seems to be little awareness of the latest DWP consultation on WCA

    The following is an e-mail dated 10th June which I received from a representative of Green Party MP Caroline Lucus concerning yet another open consultation regarding the WCA: Open consultation Work Capability Assessment: Year 5 call for evidence. I thought I might pass it on for you and everyone to see should you not be already aware of this. There does in fact seem to be little mention of this consultation. I am sure I am stating the obvious, and that most of you will agree, when I say I consider that the detrimental effects of the WCA on sick and disabled people has been deliberate and the government are simply putting on a facade that they are attempting to rectify this unfair assessment, designed to get as many people off benefits regardless as to whether or not they need them.

    I am not sure if anyone is interested or not as there have been so many consultations yet things remain the same or worse. The government is quite well aware of the misery and suffering this is causing and doesn’t give a dam. I hate to be pessimistic but I don't see much of a change in the foreseeable future and we have a long way to go to put right this grave social injustice, a violation of our human rights.

    I am not a constituent of Caroline Lucus but received an encouraging e-mail when I wrote to her a few years back about my concerns regarding welfare reforms before the welfare bill was passed. She was one of the very few of the many MPs I wrote to who bothered to even reply.

    You are getting this email because you have previously lobbied Caroline about work capability (WCA) and/or employment support assessments (ESA). She has actively been arguing for a fair and humane system and has helped many constituents challenge individual rulings or delays.

    The Government have today published a written statement calling for evidence of people’s experience of the WCA process and ESA Work Related Activity and Support Groups.

    Caroline wanted you to know about it and to encourage you to send in your stories if appropriate – either directly via the Department for Work and Pensions website here: or by sending them to her at this email address ( so she can forward on to the inquiry.

    The information submitted will help the Government decide whether the WCA process is working well and what improvements might be needed.

    The evidence Caroline has gathered from her constituency surgeries and case work indicates that it is not working at all well and that significant changes are required.

    Do let me know if you need any more information, or if you would prefer not to receive occasional emails of this nature in future.
    Best wishes, Cath
    Cath Miller for Caroline Lucas”
    Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion
    House of Commons
    London SW1A 0AA
    Tel: 020 7219 7025

    Frankly I think these failures with waiting times for PIP, ESA are deliberate rather than incompetence. I think the government are perfectly aware of what they are doing, it’s all part of the destruction of the welfare system. The seeming failures of Duncan-Smith, Freud and their cohorts are intentional. I fear for our future, the future of my son and all those who sufferer with illnesses and disability. It feels as though we fight this battle alone, with the exception of a very few MPS Caroline Lucus for one. Other than the bedroom tax Labour offer no hope of putting right the grave social injustice of the welfare reforms that have made lives already blighted by illness and disability even more difficult, driving people to despair, even suicide. Where it all going to end.

    1. Frankly I think these failures with waiting times for PIP, ESA are deliberate

      they are and are pretty obvious as it hopes people will go on to take their own lives also it keeps the press happy with the so called overspend of which it would be impossible to know as all of this type of information is secret

      if you had a honest government then yes you could believe what you were told but you haven't so you will always be none the wiser

      the only thing you will get to know as facts is that more people will die year on year until only the very strongest are left standing as all those just sitting around will be long gone

      as for the general public they will still be unaware they will only get to hear about anything once they themselves fall ill then they'll say if only i knew and it will be to late then as there fate starts to kick in with the grave looming ahead of them

      it is crystal clear to me what the government are doing and that's to destroy as many lives as possible in whatever way they can and i can tell you now as facts there doing a grand job

      only the very strongest will be able to keep fighting the DWP and as we've seen the past years hundreds have died and over the next few years hundreds more will die and it may take up to 20 years for the public at large to fineally get round and understand on what has gone on by that time it will be to late as all those involved in the destruction will have died themselves

  6. Hi, this posting is excellent and very important information which activists across the country could use.
    I am in DPAC in Derbyshire and we are running a strong campaign at the moment to oppose devastating cuts that have been proposed.
    The reason I am posting however is to do with a message that was put up some time ago about the United Nations disability rapportuer visiting the UK and reports being done for his/her attention, our group in Derbyshire and even Derbyshire County Council adult social care department would like to know if we could either contact this person at the UN or does anybody know, including yourself Susan, when this visit is taking place and any possible itinerary, contact details would be excellent. Please could you email me if anybody knows at

    I was at the excellent meeting in Chesterfield on ATOS and the WCA recently where Sue spoke, if anyone wants to know what we are upto at the moment in Derbyshire please look at the Derby Telegraph website where details of our campaign this week are mentioned.

  7. Thanks for another brilliant post, Sue. I work for a CAB and have seen clients (at a clinic I do in a local Foodbank - never thought I'd use that sentence when I started in benefits advice 30 years ago) who've been waiting over a year for a move off of the ESA Assessment rate and are up to £50 per week short of their dues as a result. If only Labour would shut up about cutting benefits for young people and get after the Government on this issue they could turn the whole Social Security debate around.

    1. Sarah that's to easy for ed to contemplate these educated people from Oxford unversties and the likes lack so many world type of human qualities and always have done

      ed is not the future and never could be with his educational back ground. a nice man yes but no leader and for the very simple reason he lacks the basic understandings of how people think so this automatacally rules him out as leader of the country

      what you need as leader is someone who can react with all sorts of people on the doorstep someone who the public will automatically connect with for the very simple reason is that a prime minister in the making will always have a balanced and honest mind so the public will be able to connect and then go on to follow that leader

      sure there'll be a few that wont be happy they'll normally be those with a self centred nature those who have always played a selfish and greedy role in life but for everyone else of a decent nature and disposition thy will end up happy for many reasons

      for one there'll have a government they can trust and for most people not just in the uk but worldwide things at very long last will be looking up


  8. I have a friend who applied for ESA 'over' 1 year ago and still has not been assessed. Their benefit has been stopped as though they had been assessed in the WRAG and the DWP have insisted it is not their fault and to deal directly with ATOS. unfortunately ATOS also do not want to know. Eventually the only way forward was to involve the MP and an assessment has now been booked but no payments are being paid. This system is not working and they know it! People are not receiving anything but the assessment level of ESA and then being kicked off ... Most people are too ill and unaware of the way to argue. It's a disgrace!

  9. Yes indeed a disgrace since 09 I'm in esa support group I receive dla high mobility high care 3rd dla award indefinate told in January by my medics I will never return to work medics cannot understand the treatment of me hell personified at making me live on my own don't trust them it's an abominatition truly it is god knows what is going to happen I just stay on my own I've been totally isolated from society I do hope they bring in euthanasia I'm first in line

    1. will anyone sign my petition re DLA /DWP failures in my case?