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?
A BILLION POUNDS PER YEAR!!!
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.
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. **