An exclusive report by the Mirror has revealed that the Department for Work and Pensions are forcing over a quarter of a million ill and disabled people to fill out a 45-page form which forces them to recall minute details from up to seven years ago in order to win back unpaid ESA benefits which are owed to them.
The Mirror’s report shows how difficult the DWP are making it for ill and disabled people to claim back the £970 million which has been kept from them, with the form asking them to state the exact dates of hospital stays and provide details of insurance payouts, mortgage payments and their savings.
Head of Policy at Scope James Taylor told the newspaper: “This feels like the DWP is passing the buck onto disabled people and their families.
“They have already been short-changed by bureaucratic errors in the welfare system that go back nearly a decade.
“The DWP need to make sure that those who have missed out on their full ESA entitlement are paid back promptly with the minimum amount of stress and anxiety.”
A spokesperson from the DWP told the Mirror that claimants only need to fill out the aspects of the 45-page form which are relevant to their circumstances, and noted that any person who needs help completing the form can call the DWP, who can then arrange a home visit to provide assistance.
The spokesperson said: “We want to have all the information we need to make sure everyone gets the money they are owed and anyone can provide this over the phone with our support.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine