**More than 4,500 disabled people wrongly stripped of their benefits, DWP minister admits.
Blunder acknowledged more than one year after a ruling that disability living allowance payments should not have been stopped.**
**_More than 4,500 disabled people were wrongly stripped of their benefits despite having a “good reason” for missing assessments, ministers have admitted.
The department of work and pensions (DWP) has now acknowledged the blunder – more than one year after a ruling that the disability living allowance (DLA) payments should not have been stopped.
“We expect around 4,600 people to gain as a result of this review exercise,” a statement to MPs says.
The admission was slipped out as MPs left Westminster for their Christmas break, as one of a dozen last-day announcements.
The latest mistake comes hard-on-the-heels of the DWP admitting to a £970m of underpayments to people switching to new incapacity benefits between 2011 and 2014.
Today, the same statement acknowledged that only 1,000 people had been paid the arrears they are owed – a fraction of the 180,000 due to receive an average of £5,000.
Asked about the latest blunder, a DWP spokesman said the first payments would be made to some of the 4,600 people who have lost out in the New Year. However, many have not yet been identified.
It is understood that the department will argue it has taken 13 months to implement the ruling – made in November 2017 – because it needed time to put processes in place to find out who was affected.
It hit disabled people transferring from DLA to claim the replacement benefit called personal independent payments (PIP), who had their payments stopped entirely.
“Subsequently, DWP decision makers or tribunals have decided the claimant had a ‘good reason’ for not attending or participating,” admitted Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people.
“The decision states that, in these instances, claimants’ DLA awards should be reinstated, until a final decision on their PIP claim, and back paid, as necessary.
“We accept that the same approach applies where claimants who failed to provide information or evidence were later found to have ‘good reason’ for the failure to comply.”_**
Oh yes … mustn’t forget … a miserable Christmas and a disastrous New Year … from the DWP>