Official Statistics January 2020: ESA underpayments: Foreca

Policy background and introduction

  1. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008 for people who have limited capability to work because they are disabled or ill. From March 2011 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began reassessing people on incapacity benefits (for example, Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance) for eligibility for ESA.

  2. More than 2 million claimants were receiving incapacity benefits before reassessment began and we have now reassessed around 1.5 million people, nearly all of those who required a reassessment.

  3. The department is correcting some past underpayments of ESA, which arose while reassessing incapacity benefit claims.