Written Question on Employment and Support Allowance: Arrears

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Employment and Support Allowance: Arrears"
Date Title Questioner
12 Mar 2019, 11:29 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Arrears Neil Coyle


To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many next of kin of the estimated 20,000 deceased disabled people who did not receive their full employment and support allowance entitlement due to errors by her Department have been contacted; how many of those next of kin have received a backpayment; and what the average backpayment has been.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

Due to the complex and sensitive nature of reviewing these cases, we have established an intensive checking process to identify instances where deceased claimants did not receive their full award of ESA entitlement.

It is important we get this right to avoid making undue contact with families and causing further distress, which is why these cases are initially checked against information held on various departmental administrative systems. We continue to review our processes to ensure we are as thorough as possible and have previously announced our aim of reviewing these cases by the end of 2019.

Out of the estimated 20,000 potential cases, we have reviewed 4,700 with 3,100 requiring no further action and next of kin contacted in 1,600 cases.

Of those, 600 were entitled to an average back payment of around £5,000


  • Data was extracted from Department for Work and Pensions Management Information on 25 February 2019
  • Numbers of cases are rounded to the nearest 100.
  • The average payment is rounded to the nearest £1,000.
  • Completing case reviews includes cases identified on DWP administrative systems as not entitled or who have identified themselves as not entitled prior to assessment, and also cases which have been through the full journey to assessment

You may also be interested in: