Sick and disabled people will be paid £1BILLION of benefits they were denied after a major government mistake.
It had emerged that 70,000 Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants have been shortchanged by up to £20,000 each over six years – find out if you’re affected in the Q+A below .
The Mirror now report Conservative ministers have admitted the total number of people who could be owed money has more than doubled to 180,000. And the estimated back payments bill has exploded from £340million to £970million.
It was initially thought that 70,000 people were affected but the figure could end up being five times that with 300,000 cases still yet to be assessed which could cost the DWP up to £2.2 billion.
Marsha de Cordova, shadow minister for disabled people, said: ”Disabled people have been short-changed and denied the social security they were entitled to.
“This mess is another example of how the Conservatives have created a hostile environment for sick and disabled people.
”The Government must ensure that disabled people who have been so unfairly treated are properly compensated.
“A Government that forces disabled people into debt and even makes some destitute is a disgrace.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “Anyone affected by this historic error will receive all of the money they are entitled to. That is why we have created a dedicated team of over 400 staff to examine cases, and have paid back around £120 million so far.
“We have worked with charities and other disability organisations to make sure that we are providing the right support to all affected claimants and are hiring and allocating more staff to do that.”
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