An investigation into DWP’s handling of migration to Employment and Support Allowance

Our decision

3. We find that DWP’s failure to act in line with its and our relevant guidance was maladministration, and that maladministration caused Ms U an unremedied injustice. We therefore uphold the complaint. We recommend that DWP:

  • write to Ms U to apologise for the impact of the failings on her
  • make a payment of £7,500 to compensate her for that impact
  • apply an appropriate rate of interest to the benefit arrears payment of £19,832.55.

4. As well, we recommend that DWP:

  • says what action it will take and when to remedy all those adversely affected by the migration to ESA who were not included in its Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practices (LEAP) exercise
  • reconsiders its decision to rule out compensating people included in the LEAP exercise in a way consistent with its own and our relevant guidance, including that it should provide remedies to others who have suffered injustice or hardship as a result of the same maladministration or poor service, where appropriate
  • reports to the Work and Pensions Select Committee (copied to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs and Public Accounts Select Committees) on its progress and what decisions it makes about how to remedy its failings.

5. We also acknowledge that the matters complained of were distressing for Ms U and express our sympathy.