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5,000 ESA claimants spent their last years struggling on inadequate benefits and died before they could be reimbursed, according to figures released by the DWP last week.

The underpayments came about because the DWP failed to award income-related ESA to many thousands of claimants who were transferred from incapacity benefit to contribution-based ESA from 2011 onwards

According to a document released by the DWP, January 2020: ESA underpayments: Forecast numbers affected, forecast expenditure and progress on checking, 50,000 deceased claimants are having their ESA checked for underpayments.

Of these cases, 44,000 have now been completed, with next of kin experiencing the distress of being contacted in 20,000 cases.

So far, arrears averaging £3,000 have been paid to the estates of 5,000 deceased claimants.

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