The DWP has spent over £700 million in the last ten years trying to prevent disabled claimants from being awarded benefits, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.

The disclosure shows the cost to the DWP of mandatory reconsiderations and appeals for a range of benefits between 2012/13 and 2022/23.  They do not include the actual cost of holding appeal hearings, as these are covered by His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.

According to the statistics, the highest spend has been on PIP, with mandatory reconsiderations costing £159 million and appeals costing £193 million.

Over the same period the DWP spent £90 million on ESA mandatory reconsiderations and the same amount on appeals.

The department also invests millions in trying to prevent disabled children from getting benefits, with £36 million spent on DLA mandatory reconsiderations and £45 million on DLA appeals.

Universal credit (UC) figures include all UC appeals, although the majority are against a finding that a claimant does not have limited capability for work-related activity.  They show that £63 million has been spent on mandatory reconsiderations and £26 million on appeals.

Overall, the success rate for social security appeals is currently 62% in favour of claimants.  But this varies considerably by benefit, with PIP currently at 68% whilst ESA has fallen to 50%, down 12% on last year.

The reality then, is that the DWP is wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s cash because of its continuing failure to get decisions right first time.

You can download the full disclosure document in .pdf format.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    678jjjj · 9 months ago
    I got refused PIP and ESA in 2021, and after a year of waiting for Court appeals I won both, 2022 I sent a review form back jun 2023 they sent me a letter my PIP was going down to standard, and they cut me off for £278pm and my health got worst since 2021, now waiting for court again, DWP is just big massa problem with experience employers 
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    Teresa · 10 months ago
    I got a review form about 12 weeks ago after being on esa for year ms heart  condition and I have been under doctors for depression.with everything going on in my life the form seemed the last thing I needed I got help from cab to fill the form out but before I could send it back on time I got reminder letters twice .I phoned them so upset saying I had still got time to do this and why are you pushing me . I come off the phone got in my car and went off to a near by lake I just want to end it . Someone stopped me and doctors and crisis team have been helping me but even after sending there bloody form back now many many weeks ago I still have not heard a thing .how long do they take to review someone the wait is not helping I've heard so many bad cases of losing your benefits and being sent for assessments could someone please tell me how much longer they are going to keep me waiting for a answer 
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    Aw · 10 months ago
    It shouldn't be too difficult to work out how much theyve spent vs "saved" but of course damage to mental and physical health of the "savings" not to mention untimely deaths, will no doubt never factor into their equations...
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      Harry · 10 months ago
      @Aw And they want us to trust them I'd laugh sadly too many disabled people have died;and regrettably more to come,due to their their absolutely heinous policies 
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    anees292 · 10 months ago
    This is another drama of DWP, they can gave 50% of this money to disabled people's and change there life but this is DWP.
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