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DWP told client to claim ESA instead of UC! Backdating refused.

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Disability Law Service, London

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Joined: 10 July 2017


Just spoken with a client who finished at Uni in June 2020 and rang ESA who told her to claim ESA (she was on ESA (IR) before Uni).  She did (she can’t remember how) and even completed an ESA50.  Two months later she chased up her ESA claim and was told by telephone that she hadn’t paid enough NI conts so she needed to claim UC.

So, there is a gap of June to Sept becuase she followed the incorrect advice of DWP.  No PIP or DLA so no SDP.

Is financial redress the only option as UC Regs state just one month backdating? Her case is going to appeal.  She has mental health difficulties.


Elliot Kent
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There is no way to backdate UC by more than a month. The circumstances described don’t provide a basis for backdating although it may or may not be possible to argue for backdating on one of the statutory grounds.

So yes, if she wants to pursue it, it would need to be a complaint/request for special payment.