Backdating incapacity benefit
It used to be that when politicians wanted to bury bad news they’d orchestrate its release to time with a distracting event. These words were used to describe Universal Credit but could easily have been levelled at a number of largely unreported changes to the benefit system. The sheer volume of inefficient and unethical changes to social security this Government has enacted means some of it doesn’t even get noticed.
If the claimant corrects this defect (ie, by providing the required information) within one month,9or such longer period as is reasonable, of the date on which the DWP last drew attention to the defect then the claim is treated as if it had been properly made in the first instance.
The rules on claiming ESA are now contained in the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987.1There are some teething problems with the new system; although ESA was launched on 27 October 2008, the computer system is not live across the country and the Decision Makers Guide has not yet been updated with the official guidance on how to apply the claiming rules.
A person must make a claim to be entitled to ESA.2The only exception is where a person has made and is pursuing an appeal against a decision that they do not have limited capability for work:3no new claim is needed in such a case and so ESA should be put back in payment when an appeal is made.
The date on which a claim is made 10is important as, unless it can be backdated, a claimant cannot receive ESA for any period before the date on which the claim is made.
The rules setting the date on which a claim is made are as follows (other than for advance claims): Claims in writing should be sent to an 'appropriate office' (which generally means an office of the DWP).