Department for Work and Pensions: Maladministration

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department has paid out in response to findings of maladministration in each financial year since 2009-10.

Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people qualified for a payment from her Department following a finding of maladministration in each financial year since 2009-10.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

DWP provides a high quality service to around 20 million people, and of those, less than 1% complain or receive redress for service failing. In instances where issues with payments arise, DWP operates a discretionary special payments scheme, which can provide financial redress if our maladministration has caused a customer hardship or injustice.

The table provides the special payment expenditure from April 2009 to March 2020. Information about payments for maladministration is also contained in DWP’s Annual Report and Accounts. The most recent published report can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896268/dwp-annual-report-and-accounts-2019-2020.pdf

We do not record data in respect of the number of people who have been awarded a special payment by DWP. Instead, we record the number of special payments we have authorised. The number of authorised payments will not necessarily equate to the number of customers because an individual might be awarded redress under different categories (financial loss or a consolatory payment) or receive more than one payment.

Special Payment Expenditure

Reporting Year

Number of payments authorised

Total amount paid*

2009 – 2010

18, 820

£5.3m

2010 – 2011

16, 280

£5.1m

2011 – 2012

12, 527

£3.1m

2012 – 2013

13, 628

£2.3m

2013 – 2014

13,382

£2m

2014 – 2015

9,197

£1.6m

2015 – 2016

6,671

£1.3m

2016 - 2078

7, 447

£1.1m

2017 – 2018

7, 079

£0.86m

2018 – 2019

6, 946**

£1.2m**

2019 - 2020

6, 708***

£0.98m

*The special payment figures exclude financial redress paid for Loss of Statutory Entitlement (LOSE), a special payment which can be made if maladministration has caused a claimant to lose entitlement to statutory benefit payments. LOSE is excluded as it is not an extra cost arising from maladministration, but payment that should have been made anyway.

** The special payment figures reported in the Departmental Report 2018/19 (24,175 payments totalling £2.496m) included 17,345 ex gratia payments totalling £1,674,770 (£1.7m). These were for support for mortgage interest and were paid to claimants whose benefit payments were not converted to a loan by 7 May 2019. There were 6,946 payments made for maladministration, totalling £1,221,070 (£1.2m)

***The figure in respect of the number of payments authorised in 2019/20 was not included in the 2019/20 Departmental Report, as that aspect of the special payment data had yet to be finalised prior to the report’s publication

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