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ESA Backpay For Stephen Smith As DWP Admits Mistake

February 18, 2019

Stephen Smith – the six-stone man who was wrongly denied benefits for years by the government – is to get a substantial amount of cash back after the Department of Work and Pensions admitted it got his case wrong.

Images of Mr Smith wasting away in hospital shocked the nation – and people were even more horrified that he had been denied vital Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and had actually been forced to leave hospital to fight and win a tribunal battle with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

He won that appeal after a tribunal judge saw what should have been glaringly obvious to the DWP – that Stephen can barely walk down the street, let alone hold down a job.

After the ECHO highlighted the story and the shocking images, the DWP apologised for Stephen’s treatment, agreed to reinstate his ESA payments and backpay him everything he was owed.

We can now reveal that Mr Smith has been paid back around £4,000 for the ESA payments he should have received over several years.

And thanks to his benefit adviser Terry Craven, Stephen will be receiving even more vital cash to help him rebuild his life and cope with his various illnesses.

Terry, who works out of the CASA advice centre in Liverpool City Centre, realised that Stephen’s condition was so bad that he should also have been in receipt of what is called a Severe Disability Premium for several years – but was also denied this because of the government’s errors.

The DWP has confirmed this extra payment has now been actioned and the ECHO understands Stephen will receive around an additional £3-4,000 on top of what he has already received.

While this is of course welcome news – this is money Stephen was owed and needed – and as Terry explains, the withholding of it could have led to dire consequences.

With an update on his friend’s health situation, he said: “As far as Steve’s health is concerned, he is improving.

“It is going to be a slow progress. He awaits prostatic surgery.

“This will be done shortly under local anaesthetic. Steve is very grateful for the care he received in the Royal Hospital.

“He realises the hospital saved his life. However, pneumonia is a very dangerous condition to get when a person is in his sixties like Steve. It is important he continues to recover without the stress of the events of the last two months. I just thank God he is not dead.”

Terry said Steven has now moved into a nursing home and while he still needs ongoing care, this is not as intensive as when he was in hospital over Christmas. He has been granted a tenancy in sheltered accommodation but will need to buy new furniture and white goods – so the money is vital.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. MrJeff3 permalink
    February 18, 2019 6:10 am

    oh dear. was also denied this because of the government’s errors. very highly trained hcp whose only goal is to downgrade you hmm dwp very sorry id rather think they aint has following orders is the way rolling along rather nicely aktion t4

  2. angie permalink
    February 18, 2019 12:31 pm

    But the thing is its not a “mistake” is it, a “mistake” implies error in judgement, that it’s unintentional, accidental even, whereas the “tribunal judge saw what should have been glaringly obvious to the DWP”. It was glaringly obvious, the DWP just chose to ignore it and deliberately and intentionally chose to inflict harm, and that’s where the difference lies and thats what they are doing day in day out to so many people. That’s why they are not fit for purpose, their actions are wrongful, and unlawful, what they are doing is criminal and they should be prosecuted, if anyone else deliberately set out to cause the harm they do they would be arrested. Correcting their “errors” because they have been ordered to by a tribunal is all well and good, like they say hindsight is a wonderful thing , but often its too little too late when the harm should not have been inflicted in the first place, its like shutting the barn door after he horse has bolted, damage has already been done , needlessly. Its just spiteful. “Do what ye will, as long as it HARM NONE”

  3. February 18, 2019 2:33 pm

    Like I wrote –


    “mistake” is public sector vermin speak for Hate Crime, Fraud, Torture, Attempted Murder… still NO Police?

    How has he managed to get some blind-eye turning NHS criminal filth to start DOING THEIR JOBS?

    How come the fake news bullshi**ers at The Guardian are now reporting this story?
    The Guardian BLOCKS comments I’ve tried to make. Like –









    Labour MP Paul Flynn dies aged 84 –
    “The MP, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis”

    So why didn’t the do-nothing blind-eye turning Hate Criminal nonce just go and get one of it’s “fit for work” cures from it’s Atos/Capita/Maximus mates?

    Atos-Labour Welsh Government

    Capita-Labour Welsh Government

    Maximus-Labour Welsh Government

    Capita co-founder quits over £1m loan to Labour –


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