MILLIONS of people on legacy benefits could get backdated payments worth £720 following a legal case.

Households on Universal Credit were given a £20 a week uplift to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

But nearly two million on legacy benefits did not receive the payments.

This included those on personal independence payments (PIP) and employment support allowance (ESA).

Four legacy benefit claimants, backed by law firm Osborne Law, took their case to the High Court to get the equivalent cash back, arguing their treatment was unfair.

They lost their case in February 2022, with the DWP arguing raising the £20 wasn't as easy for those on legacy benefits because of outdated computer systems.

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But Osborne Law appealed the decision, and a judgement is due to be handed down today.

The law firm is asking judges to rule the government's policy was unlawful in its last nine months, from January 8, 2021.

If the case is successful, the DWP would have several options.

As previously reported by The Sun, one option could be backdated payments for all those impacted.

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That means a payment worth £720 could be made to the nearly two million people on legacy benefits.

This is based on the £20 a week for 36 weeks (nine months).

However, there is no guarantee of a payout following today's decision, and even if the appeal is successful, the DWP might launch its own appeal.

A spokesperson for Osborne Law previously said: "Whilst the claimants in this case are willing to accept that initially in March 2020 there were technical issues that made applying the £20 per week uplift to those on legacy benefits challenging,  we do not accept that this reason justified the ongoing difference in treatment for the duration of the uplift period.

"As further evidence came to light, it became clear that those on legacy benefits were the hardest hit by the pandemic, but no measures were taken by the government to assist them."

The Sun approached the DWP for a comment.

Can I get benefits backdated?

An estimated £13 billion worth of benefits is going unclaimed, according to the latest data.

Nearly three million are missing out on £2.7 billion in council tax support.

Meanwhile, half a million families are missing out on just under £1 billion in child benefit.

But you can get some benefits backdated if you are late to claiming them.

New claims for Universal Credit can be backdated for a maximum of one month.

You can get child benefit and pension credit backdated for up to three months.

But in most cases you will have to provide evidence to show a good reason why you could not make the claim earlier.

This might be because:

  • you have a disability
  • you are unwell
  • the online claims system was down
  • you are making a new claim after breaking up with a partner

You can apply to backdate benefit payments when applying for the benefit, but how you do this will vary.

You should check with the government before processing your application.

You can request your benefits to be backdated by writing to the DWP, HMRC or your local council.

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In other news, we reveal three PIP changes coming this year.

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