Universal Credit:Written question - 5466

(Glasgow South West)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 January 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the value of universal credit deductions made to repay administrative errors in the latest period for which figures are available.
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 23 January 2020

As a Department, we understand the impact that debt can have on the wellbeing of claimants and we endeavour to ensure that the recovery of any overpayment is managed in a way that takes account of the claimant’s individual circumstances. Where a person says they cannot afford the proposed rate of recovery, a reduction in their rate of repayment may be agreed.

Section 105 of The Welfare Reform Act 2012 amended the Social Security Act 1992, such that for Universal Credit, New Style JSA and New Style ESA, any payment in excess of the entitlement is recoverable, regardless of how the overpayment of entitlement occurred. This policy was brought in to reflect the need for a better value for money welfare system and to reinforce the overarching aim that Universal Credit mirrors work.

In 2018/19, working with local authorities, the Department recovered £1.1bn in overpayments. Of this, £19.3m related to Universal Credit overpayments arising as a result of Departmental errors.

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