Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
[N]
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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: 22 May 2019
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit: Overpayments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases involving universal credit overpayments have not been pursued on the grounds of hardship.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 05 June 2019

In 2018/19, 16,260 successful applications for a reduction in their repayment rate were made by claimants or their representatives.

In 2018/19, 10 overpayments were waived, either in full or in part, as a result of applications made by claimants or their representatives. In the same period, 20 applications were unsuccessful.

The Department has an obligation to ensure that public funds are administered responsibly and to abide by the principles set out in Her Majesty’s Treasury’s guidance on Managing Public Money (which can be found on gov.uk). Waivers are only granted in limited circumstances including where the recovery of an overpayment is causing substantial financial and/or medical hardship and clear supporting evidence of this is provided.

Rather than waiving benefit overpayments, the Department works to support claimants through the recovery of these overpayments.

If a claimant is having difficulty repaying a benefit overpayment, they can request a review of the amount that is being taken. Any adjustment to the rate of repayment will be based on the individual circumstances of the claimant.

*All figures in this response have been sourced from internal management information and were not intended for public release. They should therefore not be compared to any similar figures subsequently released by the Department. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Grouped Questions: 257458
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