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MPs investigate DWP recovery of carer overpayments

28 November 2018

The DWP estimates that it overpays £160 million in Carer’s Allowance on an annual basis and is now looking to recover that money.

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This means that many carers could have to repay up to thousands of pounds, or even face more serious action; it has been reported that 1,000 carers could face prosecution and up to 10,000 may face fines.

The Work and Pensions Committee held a one-off evidence session (9.30, 28 November, 2018) with Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers, UK, to explore why the levels of overpayments in Carer’s Allowance are so high, how clear the rules around earnings for carers are, and the impact that repaying overpayments has on carers.

The Committee also wants to hear directly from carers. If you, or someone you know, has been overpaid Carer’s Allowance please tell us about your experience by filling in this online survey

Earlier this year the Committee conducted an inquiry into the support available for people with caring responsibilities to help them get into and stay in work – you can find all the information about that at Support for carers  

The Committee has published a letter received from the Permanent Secretary of the DWP on the overpayment of Carer’s Allowance. It reveals that in 2018 overpayments range from £67 to £48,560.

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Rt Hon Frank Field MP, said:

“It is unfathomable that the DWP could allow someone to accrue close to £50,000 in overpaid Carer’s Allowance. No carer should have to suffer as result of such shocking ineptitude and I believe those overpayments that are the fault of the Government’s own incompetence should be written off with the greatest urgency. I am referring this gross failure of the DWP, to run properly this aspect of its duties, to the National Audit Office to investigate.”

Also published are the Chair’s letter to the Comptroller and Auditor General requesting that the NAO investigate this issue, and a response to the Permanent Secretary.