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DWP suspends recovery of benefit overpayments

04 April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the DWP has temporarily paused the recovery of benefit overpayments, for three months.

The change will enable many benefit claimants will see an increase in the amount of money they receive in benefits during the outbreak.

The DWP says that it will also allow it to move a significant number of  staff to front line roles, so it can focus on getting money to those who need support, following a significant increase in claims over the last two weeks.

Deductions for the recovery of Universal Credit and legacy benefit overpayments, Social Fund loans and Tax Credit debts will be paused.

While the majority of deductions will be suspended automatically, those who currently make repayments through a Bank Standing Order, Bank Giro Credit or through online banking, should contact their bank to cancel their arrangement.

The recovery of advances by deduction from Universal Credit payments will continue. 

In addition, the DWP says that:

  •  the recovery of Advances by deduction from Universal Credit payments will continue;
  • Local Authorities will suspend referral of Housing Benefit overpayments;
  • the transfer of Tax Credit debt from HMRC has already been suspended.
  • for those who are not on benefits, it has directed private sector debt collection agencies to stop their activity for Debt Management customers; an
  • it is suspending voluntary debt repayments and recovery by Direct Earnings Attachments.

See Recovery of benefit overpayment suspended available from gov.uk