Universal Credit: Overpayments

(asked on 25th January 2021) - View Source

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit overpayments have been raised in the last 12 months; and how many of those payments were caused by a system error.


Answered by
Will Quince Portrait
Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
This question was answered on 28th January 2021

The Department is committed to ensuring that the right people are paid the right amount of Universal Credit. The vast majority of benefit expenditure is paid correctly, with front line staff working hard to prevent overpayments from occurring. We are constantly improving our processes and continue to invest in the use of data and analytics to identify fraud and error.

Where overpayments do occur, the Department has a duty to recover any debt quickly and efficiently. However, we recognise that there will be some claimants who may be experiencing financial difficulty, and anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP Debt Management to review the proposed rate of recovery.

During 2020 there were 290,057 Universal Credit (UC) overpayments recorded on the Department’s Debt Management system. The system does not capture how many of these overpayments were due to ‘system error’. The Department was called upon to process an additional 2.9 million UC claims from people who needed our immediate help as a result of the pandemic and there are currently 5.9 million UC claimants.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Universal Credit: Overpayments

1. Universal Credit and Debt
03/06/2019 - Parliamentary Research

Found: PACK Number CDP-2019-0131, 3 June 2019 Universal Credit and Debt By Steven Kennedy Andrew Mackley

2. Department for Work and Pensions Accounts 2020-21
15/07/2021 - National Audit Office

Found: General Report on Accounts Department for Work & Pensions The National Audit Of˜ce (NAO) scrutinises

3. Departmental Overview: Department for Work & Pensions 2019
15/10/2019 - National Audit Office

Found: DEPARTMENTAL OVERVIEW 2019 DEPARTMENT FOR WORKPENSIONS OCTOBER 2019 Bookmarks and ContentsOverview

4. Bright Blue - written evidence
24/04/2019 - Inquiry: Welfare safety net - Work and Pensions Committee
- View source

Found: Improving Universal Credit, which explored the impact of the unique and key design features of Universal Credit

5. Summary - Universal Credit: getting to first payment
10/07/2020 - National Audit Office

Found: and Auditor General Department for Work & Pensions Universal Credit: getting to ˜rst payment HC 376

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Universal Credit: Overpayments

1. Universal Credit and Debt
05/06/2019 - Westminster Hall

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2: this debate. We have had numerous debates on universal credit, and I have said this before and will say - Speech Link

2. Carer’s Allowance Overpayments
27/11/2018 - Westminster Hall

1: to move,That this House has considered overpayments of carers allowance.I called for the - Speech Link

3. Universal Credit: Delayed Roll-Out
04/02/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: for universal credit and were extending its completion date to 2024. Our planning for universal credit - Speech Link
2: information from colleagues. Where is the Secretary of State? This should have been an oral ministerial - Speech Link

4. ESA Underpayments
19/07/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: (Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will make a statement - Speech Link
2: In 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions identified an error that had resulted in some claimants - Speech Link
3: underpayments were a major error by the Department for Work and Pensions. Dating back to 2011, 70,000 - Speech Link

5. Universal Credit Fraud
10/07/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to make a statement on the universal credit fraud - Speech Link
2: approach to test and learn while rolling out universal credit, we have made several changes to the advances - Speech Link
3: perhaps Ministers, in the Department for Work and Pensions were aware that the scams were happening. - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Universal Credit: Overpayments
1. Universal Credit: Overpayments
asked by: Jonathan Reynolds
28/01/2021
... how many universal credit overpayments have been raised in the last 12 months; and how many of those payments were caused by a system error.

2. Universal Credit: Overpayments
asked by: Justin Madders
07/10/2020
... how many universal credit overpayments have been caused by maladministration by her Department between April 2019 and April 2020.

3. Universal Credit: Overpayments
asked by: Drew Hendry
10/02/2021
... what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending time frames for debt recovery of Universal Credit overpayments during the covid-19 outbreak.

4. Universal Credit: Overpayments
asked by: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi
21/07/2021
... what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the support available to those required to repay overpayments of universal credit.

5. Universal Credit: Overpayments
asked by: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi
21/07/2021
... what steps she is taking to prevent (a) universal credit overpayments and (b) the subsequent debt caused by those overpayments.

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