Benefit Debt collection suspended #coronavirus #COVID19

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

Many claimants will see an increase in the amount of money they receive in benefits.

Deductions for the recovery of Universal Credit and legacy benefit overpayments, Social Fund loans and Tax Credit debts will be paused. The majority of deductions will be suspended automatically, The recovery of advances by deduction from Universal Credit payments will continue.

10,000 existing DWP staff are being moved to front line roles and the department has announced it is recruiting more. This follows a significant increase in benefit claims over the last two weeks.

In summary

  • 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.
  • DWP are stopping debt recovery activity as soon as possible. This includes all benefit-related overpayments, Social Fund loans and Tax Credit debts. Many activities will cease immediately.
  • For citizens who are not on benefits, DWP have directed private sector debt collection agencies to stop their activity for Debt Management customers.
  • DWP are also suspending voluntary debt repayments and recovery by Direct Earnings Attachments.

PAYadvice 8/4/2020

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