Guidance

Benefit overpayment recovery: staff guide

A DWP staff guide about how overpayments of benefits are recovered.

Documents

Details

This guide is for DWP staff. It explains how overpayments of benefits administered by DWP are recovered, including advances of benefits and hardship payments.

Why we publish this guide

We publish this guide to help people understand how we make decisions.

Published 8 February 2017
Last updated 1 February 2023 + show all updates
  1. Paragraph 2.19 - It has been clarified when to recover SMOP. Paragraph 5.83 - The Social Fund write-off policy has been clarified. New paragraph 5.113 - If a debtor refuses to pay their debt, then the Department can take enforcement action to recover the debt, including civil action to obtain a CCJ (County Court Judgement).  New paragraphs 6.31 and 6.32 to explain the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space)

  2. Updated Benefit overpayment recovery guide chapter 8.

  3. Benefit overpayment recovery guide updated to version 2.80.

  4. Benefit overpayment recovery guide updated to version 2.70. Replaced chapter 8 following a change to the waiver policy.

  5. Added a section relating to when a claimant is in prison (5.114) and also amended the details about Maximum deduction rates (Appendix 4 – Priority of Deductions from Universal Credit).

  6. Benefit overpayment recovery guide updated to version 2.60.

  7. Added the bullet point 'where the arrears specifically only relate to one or both of the previous two payment periods' to the guide in section 5.50.

  8. Added HTML version of Benefit overpayment recovery guide.

  9. Benefit overpayment recovery guide updated to version 2.50.

  10. Repayments that were temporarily stopped because of coronavirus are starting again.

  11. Benefit overpayment recovery guide updated with explanation that repayments of overpaid benefits have been temporarily stopped because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  12. Added explanation that repayments of overpaid benefits have been temporarily stopped because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  13. Updated 'Benefit overpayment recovery guide' to version 2.40 November 2019.

  14. Numerous revisions made to 'Benefit overpayment recovery guide', version 2.30 December 2018.

  15. Published revised 'Benefit overpayment recovery guide', dated February 2018.

  16. Published revised 'Benefit overpayment recovery guide', dated May 2017.

  17. First published.