To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases involving universal credit overpayments have not been pursued on the grounds of hardship.
5 June 2019
In 2018/19, 16,260 successful applications for a reduction in their repayment rate were made by claimants or their representatives.
In 2018/19, 10 overpayments were waived, either in full or in part, as a result of applications made by claimants or their representatives. In the same period, 20 applications were unsuccessful.
The Department has an obligation to ensure that public funds are administered responsibly and to abide by the principles set out in Her Majesty’s Treasury’s guidance on Managing Public Money (which can be found on gov.uk). Waivers are only granted in limited circumstances including where the recovery of an overpayment is causing substantial financial and/or medical hardship and clear supporting evidence of this is provided.
Rather than waiving benefit overpayments, the Department works to support claimants through the recovery of these overpayments.
If a claimant is having difficulty repaying a benefit overpayment, they can request a review of the amount that is being taken. Any adjustment to the rate of repayment will be based on the individual circumstances of the claimant.
*All figures in this response have been sourced from internal management information and were not intended for public release. They should therefore not be compared to any similar figures subsequently released by the Department. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.