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Universal Credit

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 120178, tabled on 24 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people whose universal credit payments have incurred errors in (a) Wales, (b) England and (c) the UK, in each year since 2015.

Answered on

30 November 2020

The Department is committed to ensuring we are paying the right people the right amount of Universal Credit.

We published our annual ‘Fraud and error in the benefit system: financial year 2019 to 2020 estimates’ report in May 2020, and this includes information and data across benefit types, including Universal Credit. It can be accessed online using the following link:

Data for previous financial years is also available; however, changes in recording methodology mean that comparisons cannot be made with years prior to 2018/19.

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.

Once rolled out, DWP expects the high-level design of Universal Credit to lead to around £1bn in benefit savings each year from reduced fraud and error.

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