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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 120624, tabled on 8 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of benefit claims made when controls were suspended during the covid-19 outbreak have subsequently been reviewed by her Department; and in how many cases was (a) an overpayment identified (b) recovery action initiated.

Answered on

18 February 2022

The Department has taken huge steps to reduce and minimise fraud and error, including during the last 20 months, at a time where the Department processed an additional 3 million new Universal Credit claims.

We have revisited over 900,000 high risk claims paid during the early period of Covid-19 with incorrectness being found in just over 11% of the claims reviewed. Internal records do not enable us to split the overpayments we found between fraud and claimant error.

Any overpayments identified will have been referred to DWP’s Debt Management Team for recovery action. The DWP’s Debt Management IT systems does not allows us to track these particular cases.