To ask Her Majesty's Government how many households had deductions to their Universal Credit award to repay debt due to previous overpayment, including advances, for the most recent month available; and what was the average amount that was deducted.
30 June 2022
The Government recognises the importance of supporting the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt. We seek to balance recovery of debt against not causing hardship for claimants and their families. Processes are in place to ensure deductions are manageable, and customers can contact DWP Debt Management if they are experiencing financial hardship, to discuss a reduction in their rate of repayment or a temporary suspension, depending on their financial circumstances.
Since April 2021, we have reduced the normal maximum rate of deductions in Universal Credit from 40% to 30 % to 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance. These positive measures were put in place to support claimants to manage financial difficulties.
Advances are a claimant’s benefit entitlement paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit payment upfront. They ensure nobody has to wait for a payment in Universal Credit and those who need it are able to receive financial support as soon as possible. Claimants can receive up to 100% of their estimated Universal Credit award if required, resulting in 25 payments over a 24-month period. This is not a debt.
The information requested is provided in the attached spreadsheet.