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13 May, 2020 Open access

Department for Communities in Northern Ireland to suspend recovery of benefit overpayments and loans for three months in response to coronavirus outbreak

Suspension 'will go some way to easing the financial difficulty that many find themselves in', says Communities Minister

The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland is to suspend the recovery of benefit overpayments and loans for three months in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Announcing the suspension today, the Department says that overpayment and loan deductions will cease from the following benefits -

The Department also advises that -

'Customers currently making repayments through a Bank Standing Order may wish to contact their bank to cancel their arrangement, however, this will need to be set up again following this pause period. For customers repaying through other means, the Department has already written to employers asking them to stop deductions from salaries and all recoveries by Direct Debit will also be suspended for three months.'

Welcoming the suspension, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said -

'I remain committed to doing everything I can to ensure that those most in need and the most vulnerable receive all the financial help and support they can during this difficult time This suspension of the recovery of benefit overpayments and loans will go some way to easing the financial difficulty that many find themselves in during this period of uncertainty.'

For more information, see Minister suspends recovery of benefit overpayments and loans from ni.gov.uk