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4 April, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms it is pausing the recovery of benefit overpayments for three months in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Department says that temporary change will allow it to move a significant number of staff to frontline roles following the increase in benefit claims over the last two weeks

The DWP has confirmed that it is pausing the recovery of benefit overpayments for three months in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Having already added a recorded message to its Debt Management telephone line alerting callers that it would be stopping recovery action for a temporary period, the DWP said last night that 

'In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department for Work and Pensions has temporarily paused the recovery of benefit overpayments, for three months.

The change means many claimants will see an increase in the amount of money they receive in benefits during the outbreak.

It will also allow the department to move a significant number of staff to front line roles, so it can focus on getting money to those who need support, following a significant increase in claims over the last two weeks.'

While the recovery of advance payments of universal credit will continue, the DWP says it will be stopping debt recovery activity 'as soon as possible' in relation to benefit-related overpayments, social fund loans and tax credit debts.

In additon, the DWP confirms that - 

The DWP adds that - 

'The majority of deductions will be suspended automatically, however if you currently make repayments through a Bank Standing Order, Bank Giro Credit or through online banking, please contact your bank to cancel your arrangement.'

For more information, see Recovery of benefit overpayment suspended from gov.uk