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Overpayments of universal credit

This content applies to England

All payments of universal credit are recoverable and can be taken from ongoing entitlement.

An overpayment of universal credit is an amount which 'may be recovered by the Secretary of State' by virtue of specified legislation.[1] This means any amount paid in excess of entitlement.[2] All overpayments are recoverable, including those arising from official error, although the DWP has the discretion not to recover.[3]

Regulations make provision for recovery by means of deductions from benefits and by means of a 'Direct Earnings Attachment'.[4]

[1] reg 2 Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/384. The legislation specified is s.71ZB(1) Social Security Administration Act 1992.

[2] s.71ZB(1) Social Security Administration Act 1992.

[3] See Para 5.74 - 5.76, Chap 8 and Annex 5, Benefit Overpayment Recovery Guide, DWP, May 2017; LP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (UC) [2018] UKUT 332 (AAC).

[4] Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/384 as amended by Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Amendment Regulations 2015 SI 2015/499.

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