The DWP is snatching back an astonishing quarter of a billion pounds from claimants who have been overpaid carer’s allowance, DWP minister Paul Maynard has admitted.  At the same time, a report into carer’s allowance which the department has fought to keep secret for years has finally been published.

Although the DWP is alerted by HMRC when a carer goes over the earnings limit, they ignore more than half of these alerts, leaving carers to run up massive, and entirely avoidable overpayments.

According to Maynard, the DWP is currently recovering £251 million from 134,800 carers.  This averages out at almost £1,900 per claimants, though some owe a great deal more.

68% of all those hit with an overpayment recovery are female.

Elsewhere, the DWP have finally been forced to publish a report, “Experience of claiming and receiving Carer’s Allowance”, that was given to ministers in 2021.  Since then, they have resisted calls from MPs and freedom of information requests asking for the report to be made public.

The report proves that ministers knew about the carer’s allowance overpayment scandal for years but did nothing about it.

Even though only 3% of the people interviewed for the report had been subject to overpayment recovery, much lower than the real level of overpayments, it was clear that many didn’t understand how the overpayment came about or what would happen.  As one respondent said:

“[Our UC] was reduced by £90, and he had to send a message to his journal asking because nobody could explain it over the phone. Then he received a message back saying it was overpayment on the carer's side, so that was quite annoying that we just found out when we were due money.”

Another claimant was completely in the dark, even after being contacted by the DWP:

“I was very stressed about it, asking in theory for money back, but it was case of wait and see if the next letter would come so as I never heard I assume they don’t want it paid back but I don’t know still to this day.”

One claimant was very angry at being treated like a fraudster when they had honestly misunderstood the complex rules around earnings:

“I fought hammer and nail on it. I felt it was a real victimisation. They don't think... It's like you're dealing with a computer not a person. I ended up with a big overpayment, but it totally wasn't my fault. It's like they don't believe you.”

You can download “Experience of claiming and receiving Carer’s Allowance” from this link.

You can read Paul Maynard’s statement on carer’s allowance overpayments here.

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    Dino · 1 months ago
    In 2007 I got divorced and claimed ESA but the DWP reduced my ESA by £35 saying I received carers allowance then after 10 weeks they sent a letter saying I owed £171 as I shouldn't have been receiving CA so I told them I wanted all the money they had deducted from the ESA backdated as well! They refused so I sent them a letter before action stating that I was notified of their mistake in under 3 months of my claim starting and am allowed to claim the back the money they deducted. When I told them I would see them in court if they didn't do what I asked of them they tried to hold out until I sent them an email saying that in 72 hours I will be filing the action with the court  and seeking at least £1500 in compensation, they then worked out that I owed them £15 and they owed me £385 and sent £370 to my bank within 5 days. 
    6 months later they sent me another letter saying I owed £154 so I referred them to my previous actions and told them if they continued I would see them in court without further notice to them. They then claimed this was an oversight and I didn't owe the money as it had being sorted out 6 months earlier.  
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    Pauline · 1 months ago
    My husband is my carer and we got reduced rates when he retired , the DWP got in touch with the council as we have small private pension's  and had some money out to do some adjustments for my husband before Christmas  He is now on oxygen and is really ill we had a letter the end of November to say we owed £8500 for the last 5 yrs we were treated like criminals and fraudsters and told we would be interviewed under caution  they wanted it back as soon as possible it made us do ill they could not have cared less. Beware everone .
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    MrFibro · 1 months ago
    GE  4th July 2024 please vote Tories out of power.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      OneFootInAlready · 1 months ago
      @MrFibro No arguements on that one. However, don't think for one minute Labour will treat us any better. It will be more of the same, or  worse!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Clare · 1 months ago
    Many carers are not paid for their demanding work at all Let alone have money paid to them Which then is then decided to have been over paid They are an under paid over stretched resource They should not be treated in such a manner Many carers have disabilities themselves Being a carer is not usually a choice But is thrust on to the carer Being a carer can and does cause hardship They need to be treated better How is being complicit in helping them to get into dept then deciding to play hard ball once the dept has ballooned helping anyone 

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