Recovery of Overpayments, Tax Credit Debt and Loans
Although there has been no official statement yet, it looks as if DWP have temporarily suspended their recovery of benefit overpayments, tax credits debt, and social fund loans during the coronavirus crisis. This information is given by DWP on its recorded voicemail for debt recovery.
The announcement continues:
“We will no longer start to recover any new debts and will be suspending repayment of any debts already being recovered. This includes deductions for the repayment of benefit overpayments, tax credit debt and social fund loans from all benefits, direct debit plans, and repayments made to employers.
You do not need to speak to an adviser to ask us to do this, we have arranged this on your behalf.
If you currently make repayments through a bank standing order, please contact your bank to cancel your arrangement. If you currently make repayments by bank giro credit, please suspend these payments immediately. If you currently make repayments through online banking, please suspend these payments immediately”.
If you would like to hear the announcement for yourself, call 0800 916 0647, Option 3.
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Carers Allowance during Lockdown.
DWP have made important changes to Carers Allowance during the coronavirus crisis. Please read on for more…
BREAKS IN CARE
Normally, if an unpaid carer has a break in caring, they have to report this to DWP and their Carers Allowance can be stopped. These rules have been relaxed during the coronavirus crisis. Unpaid carers will be able to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance even if they have a temporary break in caring because they (or the person they care for) gets Coronavirus or if they are self-isolating. If there is a break in caring for another reason, that still has to be reported to DWP.
This change means that unpaid carers who temporarily have to stop caring because of coronavirus can still claim and receive Carers Allowance.
TYPE OF CARE
DWP usually require people claiming Carers Allowance to provide at least 35 hours of direct personal care to the person they care for, such as helping with washing, dressing, cooking and cleaning. However, during the coronavirus crisis, DWP will also count emotional support towards the total of 35 hours of care a week. Emotional support is supporting people with their feelings by talking to them.
This change means that carers who have to change the way they care because of coronavirus can still keep claiming Carers Allowance. For example, carers who can’t help with dressing or washing because of self-isolation can keep claiming Carers Allowance if they switch to providing emotional support by phone or in another way.