To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants are re-paying benefit overpayments; what the (a) mean and (b) median value is of those overpayments; and what the average period is for those benefit payments to be recovered in the most recent period for which figures are available.
The Department has a duty to protect public funds and has an obligation to ensure that in accordance with social security legislation, any overpayment of benefit resulting from a claimants error or fraud is recovered.
There were 40,521 Universal Credit claimants who had a deduction from their Universal Credit as a recovery against a benefit overpayment (which related to their legacy benefits) within the last 31 days (in January 2018 the Universal Credit caseload was 730,000).
The mean value of the outstanding balances is £1,082.50 and the median figure is £332.55.
The information to provide the average recovery period will often fluctuate over time dependent on a claimant’s particular circumstances.