Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th March 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances deductions are made from a claimant's universal credit payment in order to contribute to her Department's administration costs; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 11 March 2019

The Department does not take deductions from a claimant’s Universal Credit award with the sole intent of contributing to the Department’s administrative costs.

For example, where payments of child maintenance are made via the Child Maintenance Service, rather than directly between clients, a 20% collection fee is incurred by the paying parent. This applies to deductions from benefit, including Universal Credit, in the same way as any other collection method.

Similarly, in cases of benefit fraud an administrative penalty can be recovered as a deduction. These penalties are offered as an alternative to prosecution, are not imposed by the Department and can be declined by claimants.

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