Universal Credit overpayment in 2022: what it is and what to do

8 December 2022 by Robin - 6 minutes of reading time

universal credit overpayment

What is Universal Credit overpayment? What if it is not my fault or an official error? You may have been paid too much Universal Credit. Then, regardless of whether it was your fault or not, you will have to pay back the overpayment you received. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know.

What is Universal Credit overpayment?

You may receive too much Universal Credit. Then, you experienced Universal Credit overpayment. Furthermore, you could have to pay back extra amounts that you received.

You may be overpaid Universal Credit. Then, you need to notify the office that pays your benefit. Additionally, this is also the case if you experience a change of circumstances. However, reporting these is more easily done on your Universal Credit portal on the Gov.UK website.

Furthermore, you may have received Universal Credit Overpayment. Then, you will likely receive a letter indicating this. However, if you believe that this was due to an error, you could ask for a mandatory reconsideration. You need to do this no later than a month of getting your Universal Credit overpayment letter.

How to report Universal Credit overpayment

Universal Credit overpayment

You may have been paid too much Universal Credit. Then, you could have to pay these amounts back, either by phone or online. To do so online, connect to your Universal Credit portal on the Gov.UK website.

You may want to report changes or overpayment by phone. To call the Universal Credit helpline, call 0800 328 5644. To text them, do so at 0800 328 1344.

You could use the Relay UK service. In fact, this is if you are unable to talk or hear over the phone. Then, call 18001, and call 0800 328 5644. Lastly, to call in Welsh, call 0800 328 1744.

Was I overpaid?

You could have been overpaid. Indeed, the Universal Credit overpayment may not have been your fault. In fact, it could be an official error. Regardless, you will have to pay the money back if the following applies:

  • The office made a mistake processing your payments;
  • When reporting a change in your situation, you gave inaccurate information;
  • You waited too long to report a change in your circumstance;
  • You gave wrong information with your Universal Credit claim.

How can I make Universal Credit repayments?

You could pay all your Universal Credit overpayment in one time. Otherwise, you could set up monthly payments. Moreover, the easiest way to make your repayments is online on the Gov.UK website.

The process to pay back your Universal Credit overpayment is pretty straightforward. However, it depends on a couple of things. More specifically, on the following:

  • Whether you get benefits or not;
  • Whether this is your first time making repayments or not.
You may still receive Universal Credit. Then, until you make the repayments, how much you receive will be reduced. This is until you have paid the correct amount to cover your Universal Credit overpayment.

You may believe that you had to repay too much. Then, notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Debt Management contact centre. If you live in Northern Ireland, notify the Department for Communities Debt Management service.

You may no longer receive Universal Credit. Then, you will receive a letter from the DWP Debt Management office. In fact, they will tell you how you can make Universal Credit overpayment repayments.

What if the person died?

The person who needs to pay back the benefit may have died. Then, DWP can get repayments from the estate of the deceased person. In fact, Universal Credit overpayment may have occurred because the individual:

  • Did not notify DWP that they were in a nursing home or hospital;
  • Has undeclared income;
  • Had more savings than what they notified to DWP.
To get repayments from the estate of the deceased individual, the DWP will first have to be granted a probate in order to collect the information that they require. Then, if you are in charge of this estate, they will notify you once they receive the probate.

If you are in charge of the estate, you will need to provide some information about the estate. In fact this will help DWP determine the exact amount that needs to be paid back.

You may disagree with the amount that needs to be repaid. Then, you can ask DWP to look over the claim again. In fact, this is called mandatory reconsideration.

It could be that you ask for a mandatory reconsideration for the Universal Credit overpayment of the deceased individual. In fact, this is if one of the following applies: 

  • You simply want the claim to be re-examined;
  • You do not agree with what was decided on the claim;
  • In your opinion, DWP made a mistake or missed key information.

Universal Credit overpayments: what if I don’t make repayments?

How to report Universal Credit overpayment

You may have been overpaid, but do not make Universal Credit repayments. Furthermore, you may not have notified the DWP Debt Management contact centre. Then, your debt may be transferred to an independent debt collector. Then, you will receive a letter telling you that this is the case. 

There are a number of debt agencies that your debt could be transferred to. Then, you would need to talk about repaying your debt with them directly. More specifically, they include the following:

  • Shakespeare Martineau;
  • Resolve Call;
  • Past Due Credit;
  • Moorcroft;
  • CCS Collect;
  • BPO Collections;
  • Advantis.

What is Universal Credit?

To receive an overpayment, you first need to get the benefit. Universal Credit is a benefit for those who are on a low income. How much you could receive depends on your situation, like on your income. However, you could get the following, excluding extra payments:

Universal Credit standard allowance rates in 2022
Your personal circumstance Standard allowance rate (per month)
You have a partner, and at least one of you is 25 years or older £509.91 (for the couple)
You have a partner, and you are both younger than 25 years old £403.93 (for the couple)
You are younger than 25 years old and single £257.33
You are 25 years or older and single £324.84
Additionally, Universal Credit could help you cover things such as childcare. Furthermore, if you are having trouble financially, and need your first payments in advance, you can ask for Universal Credit advance payments.

Universal Credit is also replacing a number of benefits. In fact, this concerns income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

This benefit is typically awarded to those who do not work. However, you may work and qualify. Furthermore, when you find work, you may be able to work and continue to receive payments for a while.

Note that if you are eligible for this, you could be eligible for more. For example, you could get Housing Benefit, National Insurance number, and more. In fact, this is likely if you can get this overpaid benefit, and recover this overpayment of benefit. However, make sure not to commit benefit fraud, or your local authority may incur civil penalties on tax credits il send.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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