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This morning (22 May), the Work and Pensions Select Committee has published a response that the Chair of the Committee, Sir Stephen Timms MP, received on 17 May from the Controller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office (NAO) regarding Carer’s Allowance overpayments. Carers UK wrote to the NAO on 26 April to call for them to undertake a second investigation into Carer’s Allowance overpayments, following their initial investigation in 2019. 

Responding to the publication of the letter, Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK said: 

“We are pleased that the NAO has responded positively to the suggestion from Carers UK and the Work and Pensions Select Committee that they will look again at Carer’s Allowance, the Verified Earnings and Pensions alerts service, and overpayment levels for the benefit, further to their initial investigation that they undertook in 2019. We are ready to support that work in any way possible. 

Five years on from the NAO’s original report on this issue, little has changed for thousands of unpaid carers up and down the country who are still receiving overpayments in large numbers and are being allowed to accumulate significant debts as a result. This must urgently change. 

We encourage the NAO to look in detail at the issue of overpayments and ask that they support the recommendations we are making to ensure the Department for Work and Pensions sets out a clear plan preventing these overpayments from occurring in the first place. 

We and the 130 other organisations working together through the Carer Poverty Coalition are calling for a full review and reform of Carer’s Allowance to urgently address the fact that many unpaid carers face vast financial struggles whilst providing vital care to those who are elderly, disabled, or have a long-term health condition. It is simply unacceptable that so many carers are forced to live in poverty as a result of the unpaid care they provide.” 


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