The Work and Pensions Committee has today released a critical report on the Department for Work and Pensions' handling of Carer’s Allowance overpayments. The Committee calls on the DWP to completely reassess its approach and consider writing off debts due to its own protracted administrative failures.
Responding to the report Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said:
“Carers who have been impacted by overpayments of Carer’s Allowance - many already struggling financially - are experiencing considerable stress and anxiety, facing debt that could affect their incomes for years to come on top of demanding caring responsibilities.
“The Department must urgently consider writing off overpayments where its administrative failures have allowed them to accrue. They should also assess the impact of their recovery of overpayments to ensure they don’t push people into further financial hardship.
“It’s clear that the current design of Carer’s Allowance places a huge administrative burden on carers and causes a lot of confusion. Carers need a solution to the sharp cliff edge of the earnings threshold that currently means their earning even £1 over the threshold sees a 100% loss of benefit.
“It is the DWP’s job to provide frequent and clear information about the earnings threshold and they must introduce a simpler way for carers to track and report their earnings.”