DWP letter landing on doormats means people need to repay 'between £4,000 and £20k'

The Department for Work and Pensions is sending letters to people who need to repay as much as £2,000. The DWP has demanded people on benefits repay THOUSANDS each as it chases Carer's Allowance overpayments and tries to claw back cash.

135,000 are being targeted in the crackdown from the DWP with the benefits department saying unpaid carers must repay more than £250 million after many were unknowingly overpaid their allowance.

The government is seeking to recover money from more than 134,000 carers. Carers are repaying these huge penalties, in some cases as high as £20,000, as a result of the DWP’s failures and there are 156,000 outstanding carer’s allowance debts, suggesting some carers are paying back more than one overpayment.

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The latest official figures show dozens of these carers are paying back more than £20,000 each, while 11,600 are paying back sums greater than £5,000. Instead of asking carers to pay back the amount that exceeded the threshold, the DWP claws back the whole £81.90 for each week that was in breach.

This means a carer who earned £1 more than the £151 threshold for 52 weeks would typically have to pay back £4,258.80, rather than £52. A DWP spokesperson said: "The total amount of carer's allowance overpayments includes historical debts which the department is seeking to recover.

"In comparison, carer's allowance expenditure is forecast to be £4.2bn this year alone. We are also progressing an enhanced notification strategy as part of our ongoing commitment to customer engagement, which will help ensure customers fulfil their obligations to inform DWP when changes in their circumstances have occurred, building on existing communications."

A DWP research report, written in 2021 but only published this week, said 3 per cent of their sample of claimants had received an overpayment of carer's allowance from them.