Overpayments may be clawed back

Charities are concerned about government plans to reclaim some of
the £730m of disability living allowance benefits overpaid in
the past year.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the overpayments,
amounting to 9.1 per cent of the total DLA benefits issued from
April 2004 to March 2005, were largely due to claimants failing to
report a change in circumstances.

A spokeswoman said the department would seek repayments in some

Disability charities, including Scope, Leonard Cheshire and the
National Centre for Independent Living, said the overpayments
needed to be viewed within the context of findings from the prime
minister’s strategy unit that most disabled people don’t claim all
the benefits they are entitled to.

Nick Danagher, executive director of NCIL, said: “Rather than chase
overpayments, we need to look at the criteria set for reporting a
change in circumstances. It may be that an extension in the period
of entitlement is the answer. I don’t think this is ever going to
be resolved unless we tackle the issue of reporting change.”

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