HC Deb 21 April 1926 vol 194 cc1198-9

asked the Minister of Labour what was the amount of unemployment benefit paid in error during the last three financial years; what amount has been recovered and by what means such payments are recovered; and whether these over-payments were paid for days in advance of those signed for at the Employment Exchanges or for any other reason?


As the reply is necessarily somewhat long, and includes a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I should mention that I can only give figures for Insurance Years, July to July.

Following is the statement promised:

The amounts of unemployment benefit recorded as paid in error and the amounts recovered during the last three insurance years are as follow:

occasion hardship, it is the practice to waive the power to recover. In other cases recovery is effected by requiring a cash refund or by deduction from future benefit under Section 9 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1923, which provides for a recovery by this means where the claimant cannot show that he received the benefit in good faith and without knowledge that he was not entitled to it. Under this power the full amount of the benefit accruing due was formerly withheld until the overpayment had been recovered. The present practice is, however, to deduct at the rate of two days' benefit in every six. Overpayments of `` indirect benefit"are recovered from the associations; the amounts of such benefit overpaid and recovered are included in the above figures.

Overpayments occurred mainly as a result of erroneous declarations by claimants, and partly as a result of errors of the Ministry's staff. In 1924/25 the figures were approximately as follows: overpayments due to claimants' errors, £37,691; overpayments due to errors of the Ministry's staff, £5,566.