HC Deb 01 July 1996 vol 280 c325W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many recoverability determinations of overpayment have been made by adjudication officers under section 71 of the Social Security Admissions Act 1992 and equivalent previous provisions in each year since 1988; what amounts of such overpayments were recovered in cash terms and at constant prices, in each year since 1988 for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the annual recovery of overpayments which would be achieved under the provisions of the Social Security (Overpayments) Bill. [34784]

Mr. Heald

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows.

The Benefit Agency's 1996–97 target for recovering benefit overpayments is £91.5 million. In addition, £43.5 million is expected to be recovered under the agency's security and control programme, although the full amount will not be recovered during 1996–97.

The provisions of the Social Security (Overpayments) Bill 1996 would not increase the amount of overpaid benefit recovered. It has been introduced following a decision by a social security commissioner on overpayment recovery. The Bill reinstates the long standing policy and practice of correcting benefit in payment immediately an overpayment is discovered and allowing a decision on the overpayment to be made at a later date.

Amount recovered2
Year Number of recoverable determination1 £ million cash prices £ million 1996–97 prices
1991–92 87,337 24.3 27.99
1992–93 256,078 43.5 48.15
1993–94 405,984 79.6 85.62
1994–95 590,218 116.0 122.47
1995–96 546,861 122.1 125.46
1 The number of determinations includes recoveries under sections 71 and 74 of the Act. Although separate records are not held for section 71, they would constitute the bulk of recoverable overpayments.
2 Includes a small amount arising from recovery of "official error" overpayments which cannot be disagregated as separate records are not held.

Records of overpayment recovery are not held prior to 1991–92.