Deduction From Benefits
If you are on benefits, even when it is your only source of income, you are still expected to meet household expenses. Money can be taken from your benefits to make essential payments or to repay a debt.
Such deductions are intended for those with arrears of essential household costs which you haven’t budgeted; used when there’s no other way to clear the debts without putting the welfare of claimant or their family at risk.
The DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) can deduct money from your benefits and pay it to a creditor or supplier for:
- Council Tax arrears
- Fuel costs arrears
- Rent and service charge arrears
- Gas and Electricity arrears (Fuel Direct Scheme scheme, see below)
- Water bill payment and arrears (Water Direct Scheme scheme, see below)
- Court fines
Payments can be taken from:-
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
This can only be part of a payment plan, with small deductions to taken to catch up with arrears after an affordability assessment has been made.
Where can I get help with Benefits?
Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide guidance and in some cases actual financial support to help people get back on track.
If you have gas or electricity arrears and are struggling to afford the catch-up repayments with your supplier, you might be able to repay through the Fuel Direct Scheme.
It can be more convenient than having a prepayment meter fitted (which your supplier might try to do if you can’t agree on a payment plan) and you won’t risk running out of gas or electricity. Speak to your supplier for more information.
The Water Direct scheme to allow those with arrears to pay a fixed amount towards their charges and arrears from their benefits. This may help many budgeting and managing bills. Speak to your supplier for more information.