Almost 100,000 civil penalties issued in 4 years in respect of overpaid Carers Allowance

Claimants have a responsibility to ensure they are entitled to benefits they claim and to inform the DWP of any changes in their circumstances that could impact their award.

Overpayments occur when an individual receives a payment they are not entitled to. The fines imposed by DWP for overpayments vary depending on the circumstances of the overpayment.

Administrative Penalties may be offered by the fraud investigator as an alternative to a prosecution in certain cases where there has been benefit fraud or attempted benefit fraud.

The table below provides the volume and value of Administrative Penalties accepted due to an overpayment of Carer’s Allowance, by financial year.

Financial YearsVolume of Administrative PenaltiesValue

For cases of claimant error, a £50 Civil Penalty may be imposed by DWP where an individual incurs an overpayment as a result of failing to provide accurate information and have not taken reasonable steps to correct the error.

The table below provides the volume and value of Civil Penalties given due to an overpayment of Carer’s Allowance, by financial year.

Financial YearsVolume of Civil PenaltiesValue

Note that our latest figures show there are approximately 1.4 million people claiming Carer’s Allowance.

The data provided for this response is for the volume of penalties, and it is important to note that individuals can receive more than one penalty.

Data been sourced from internal DWP management information, which is intended only to help the Department to manage its business. It is not intended for publication and has not been subject to the same quality assurance checks applied to our published official statistics. Our analysis has not captured a small but unknown number of penalties that are logged as debts in their own right on the debt MI system. Our understanding is that this approach is rarely used for Carer’s Allowance.

More information about DWP penalties policy can be found here: Penalties policy: in respect of social security fraud and error – GOV.UK (

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