Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Deductions: Causing Hardship?

Where a deduction (or number of deductions) means the claimant is left without enough money to live on, then they can ask for the deduction to be reduced.
In a parliamentary answer in March 2018 Alok Sharma stated "If a claimant is in financial difficulty as a result of the level of deductions being made they can contact the Department to request that a reduction in deductions be considered. "

The claimant will need to show the DWP that the deduction/s is/are causing them financial hardship.

They will probably be asked to give a financial statement which explains why they can't meet their basic living costs with the current rate of deduction/s in place.
Telephone: 0800 916 0647 
Or write to:
Debt Management (C) 
Mail Handling Site A 
WV98 2DF.

Landlords can also contact the Debt Management Team.

Information on the Debt Management Team and their customer service standard on gov.uk here.
If a representative contacts the Team on behalf of a claimant they will need to provde explicit authoriation to act on their behalf.

Where the deduction is to a third party (eg for council tax arrears or rent arrears) the amount being taken can be reduced (although for rent arrears it appears that this cannot go below an amount equal to 10% of the claimant's standard allowance).

More on Third Party Deductions for rent arrears on this page.

What if the claimant gets the deduction rate reduced ?  Won't other creditors "sneak in" so the total deduction goes back up to 30% and they're no better off?

We don't think this should happen (although we've heard that it has) as the DWP replied to our FOI 2564 to say:

"the UC department should apply a new reduced overall maximum deduction rate in line with any decision to reduce the individual debt".

If they do they can use this standard letter - UCTPD3  - to challenge this.


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