Compensation Recovery Unit
Whether deduction is necessary will be determined by the type of benefit that has been paid and the nature of the compensation recovered as part of the personal injury claim. This is set out in Schedule 2 of the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997. Benefits can only be offset against certain specified heads of compensation.
The benefits to be repaid will be set out in a certificate sent by the Compensation Recovery Unit of the Department of Work and Pensions. The sum will not be reduced to take in to account any contributory negligence. Where repayment is necessary the relevant sums will be deducted from the compensation by the Defendant. It is the Defendant’s responsibility to repay the benefits to the Compensation Recovery Unit.
Any deduction can only be made to the extent that the benefits received extinguish the damages recovered for the relevant head of compensation. Where benefits have been received as a result of a personal injury but no compenastion has been claimed relevant to that benefit, no deduction can be made from the compensation, but repayment still has to be made by the Defendant. This will be in addition to the personal injury compensation. Benefits can only be offset or deducted from claims for losses and expenses and never from compensation for pain and suffering.
If it is believed that the sum identified in the Certificate is incorrect, a review can be requested by either party during the claim or an appeal can be lodged at the conclusion, after compensation has been paid.
Repayment of benefits is only required in relation to the compensation received up to the date of settlement or trial. In addition no repayment is required once benefits have been received for a total of 5 years even if the claim has not settled or progressed to trial by this time.
Continued entitlement to benefits may be affected by any personal injury compensation which is received although steps can be taken to protect future benefit payments by entering into a personal injury trust (often referred to as a special needs trust).
At Sintons our personal injury specialists can advise you on issues relating to state benefits and any repayment that must be made as part of your claim. All personal injury claims are pursued on a No Win No Fee basis so you can rest assured that there is no financial risk.
To begin a personal injury compensation claim or obtain further advice with no obligation contact Sintons 24/7.