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DWP response to bank accounts and charges


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just giving a response from the DWP in regards to social security benefits and bank accounts for future reference


Address DWP Finance and Commercial

CD Communications Team

Ground Floor

Quarry House

Quarry Hill




Email: [email protected]

Website www.dwp.gov.uk





Freedom of Information Act – Request for Information

Our Reference: FOI


Further to your request for some clarification in relation to our response on the above Freedom of Information request.


Once a customer’s benefit is paid into their nominated account, it merges with the existing account balance whether this is in credit or overdrawn. If the account is overdrawn the bank is fully within its rights to offset the benefit payment against the overdraft or bank charges.

The customer should be advised to speak to their account provider about their needs in order to come to an arrangement to deal with their debt and safeguard their benefit payments. Banks should consider all cases of financial difficulty sympathetically and positively.


If there is still a problem, customers could consider opening a separate basic bank account or Post Office card account for receipt of their benefit payments. These accounts allow benefits to be paid in and withdrawn but do not have overdraft facilities. There is no reason why customers cannot have such an account alongside their existing account.


Section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992


Customers experiencing problems with bank charges or overdrafts may quote Section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 which they believe protects their benefit money from bank charges etc.


This is not the case. The purpose of Section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 is essentially to prevent vulnerable claimants from giving up or putting their benefit payments at risk by assigning it over to a third party in settlement of a debt. It also ensures that benefit does not automatically pass to a debtor (for example to a trustee in cases of bankruptcy) by making it clear beyond doubt that the Secretary of State's obligation to make payment of benefit is only towards the beneficiary and that a trustee could have no interest in any entitlement of a debtor to receive social security benefits.


A payment into a customer’s account is still a payment to the customer even if the bank offsets that money against an overdrawn account so S187 does not apply. Also, a bank is entitled to apply charges to an overdrawn account and, again, there is nothing in S187 which can be called upon to prevent that practice in the case of our customers. Such charges imposed by banks would be outside the scope of Social Security legislation.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.


Yours sincerely,

CD Communications

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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