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The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU)

Here, we will explain the provisions relating to repayment of any recoverable benefits that you as a Claimant have received as a consequence of the injury that you have sustained as a consequence of the Defendant’s negligence and/ or breach of statutory duty and / or breach of contract.

What is the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU)

When any potential Defendant is notified of a potential claim, as the compensator (the person or organisation who will be responsible for paying your compensation), they must notify the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of your claim.

Once they have been notified, the DWP will then search their records and send a certificate known as a ‘CRU certificate’ to both the compensator and you or your representatives. This certificate will set out any benefits which you have received as a consequence of your accident, injury or disease and in the event that you go on to recover compensation, the compensator will be obliged to repay the DWP the total amount of the benefits set out on the CRU certificate.

In some cases, the compensator will reduce the compensation that is paid directly to you by all or some of the benefit that it has to repay to the DWP.

The amounts that are deducted relate only to your claim for Special Damages and your award of General Damages for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have suffered as a consequence of your injury will be ring-fenced and therefore protected from being taken into account.

The CRU Certificate

This will set out the details of the benefits that the DWP believe the compensator should repay if compensation is recovered. It is important to check that you are in agreement with the information set out on the certificate and you have the right to request a review of the certificate if you are not in agreement with its content.

In addition, in certain circumstances, it is also possible to appeal the certificate after your compensation has been received and we will advise you further regarding this matter in the event that it becomes necessary.

How is the amount that the compensator has to repay to the DWP calculated?

This amount is calculated on the basis of any benefit(s) that you have received as a direct consequence of your accident, injury or disease and is calculated either from the date of your injury, or from the date that you first claimed the benefit(s).

Once your damages are fully paid, or five years has passed since you first claimed the benefit (whichever is earlier), the compensator has discharged their liability to repay any benefits and once the compensator has repaid the DWP, you can continue to receive any non-means tested benefits to which you are entitled without any further repayment being necessary.

How do I know which benefits will be taken into account by the compensator?

Any benefits that were received before the incident and are therefore not being claimed as a consequence of the incident giving rise to the claim will not be taken into account and will not need to be repaid.

If you are receiving any of the following benefits, then the compensator may be obliged to repay the DWP:

  1. Employment & Support Allowance
  2. Disability Working Allowance
  3. Reduced Earnings Allowance
  4. Incapacity Benefit
  5. Invalidity Pension
  6. Severe Disablement Allowance
  7. Sickness Benefit
  8. Income Support
  9. Unemployment Benefit
  10. Jobseeker’s Allowance
  11. Unemployability Supplement
  12. Statutory Sick paid before 6th April 1994
  13. Attendance Allowance
  14. Disability Living Allowance (care component)
  15. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit increase for Constant Attendance Allowance
  16. Exceptionally Severe Disability allowance
  17. Disability Living Allowance (mobility component)
  18. Mobility Allowance
Claim for Care

In the event that your claim includes a claim for the cost of the care that others have provided to you, this head of claim will be reduced by the amount of the benefits set out at 13, 14, 15 & 16 above that you have claimed as a consequence of your injury.

Claim for Mobility

In the event that your claim includes a claim for additional travel expenses that have been incurred as a consequence of your injury, then the compensator will reduce the amount of damages paid by the amount that has been paid to you in respect of the benefits set out at 17 & 18 above.

Any other benefits that you are receiving as a consequence of your injury cannot be deducted.

What do I have to do once my settlement has been received

Once any settlement is received, you must tell the office that pays your benefit as soon as you get your compensation if you receive any of the following benefits:

  1. Income Support
  2. Employment & Support Allowance
  3. Pension Credit
  4. Working Tax Credit
  5. Housing Benefit
  6. Child Tax Credit
  7. Council Tax Benefit
  8. Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  9. Health Benefits

It is important to note that your settlement may affect your entitlement to means tested benefits as your income and capital levels will have changed. In most cases, there are ways to protect your settlement from being taken into account when calculating your benefits and this is dealt with in the separate section dealing with ‘Personal Injury Special Needs Trusts’.

McKeag & Co Solicitors, 1-3 Lansdowne Terrace, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1HN
Tel: 0191 213 1010
24 Hour Emergency Line: 07850 565543 (Crime only)