Recoverable benefits
Recoverable benefits

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Recoverable benefits
  • The recovery system
  • Like-for-like offsetting
  • What can be offset?
  • Protected heads of loss
  • Relevant period
  • Exempt payments
  • The impact of universal credit
  • Mitigating loss

The recovery system

A claimant will often receive state benefits as a result of their accident, injury or disease. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) operates a system for recovering these benefits from the compensator (either the defendant or, in most cases, the defendant's insurer) via the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU).

The compensator is in turn entitled to recoup certain benefits against three types of loss:

  1. loss of earnings

  2. cost of care

  3. loss of mobility

The purpose behind the scheme is to ensure that an injured claimant is not compensated twice. The compensator, as the party liable for the claimant's injuries, refunds the cost of any benefits paid out to the claimant to the CRU.

The scheme ensures that only certain special damages can be offset and that the injured party's claim for general damages is protected.

Like-for-like offsetting

The compensator is only entitled to offset recoverable benefits on a like-for-like basis as against the three types of loss. The table below sets out which benefits can be offset against each of the three permitted heads of loss: for example, if the claimant has accrued £1,000 in mobility allowance, the compensator may only offset this as against any claim for loss of mobility and not another type of loss.

Where the amount of a particular head of loss is less than