UC is intended eventually to bring a wide range of benefits into a single system, but its delayed rollout has hampered the DWP s efforts to manage unacceptably high rates of fraud and error, auditors said last year.

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The new figures are the first to indicate overpayment and underpayment figures for the new system, but the DWP said no direct comparisons could be made with JSA as the new benefit is being gradually expanded to include a wider range of claim types.

Since UC is still in trials, expenditure was much lower on the benefit, totalling only £477 million for 2015/16, compared with JSA s £2.4 billion in 2015/16, and as a result the monetary value of overpayments was also lower, at £35 million, compared with £120 million for JSA, the findings reported.


The rate of official error underpayments was 2.3 percent, significantly higher than JSA s 0.7 percent, the DWP said, while the claimant error rate was 0.4 percent, compared with 0.1 percent on JSA.

The National Audit Office NAO said last year that levels of fraud and error in benefit provision were unacceptably high and pointed to the need for better management of data.

The delayed rollout of UC, which is currently undergoing trials in eight UK job centres and relies on an IT system that is still in development, was seen as hindering the DWP s efforts to improve its record on fraud and error.

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