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State benefits and medical negligence claims

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Often when you’ve suffered medical negligence you’re quite badly injured or have such significant symptoms that you’re not able to work, you’ve notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and they grant you access to benefits.

When pursuing a medical negligence claim, the state benefits you’ve received as a result of your injury/worsened condition are taken into account when your compensation is calculated. The compensation recovery unit (CRU) are paid back for the benefits you’ve received as a result of negligence. This repayment forms part of your settlement amount.

The CRU operates under a number of laws but the fundamental provision is that, if you’ve been injured or suffered an exacerbation of an underlying condition/disease, you should not be compensated twice for that injury. For example, if you have made a claim for care and assistance in your medical negligence claim and you have qualified for attendance allowance, the amount you have been advanced through benefits will be offset against your claim for care. If you already received benefits prior to the negligence and these have not changed then the CRU will not request your benefits are paid back. Further, there is a cut-off date of either when your case is settled and compensation paid or 5 years from the date of the injury, whichever is sooner.

Every single medical negligence claim that settles needs to be registered with the CRU so they can check whether any amount needs to be claimed back from your compensation. This is normally done once the defendant is on notice of your claim – they have 14 days to register it with the CRU. A certificate gets issued and sent to your solicitor, setting out any monies you’ve already received. We we will check this with you and advise which elements of your compensation are affected, and how, in the event you win your claim.

If you or a family member have suffered medical negligence but are concerned about the impact making a claim would have on your state benefits, then we may be able to help. Our leading team of experts are on hand to offer advice, so please get in touch with us on 0161 696 6165 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.