In some cases, the abuser may choose to continue to have their benefit paid into your account to try to continue to exert control over you, to extend contact with you and continue the abuse. The abuser may claim that no other bank account is available to them. They may try to pressurise you into meeting them in order to hand over the benefit.
It can be difficult to get these unwanted payments into your account stopped because:
- banks cannot stop incoming payments to an account; and
- the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may refuse to discuss the abuser’s claim with you, citing data protection rules.
You may feel that your only option is to close your bank account and open a new one, which is an unfair administrative burden on you.
This problem has been reported to CPAG in relation to payments of universal credit, personal independence payment, and employment and support allowance, but it may be a problem with other benefits too.
We have discussed this issue with the DWP and although the DWP has not offered a wider solution at this stage, it has agreed to resolve individual cases when CPAG reports them.
If unwanted payments of benefit are being made into your bank account in this way, get further advice.
If your adviser is unable to resolve the problem, ask them to contact us at email@example.com and we will help to resolve the issue. For this issue only, we can offer direct help to claimants.
Further help on benefits and tax credits
Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook, a comprehensive guide to benefits and tax credits for claimants and advisers which is available in print or online.
CPAG’s Early Warning System
The Early Warning System gathers information and case studies about how changes to the benefit system are affecting the wellbeing of children, families and the communities and services that support them. This helps us explain the impact on families and work for improvements in the system, to deliver better outcomes for children.
Early Warning System
Further information and advice on domestic abuse
If you are in immediate danger: phone 999
A federation of frontline domestic abuse services, supporting women and children
Women’s Aid (England)
Scotland’s domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline
National domestic abuse helpline
Tel: 0808 2000 247 (Freephone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Online chat: nationaldahelpline.org.uk/Chat-to-us-online
Respect Men’s Advice Line
Help and support for male victims of domestic violence
Help and support for LGBT+ people who have experienced domestic abuse