The Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) is a government department that recovers social security benefits and NHS costs that have been incurred as a result of any accident from which a claim for compensation arises.
The CRU, as part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), works with insurance companies, solicitors and any DWP customers, to recover:
- Amounts of social security benefits paid as a result of an accident, injury or disease, if a compensation payment has been made (the Compensation Recovery Scheme)
- Costs incurred by NHS hospitals and Ambulance Trusts for treatment from injuries from road traffic accidents and personal injury claims (Recovery of NHS Charges).
A personal injury claim for compensation because of an accident or incident must be registered with the CRU with a CRU1 form. The form requires the following information:
- Personal information of the claimant
- Reason for the claim
- Details of accident/incident
- Type of liability
- Information about the defender
- The claimants representative
- Hospital treatment
This must be registered by the compensator.
Following registration of the claim, a CRU Certificate will be issued. A CRU Certificate is a document issued by the Department of Work and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit and shows the amount of recoverable benefit if any, which applies to the accident claim. The certificate will show the amount and type of state benefit received to date. These benefits are often received as a direct result of the injuries sustained in the accident. Any benefits received as a result of an accident are repayable at the successful conclusion of a claim.
How this applies to a claim for Personal Injury
The purpose of a personal injury claim is to put the injured person back in the position they would have been in had it not been for the accident. If someone has suffered from a significant injury which has prevented them from returning to work, they may have claimed benefits. These benefits were therefore paid as a direct result of the accident. If a claimant then recovers compensation for loss of earnings, they are in theory making a “double recovery”. The regulations do not permit this and therefore any benefits received as a result of injuries suffered in the accident need to be repaid. Alternately, if you are getting a social security benefit or have had a lump sum payment for certain dust related diseases it may affect the amount of compensation you receive. The CRU Certificate indicates the amount of any repayment and will show how the amount to be repaid is increasing over time.
Benefits relating to loss of earnings
The person or organisation who pays your compensation can only reduce the compensation you are awarded for loss of past earnings if you have received one of the following benefits to meet the same need:
- Disability Working Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Invalidity Pension
- Invalidity Allowance
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Reduced Earnings Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Sickness Benefit
- Statutory Sick Pay paid before 6 April 1994
- Unemployability Supplement
- Unemployment Benefit
- Universal Credit
Benefits relating to cost of care
The person or organisation that pays your compensation can only reduce the compensation you are awarded for cost of care in the past if you have received one of the following benefits to meet the same need:
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (care component)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit increase for Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (living component)
Benefits relating to loss of mobility
The person or organisation that pays your compensation can only reduce the compensation you are awarded for loss of mobility in the past if you have received one of the following benefits to meet the same need:
- Disability Living Allowance (mobility component)
- Mobility Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (mobility component)
What lump sums count?
The person or organisation that pays your compensation can reduce any part of your compensation award (including damages paid for pain and suffering) if you have had a lump sum payment under the:
- Pneumoconiosis etc, (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 including any extra statutory payments made following the rejection of a claim under the 1979 Act
- 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme
- Retirement Pension: Retirement Pension does not have to be paid back from an award of compensation, but if you get any of the benefits or lump sum shown above after retirement age, they may have to be paid back.
- War Pensions: If you get a pension from the Veterans Agency (previously the War Pensions Agency), this may go down because of the compensation you receive.
The CRU will tell the person or organisation who pays your compensation how much benefit or lump sum if any, they have to pay back to the DWP. The information will be shown on a certificate. Claimants must confirm whether the figures contained on the CRU Certificate are correct and the repayment of the benefits will automatically be dealt with by the compensator at the conclusion of the claim.
If you require assistance in relation to a claim for personal injury, contact us now to speak to a member of our specialist team.