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Published On: February 1, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Compensation recovery scheme – CRU certificates

When an insurer is notified of a personal injury claim they are under a legal obligation to register the  claim with the Department of Work and Pension (“DWP”) within 14 days of being notified. The Compensation Recovery Unit (“CRU”) as part of DWP recovers social security benefits in certain compensation cases and NHS costs in certain injury cases.

The CRU works with insurance companies and solicitors to recover:

  • Amounts of social security benefits paid because of an accident, injury or disease, if a compensation payment has been made (the Compensation recovery Scheme
  • Costs incurred by NHS hospital and ambulance trusts for the treatment of injuries from road traffic accidents and personal injury claims (Recovery of NHS Charges).

What is a CRU certificate?

Once the insurers have registered a claim with the DWP, the CRU will check to see if any relevant benefits have been claimed because of the accident and will issue a CRU certificate that will confirm the amount of any such benefits received. Many certificates will show that there are no recoverable benefits to pay. This is known as a nil certificate, and it means that the claimant has not received any relevant benefits because of the accident. Nevertheless, in other cases the certificate will show the amount of the benefits received and the type of benefit. Any relevant benefits received because of an accident are repayable at the successful conclusion of the claim.

Why is my claim for loss of earnings being reduced by the amount of benefits that I have received?

The purpose of a personal injury claim for compensation is to put the claimant back in the position they would have been had it not been for the accident. This means that one is entitled to recover any out-of-pocket expenses such a loss of earnings.

A significant injury will prevent the claimant from returning to work for a long period of time. In extreme circumstances, the claimant may need to give up employment because they are no longer physically capable of carrying it out. Or they may need to take longer time off work, on reduced sick pay, until they fully recover. Anyone who is affected in this way may be entitled to access state benefits.

If the claimant, then recovers compensation for their loss of earnings they would have recovered these losses twice. This is because they would have received state benefits in the absence of wages and then compensation for actual lost wages.

The state benefits received because of an accident can only be offset against certain parts of the claim. These include loss of past earnings, care and assistance.

Settlement of the claim

An up to date CRU certificate should be obtained before a final settlement is reached by the parties. Then, once a settlement is reached, the compensator must notify DWP of the agreement and pay the monies due back to the DWP within 14 days. The remainder of the compensation will be paid to the claimant.

Claimants should also be aware that, if there has been a finding of contributory negligence against them, the full amount of recoverable benefits will still need to be repaid to the DWP, as the DWP does not take contributory negligence into account.

*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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2 thoughts on “Compensation recovery scheme – CRU certificates

  1. hi I’ve only just received my letter which is dated 01/06/2022 and it’s a cru101 certificate which says I owe nil it’s from taking me to derby crown court I got not guilty which the council and dwp still took money (thousands) From me they said well we can still presume your guilty?? I need help please thanks

    1. Dear Susan, thanks for your comment. We are sorry to hear of your current challenges, but we are unable to help on this occasion. Our suggestion is that you speak with your local Citizens Advice Bureau. We are sorry we are not able to assist. Kind Regards, Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

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