Your debt with us

If you owe us money we expect you to pay it back. This may take time and we'll work with you to come up with a repayment plan where you pay a regular amount you can afford.


The most important thing is not to ignore your debt. If you're having trouble paying it back you need to talk to us about your situation.

Examples of debt

Two of the most common ways to get into debt are:

  • recoverable assistance or benefit advances

    This is money we've paid with the understanding that you will have to pay it back. It's usually for things you really need and can't afford at the time, eg a washing machine, school uniforms or a rent payment.

  • we paid you too much

    This can happen if you didn't tell us:

    • your correct income before we paid you
    • your income increased
    • about a change in circumstances, eg you started work, have a new partner or went overseas.

You can view details of your debt and any repayments you've made online, using MyMSD.

  • What to do if you disagree

    If you disagree that you owe a debt or with how much you owe, you can ask for a review of decision.

    Giving us a call is also a good idea. We can talk about what we've done and see if we've made a mistake. If we have, then we can sort it out without you going through a formal review.

  • Paying back your debt

    If you're not coping

    We know it can sometimes be difficult making repayments while you're on a low income. So if you have trouble keeping up with your repayments please call us as soon as you can.

    We may be able to help by reducing your repayments or providing extra income support for instance; or refer you to someone else who can help.

    Remember your debt won't go away

    We actively collect debts owed to us, and take the time to trace people who owe us money. One of the ways we do this is by comparing records with other Government departments.

    We also have certain legal rights if you don't repay us, for instance we can have money deducted from your wages or bank account.

    Who you can talk to

    If you have any questions about your debt or repayments please call

  • Preventing debts in the future

    Once you've paid off your debts, it's really important you try and stay out of debt. Here are a couple of things you can do to help prevent getting into debt in the future:

    Tell us about any changes

    By telling us straight away about any changes to your personal situation, you can help ensure the right amount of income support is paid to you so you don't end up owing us money.

    Create a budget plan

    A budget plan can help you manage your money better. It means you can be more prepared if you suddenly have an unplanned expense and it means you may not need to borrow money to meet these expenses. Ask your Case Manager for advice to help you get started on a budget plan.

  • Useful contacts

    Inland Revenue Department
    General enquiries: 0800 227 774
    Working for Families Tax Credits: 0800 227 773
    Child Support: 0800 221 221

    General claims: 0800 101 996
    Sensitive claims: 0800 735 566

    Citizens Advice Bureau: 0800 367 222