/ Personal Injury / Compensation Recovery Scheme

The personal injury Compensation Recovery Scheme

If you claimed benefits due to your accident, and then received a compensation payment, the Compensation Recovery Scheme can require the benefit payments to be returned.

The idea behind the Scheme is to make sure that claimants aren’t compensated twice for their injuries.


This guide outlines general topics you should be thinking about if you want to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland. But it is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact a specialist personal solicitor for advice on your specific circumstances.

What is the Compensation Recovery Scheme?

The Compensation Recovery Scheme is run by the Department Of Communities in Northern Ireland. Here’s how it works: say you get paid benefits due to an injury. Then you make a successful claim for personal injury compensation. The Compensation Recovery Scheme can recover the benefits paid to you by deducting them from your compensation payment.

The Compensation Recovery Scheme exists for two reasons:

• to make sure that public money is not used as compensation where someone else is at fault
• to make sure that people who make personal injury claims are not compensated twice

If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, you’ll know how much it can affect your life.

It’s tough – both on you and your family.

Before the accident, you might have been able to meet your household bills each month with money to spare. After the accident, just covering the essentials might be all you can hope to do.

You might not even be able to do that.
It’s no surprise that many people who are injured in accidents turn to the benefits system for help with day to day living expenses.

And it’s the right thing to do. 

After all, that’s what the benefits system is for – helping people when they are struggling.
Injury Compensation For Living Expenses
But if you make a successful personal injury claim (and your solicitor has done their job properly), you’ll get compensated for all the losses you suffered.

So you’ll have received money from both the defendant and the state – your compensation and your benefits.

You’ll have been paid twice.

In those cases, the social security people can take back the benefits they have paid to you. If a deduction is taken from your compensation, you’ll get a statement telling you how it was calculated.

It’s not nice to see deductions being made to your compensation award before you receive it. But in reality, the scheme should have little impact on you.

If your claim has been prepared properly, and you claim for everything you are entitled to, the Compensation Recovery Scheme won’t affect you at all.
The above article is part of our guide on how to make a personal injury claim in Northern Ireland.

If you are thinking about making a personal injury claim, you should get in touch with a Northern Ireland personal injury solicitor who will help you assess the strength of your case.

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to get in touch.

All the best,

The Team @ Lightlaw
Every effort is made to keep this guide up to date. Although it is not to be regarded as legal advice, we strive to make sure the information is helpful, accurate and practical. If you are a Northern Ireland personal injury solicitor and have spotted an inaccuracy, you can submit a suggested change.
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