Direct Earnings Attachment guide

Date published: 31 July 2019

Due to welfare changes in November 2016, employers may be asked to deduct benefit overpayments and Social Fund loans an employee owes the Department for Communities (DfC). 

This is called a Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Direct Earnings Attachments (DEA)

Due to coronavirus the Department for Communities wrote to employers in April 2020 to ask them to stop benefit debt repayments. If you have not yet stopped these deductions from your employee’s salary, please do so as soon as possible.

The Department will now write to individuals who were previously repaying by deductions from salary giving them the opportunity to contact us to discuss voluntary repayment before we ask employers to restart deductions again.

No further deductions from earnings should be made unless you receive a letter from us asking you to do so.

Please note this has no impact on Direct Earnings Orders (DEO) in respect of deductions for child maintenance.

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