Overpayments of housing benefit

Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA)

Direct Earnings Attachments (DEAs) are a way in which we can recover debts. They require employers to make deductions from the salary of their employee/s. These deductions are then paid to us in order to clear debt.

Information on Direct Earnings Attachments for housing benefits can be found in this  Employer's Guide (PDF 309KB). This provides advice for employers on what is expected of them should they be asked to implement a Direct Earnings Attachment. Helpful information contained in this guide includes:

  • What is expected from the employer, how to operate a DEA
  • How to work out how much to deduct
  • Details on what payments are counted as earnings
  • Examples of Direct Earnings Attachments

All employers must complete a  DEA payments schedule (Word 373KB) for each employee in question. When completed, it should be returned to us. Information needed includes the amounts that will be deducted from the employee's wages.

If payments are to be made by cheque, then a completed schedule needs to be attached to each cheque payment when sent. However, if payments are to be made by BACS, then a completed payment schedule can be emailed or sent separately.