Direct Earnings Attachments

We can recover Housing Benefit overpayments by deductions from earnings without applying for a court order. We do this through a Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA).

DEAs allow us to recover these debts from employed people if they:

Information for employers

As an employer, you have a legal obligation to:

If you fail to comply with your duties you could be subject, on conviction, to a fine of up to £1,000.

We will send you a notice asking you to apply a DEA to your employee’s earnings. This will include
all the information you need to set up the DEA. You must tell us if:

You should also let us know if your business stops trading.

You have a duty to write to your employee to tell them:

You must do this (and record it) no later than the payday after the one on which you take the DEA deduction.

Our fact sheet gives more information about:


For payments by BACS (Automated Credit Transfer) or cheque you must send us a DEA payments schedule. You can download it as many times as you need.