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DWP Data Breach Claims

As the UK’s largest public service department, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) handle the personal data of millions of British citizens. Any errors made while storing and processing this data could lead to a data breach, with any victims potentially being able to make a claim for compensation.

The DWP is required to follow the rules and guidelines set out by UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act. Failing to do so for any reason could mean that the DWP is liable for any subsequent damages that are caused.

There are a number of potential causes of a DWP data breach. Whether they are caused by poor security measures on the DWP’s part, or a simple human error, the consequences are always likely to be extremely serious for any innocent victims.

At Hayes Connor, our data breach solicitors understand just how upsetting and stressful it can be to learn that your information has been exposed following a DWP data protection breach. The potential financial damage is equal to the anguish and anxiety you are likely to be feeling after such a difficult experience.

If you have been informed that your information has been compromised in a DWP data breach, or you suspect that this is the case, you may be able to claim compensation. This is something our DWP data breach solicitors will be able to advise you on further.

We have a wealth of combined experience and expertise in supporting individuals and families to claim compensation where the DWP has exposed their data. Depending on the individual circumstances of the case, our team may be able to support you in making a claim for direct financial losses, emotional distress and/or a loss of privacy.

Our specialist team understand how daunting making a DWP data breach claim can appear. We will make sure to provide you with close personal support, taking the time to carefully talk you through your current situation, future options, and what you can expect from the claims process.

Believe that you may be entitled to DWP data breach compensation? Use our simple and secure online claim form to share the details of your situation and we will get back to you shortly to let you know whether we can help.

To speak to a member of our team now about what to do if your data has been exposed, please call us on 0330 041 5134.

Making a DWP data breach claim

Who is eligible to make a DWP data breach claim?

Data breaches are, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. The need for sufficient security measures and adequate staff training has never been greater. Without these in place, organisations such as the DWP put themselves at risk of causing a data breach.

You may be in a position to make a claim for DWP data breach compensation if it can be demonstrated that the data breach could have been avoided. For example, if a cyber-attack could have been prevented with better security procedures, or a DWP employee made a mistake that exposed your personal data.

It should be noted that you do not need to have suffered any direct losses to be eligible to make a claim following a DWP breach of the Data Protection Act. However, your case may be more significant if you have suffered any financial losses, medical harm or anxiety.

How to start a DWP data breach claim

When you first contact a member of our team about your case, we will take the time to carefully assess what has happened and whether you will be in a position to bring forward a claim against the DWP. If you are not certain whether your data has been misused or exposed by the DWP, this is something our team can investigate further on your behalf.

Once it is clear that it will be possible to make a claim for a DWP data protection breach, our team will advise you on the next steps and take care of the whole claim process on your behalf.

We will get in touch with the DWP to gain a clear picture of what happened and how your data was breached. If we ascertain that their security measures were to blame, or any mistakes made can and should have been avoided, we will strive to secure you the compensation you deserve.

If you would like to get the claims process underway, you simply need to fill our secure online claim form to share the details of your situation. Once submitted, our team will get back to you shortly to let you know whether we will be able to help.

To speak to a member of our team about making a DWP data breach claim, you can also call us on 0330 041 5139.

What compensation can you receive for a DWP data breach claim?

Where the DWP has failed in their obligation to keep your data secure, you could be entitled to compensation. This remains true whether or not you have suffered any direct losses.

Direct financial losses, medical harm or anxiety could make a case more significant in some instances, but this will ultimately depend on a variety of factors.

Financial losses

Depending on the type of information which is exposed in a DWP data breach, direct financial losses and/or identity theft are potential outcomes. If any sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, credit could be set up in your name and fraudulent bank accounts could be created. In some cases, unauthorised third parties may also gain access to any existing accounts.


There is no denying that data breaches are incredibly stressful ordeals. Even if you have not directly lost out, the anxiety you experience will be taken into account when it comes to calculating any compensation you are awarded.

The full impact of a DWP data breach is not always immediate

In our experience, the full impact of a DWP data breach is not always immediate. In many cases, it can take months before the issue is recognised and dealt with.

This can a serious issue where your personal data has been accessed by cybercriminals or viewed by any unintended third parties. There have been many previous cases where the effects of a data breach have caused someone to move house or area, lose their job, or experience relationship breakdown. These issues could happen a long time after the breach was first revealed.

Common questions about DWP data breaches

How many times has the DWP had data breaches?

The DWP have been responsible for a number of data breaches in recent years, with one of the most notable cases occurring over a span of two years between 2018 and 2020. This particular case saw the personal details of around 6,000 people left exposed online.

How do I report a DWP data breach?

In most instances, the DWP should contact where a data breach has taken place. However, if you are unhappy with their correspondence, or you have received no contact at all, you can file a report with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO can carry out an independent investigation and act against the DWP if they find that your data has indeed been breached. The ICO cannot help you claim compensation, but their findings can be used to support any future claims you make.

If you have lost any money as a part of the breach, you should tell your bank and report it to Action Fraud so that it is logged as a criminal case.

Once you have filed these reports, you can speak to a member of our team who will then help you to make a claim for DWP data protection compensation.

How do I know if I have been the victim of a DWP data breach?

The DWP are obliged to inform you, any other victims, if a data breach has taken place. However, there are many reasons why this information may not reach you. There have been many examples of data breach victims only learning about an incident after it has been reported to the ICO.

If you have any reason to believe that you are the victim of a DWP data breach (for example, you are receiving many spam emails or cold calls), it may be worth contacting the DWP directly to find out more about the situation.

How long do I have to claim DWP data breach compensation?

Typically, you will have six years to bring forward a DWP data breach claim. This would be counted from the date you first found out about the data breach or would have reasonably been expected to have been aware that it took place. This is usually when the DWP first contacted you to fill you in on the details of the breach.

Start your DWP data breach claim today

At Hayes Connor, we are here to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve for a Department for Work and Pensions data breach.

With a wealth of combined experience and expertise, our team are well positioned to support you with the steps you need to take and what you can expect from the claims process.

There are strict time limits in place for DWP data breach claims, or any other type of government data breach, highlighting the importance of acting now to ensure you do not miss out on your right to make a claim.

You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle claims here. To have your claim assessed for free, you can use our secure online claim form. Or to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0330 041 5137.