An overpayment of benefit happens if we pay you benefit to which you were not entitled.

This can happen if there's been a change in your circumstances which means you're entitled to less benefit than we've paid you, or if new information about your circumstances is identified that reduces entitlement. Landlords can also be overpaid if they're paid benefit after a tenant leaves their property.

Examples of changes that could result in overpayment include:

  • an increase in your income or the income of other adults who live with you
  • an increase in capital
  • someone moving into or out of your home

It's important that you tell us about changes of circumstances straight away.

If you've overpaid housing benefit, we'll write to you to tell you how your entitlement has changed and the date the award has changed from.

Repaying the overpayment

If we're asking you to repay the overpayment, we we'll tell you this in the decision letter we send you and will include advice about how you should pay.

Housing benefit recovery may be by:

  • weekly deductions from any continuing entitlement to benefit. We may deduct up to £11.10 each week from your on-going benefit. If you're working, it may be more than this
  • payment of an invoice, either in person, by telephone or by using our online payment service

If you don't repay your overpayment as arranged, we may take legal action against you or employ a recovery agent to pursue the debt.

Council tax benefit and council tax reduction recovery is through your council tax account. We'll add your overpayment back to your account and you'll be issued with an adjusted demand notice by our revenues team.

Help to repay your overpayment

If you're finding it difficult to repay the money you owe us, contact us as soon as possible on 01423 500600. We may be able to come to an alternative arrangement to help you repay.

We also offer a free, confidential budgeting and debt management service that could help you repay this and other debts. Please contact us for more information.

Also, see financial assistance - help and advice for other support available.

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Page last updated 04/04/2017