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Why do overpayments happen?

If your circumstances have changed, you need to contact us immediately as this may result in a change in your benefits. If you do not notify us straight away, this can result in you receiving too much benefit and creating what we call an overpayment.

If you have received more housing benefit than you are entitled to, you will have to pay it back.

If your Council Tax Support is reduced, your bill is simply adjusted according to your new level of support and any extra charge is payable accordingly.

How can you prevent an overpayment happening?

You must tell us as soon as there are any changes in your circumstances. You can do this before the change happens, so we can then make sure you are getting the right amount of benefit.

Always read the award letters we send out to you. They will inform you about the details we hold and have used to work out your benefit. You should check and ensure the income and capital we have used to assess your claim is correct. If you think we have used the wrong figures, you must contact us straight away.

It is your responsibility to tell us about any changes. If your landlord receives your Housing Benefit money direct, you still need to report the change. Your landlord also has a responsibility to tell us about any changes if he or she is aware of them.

How will you know if you are overpaid?

If you have been overpaid Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, we will write and tell you:

  • that there is an overpayment and the reason
  • the amount of the overpayment
  • how we worked out the overpayment
  • who the overpayment is recoverable from and at what rate

If you are still receiving Housing Benefit we will make a deduction from your ongoing weekly payments and this will be explained in your overpayment letter. The minimum rate of recovery is £11.25 per week, although we can take more in certain circumstances.

If you are no longer entitled to Housing Benefit, then you will be sent an invoice along with your overpayment letter giving you14 days to settle in full.  

Paying a Housing Benefit overpayment

You can make a payment online with a debit or credit card. If you are unable to pay the amount you owe in full, you can request a payment arrangement Payment Arrangement Request Form.

What if I don't agree with your decision?

If you disagree with our overpayment decision, you can ask us to look at it again using the appeal process.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 8 February 2023