Housing Benefit

Overpaid Housing Benefit

Overpayments can occur if your entitlement to Housing Benefit reduces or ceases following a change in your circumstances.

Make sure you tell us if your circumstances change as you may be receiving the wrong amount of benefits

If you have been overpaid and if the overpayment is deemed recoverable, you and/or your landlord will be advised of the amount of overpaid benefit, the reason for it, the dates that it covers and how we propose to recover it. You will also be given your appeal rights.

Requests for a further explanation of how the overpayment occurred must be made within one month of the date of invoice. If you are still unhappy with the explanation you do have the right of appeal against any of the decisions made; that is, the amount, the dates, the reason and whether it should be recoverable from you. This review will be taken by a Senior Officer of the Council. Should you still not be satisfied, your case could be referred to a tribunals service.

If you continue to receive housing benefit, we will usually recover the overpayment from your ongoing entitlement, at a set weekly rate. However, if this causes financial hardship you can contact us and we will consider reducing the weekly amount (you will normally be required to complete a financial statement and provide evidence to support your request for a reduction).

If you are no longer receiving Housing Benefit, you will be sent an invoice on which payment can be made via any of the council's designated methods of payment. If you are unable to pay in full, the council will accept payment by instalment. You must contact us to make an arrangement to pay.

Failure to pay an overpayment could result in court action; interest and costs will be added to the amount that you already owe.

For further information please see our leaflet What happens if I have received too much benefit or support?