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Housing Benefit Overpayments

Overpayments are any payment of benefit that a person was not entitled to.

What is a Housing Benefit Overpayment?

Overpayments are defined as any payment of benefit that a person was not entitled to. They may arise following a change in circumstances. Delays in notification of a change of circumstances may cause greater overpayments.

 If we pay you too much Housing Benefit, we will write and tell you about the overpayment.

Recovery of Housing Benefit Overpayments

If you have been overpaid, we will decide if the overpayment is to be recovered. It will be recoverable if:

  • You did not tell us of a change in your circumstances, such as an increase in your income.
  • You did tell us about a change but continued to receive benefit that you were not entitled to.

There are certain exceptions where overpayments will not be recovered, if one of these exceptions applies to you this will be explained to you in your decision letter. 

Housing benefit overpayments can be recovered from the tenant, the person the Housing Benefit payments were made to or an appointee (if there is one).

Repayment of Housing Benefit Overpayments

If we have decided that an overpayment should be recovered, we will seek repayment of this overpayment through the following methods:

  • A weekly deduction from ongoing Housing Benefit
  • By making a deduction from arrears of Housing Benefit
  • A weekly deduction from ongoing Department for Work and Pensions benefits
  • By recovering form Housing Benefit paid to a landlord or agent for another tenant
  • Where the overpayment is for a Council tenant, by deduction from a rent account credit
  • By issuing an invoice

If you receive an invoice for an overpayment and cannot afford to pay the balance, or are suffering financial  difficulty as a result of the recovery action we are taking please contact our Corporate Debt Team on 01506 280000 (option 2) to discuss a payment arrangement.

Appeals against Housing Benefit overpayment decisions

If you disagree with a Housing Benefit overpayment decision you can write to us within 1 month of the date you were notified of that decision and ask us to look at it again. Further information on appeals can be found on our appeal page.