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What if my benefit is overpaid?

Why do overpayments happen?

If you have a change in circumstances, you must contact us immediately as your benefit may change too. If your circumstances change and you do not tell us straight away, we might pay you too much benefit. This is called an overpayment.

In most cases if we have paid you too much Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, you will have to pay it back.

How can you stop an overpayment happening?

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

Always read the award letters we send you. You should double-check the income and capital we have used to assess your benefit. If you think we have used incorrect figures, you must contact us straight away.

It is your responsibility to tell us about the change, even if your landlord receives your Housing Benefit money direct. 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

  • the reason for the overpayment

  • the amount of the overpayment

  • how we worked out the overpayment

  • who the overpayment is recoverable from

Repay a Housing Benefit overpayment online.

You can make a payment online (under Sundry Debtors) with a debit or credit card

Having difficulties making a repayment?

If you have been sent an invoice and cannot afford to pay it back all at once, we can arrange a repayment plan. If you are struggling financially because of an overpayment, please contact us on 01392 265475. We'll be able to discuss how we can help.

If you are struggling to pay your Council tax bill because of a Council Tax Support overpayment we can discuss a repayment plan. Please contact our Payments and Collection Team on 01392 265646. Or use our Contact Us form and select the Benefits and Welfare service.

Using the household budgeting tool will help you to see how much you can offer to pay. It will also help us to come to an arrangement with you.

What if I don't agree with your decision?

If you disagree with our overpayment decision, you can ask us to explain our decision in writing, ask us to reconsider our decision or you can appeal.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 22 May 2023