Overpayment of Housing Benefit

These occur where benefit/support is cancelled and money has already been given to you either by way of rent benefit and/or by crediting your council tax account.

Your over-payment should be reduced by any underlying entitlement ie benefit for the same period as the overpayment but at a lower amount based on the correct circumstances. Check your invoice for underlying entitlement. If not stated you should query this.

If you have been getting help to pay your rent, an invoice will be sent to you (or to your Landlord in certain circumstances). It is the Council's decision from whom it recovers the debt.

The invoice must be paid and you will be given the opportunity to pay by instalments if you would experience difficulty in paying a one off amount.

If you have been getting council tax support a revised council tax bill will be sent . You will need to contact the Council Tax section to organise repayment if you cannot pay the revised instalments.

Overpayments are normally recoverable.

Due to overpayments being normally recoverable, this means the Council can seek repayment through the County Court by way of a Judgement Order if the overpayment is not repaid. If an order is obtained there are extra charges to be made to you.

If we recover from your landlord the overpayment will appear as rent arrears on your rent account.

  • if the overpayment was caused by the Local Authority (or Department of Work and Pensions) and the claimant could not reasonably have known that an overpayment was occurring then the overpayment will not be recoverable
  • you must always read your entitlement letters to check that the details the Council has used in calculating your claim are correct. You must do this to avoid an overpayment occurring

Please contact the Overpayment Officer with any queries you have regarding overpayments.