Housing benefit and local council tax support

What if I get overpaid?

If you receive more benefit than you are entitled to, we call it an 'overpayment'. 

Overpayments happen either when a customer doesn't tell us immediately of a change in their circumstances, or if we don't process a change you have told us about promptly.

We are under a duty to collect overpaid benefit and all overpayments are deemed recoverable, except those where we have made an error and the claimant could not have reasonably known they were being overpaid.

If you are overpaid we will write to you. The letter we send you will tell you:

  • the reason you were overpaid
  • the period of the overpayment
  • how much the overpayment is
  • if the overpayment is recoverable
  • who we will ask to repay the overpayment
  • how we will recover the overpayment

If you have been paid too much housing benefit, we may either reduce your weekly benefit payment until what you owe is paid back, or we may send you a bill asking you to pay any overpayment back to us.

If we pay your housing benefit to your landlord directly, we may either reduce the benefit payments we make to your landlord, or send your landlord a bill requesting he/she pays back any overpayment. If we ask the landlord to repay housing benefit, you will be liable to refund your landlord the amount he/she has paid back.

If you think we have made the wrong decision about an overpayment, find out how you can question or appeal our decision.