An overpayment of Housing Benefit is when we are paying you Housing Benefit that you are no longer entitled to.
When you have been overpaid Housing Benefit we will write to you and tell you why you have been overpaid and the amount that needs to be paid back.
You will then have 1 month to appeal against this decision. If you do not appeal within 1 month then we will send you another letter telling you how you can pay the amount.
An overpayment can be recovered from the person who claimed benefit, or from the person who received the payment. This may be you, your landlord or someone else who receives the benefit for you.
If you are still getting Housing Benefit, we will make deductions from the amount we pay you or your landlord until the overpayment is fully paid back.
If you are no longer getting Housing Benefit, we will send you an invoice for any remaining amount of the overpayment. The invoice will tell you how/where to pay the money back.
There are a number of ways we can recover overpayment of Benefits
- by making deductions from your on-going Housing Benefit entitlement if you are still within this Borough
- if you are a Landlord, by recovering from the on-going Housing Benefit entitlement of any other tenants you may have
- by taking it from your Council Tax account (Overpayments of Council Tax Reduction only)
- by taking from any credit you may have in your rent account (Council tenants only)
- by instalments, once we have invoiced you, you will need to complete the Housing Benefit Invoice Financial questionnaire, supporting documentary evidence may be required. Once received a member of the overpayment team will contact you. You should make some form of payment while your request is being considered.
- by making deductions from a Department for Work and Pensions benefit such as Income Support, Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Pension Credit; as long as you are not already having deductions being made in order to repay another debt
- by having deductions made direct from your earnings. If you fail to pay your invoice or default on any instalment arrangement made, the Council has been given the power to serve your employer with a Direct Earnings Attachment Notice (DEA) in order to recover your Housing Benefit overpayment; this means your employer will have to make deductions from your wages.
- find out more information by reading the Direct Earnings Attachment Employer Guide (PDF 286KB)
- by obtaining a County Court Judgment if you fail to repay an overpayment or keep to an instalment arrangement. Your credit rating may be affected, making it difficult for you to obtain a loan, including mortgages, credit cards, hire purchases etc
- council Tax reduction overpayments are added directly to your Council Tax account and you will receive a new bill. You will need to contact the Council Tax department direct to discuss repayment
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