Why do overpayments happen?

If anything changes, you must tell us straight away. If you do not, we might pay you or your landlord too much benefit. This is called an overpayment.

In most cases if we've paid you too much Housing Benefit, you'll have to pay it back.


How can I avoid overpayments?

You should tell us as soon as there are any changes. If possible, tell us before any change happens.

Read the award letters we send you, they tell you about the details we have used to work out your benefit. You should double check the income and capital we've used to assess your claim. If you think we've used the wrong figures let us know.

It’s up to you 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 they‘re aware of them.


How will I know if I’ve been overpaid?

We’ll write and tell you:

  • that there’s an overpayment and the reason
  • the amount of the overpayment
  • how we worked out the overpayment
  • who the overpayment is recoverable from and at what rate


Who is responsible for overpayments?

If there's a delay in letting us know about any changes that result in too much benefit being paid, we will try to recover the money. Who we recover it from depends on who the benefit is being paid to.

Benefit paid to the tenant

A landlord has no responsibility for overpayments if benefits are paid to the tenant.

Benefit paid direct to the landlord

The landlord will be asked to repay any overpayments.


How will you recover an overpayment?

If you're:

  • still receiving Housing Benefit, the regular amount you get will be reduced until you’ve paid back the money. This will be explained in your overpayment letter.
  • no longer entitled to Housing Benefit, we’ll send an invoice with your overpayment letter. This will tell you how much you need to repay within 14 days.


Having difficulties making a repayment?

If you’ve been sent an invoice and cannot afford to pay it back all at once, we can arrange a repayment plan. If you’re struggling financially because of an overpayment, please contact us to see how we can help.


What if I do not agree with your decision?

If you disagree with our overpayment decision, you can ask us to look at the decision again using the appeal process.