Overpaid Housing Benefit
An overpayment is an amount of benefit you have received but to which you were not entitled. They usually happen when something changes which affects your benefit but which we did not know about at the time. This could be something like:
- a change in your income - for example starting work, having an increase in your wages or receiving a new entitlement to benefit
- moving address
- someone else living with you has had a change in their income
If you disagree that you should be responsible for paying an overpayment, you have a right of appeal.
Repaying an overpayment
There are different ways we can choose to recover an overpayment.
By sending you a bill
If you are no longer in receipt of Housing Benefit we will send you a bill to ask you to make arrangements to pay.
(A 1.3% charge is added to all credit card and PayPal payments. This is to cover the costs the council has to pay to the credit card companies and PayPal to process these payments. There are no charges for debit card payments).
If you are having difficulties making a payment, please contact us and we can discuss an arrangement with you. If we do not hear from you, we may register the debt with the County Court and ask them to enforce it. This is the same as having a court order against you, so it will affect your credit rating.
Making deductions from your Housing Benefit
If you are still receiving Housing Benefit we will take an amount from it each week, until the overpayment is cleared.
If you are having problems making these repayments we may be able to reduce them, but we will need some information about your financial circumstances first.
When we receive your form we will contact you to let you know what your future payments are going to be.
Other forms of payment
We may also consider collecting money by:
- using Housing Benefit we owe you for another period
- deducting money from your rent account if you are a Six Town Housing tenant and your account is in credit
- asking the Department for Work and Pensions to take money out a benefit that they pay you