You will have to repay us if you get too much benefit
If your claim has been recalculated and you end up being sent too much benefit, we’ll send you a letter about your overpayment.
We’ll explain why we think you’ve been paid too much. Contact us if you have any questions about it.
You can also ask us to visit you in your home if you are physically unable to visit us.
What happens if I receive an overpayment?
If we find that you’ve had an overpayment after re-assessing your claim, we’ll send you the full details. We will tell you:
- What caused the overpayment.
- The dates and the amount of the overpayment.
- How much the overpayment is.
- What to do if you disagree with the overpayment.
If you have to pay back the money, we will write to you again to tell you how this will be done.
If, after reading the explanation, you disagree with it, you can appeal. You must do this in writing and within one month of the date on the letter.
Why have I received an overpayment of benefit?
There are several reasons why you may have received an overpayment of benefit, including:
- You may have forgotten to let us know that your income has increased.
- Somebody may have moved into or out of your home.
- Your non-dependent residents may have changed their circumstances.
- You may have moved out of your home and not told us.
- You may have started work, or changed jobs.
- You may have told us about a change, but we have been unable to re-assess your claim before your next payment is produced.
You must tell us of any changes that could affect your claim. It’s your responsibility. Don’t rely on anyone else to tell us about any changes.
If we find that your claim is fraudulent we will recover any money you are not entitled to. You could also be prosecuted.
If we've overpaid your benefits there are several ways that you can pay us back.
- We can reduce your Housing Benefit each week by the instalment amount shown on your letter until the overpayment is repaid in full.
- We may send you an invoice to be paid in full. There are a variety of options available for you to easily pay the debt.
- If your landlord was paid your benefit directly, we may ask your landlord to repay us in certain circumstances
If you have been overpaid Local Council Tax Support
We will send you a new Council Tax bill.
What happens if I don’t pay?
If you ignore the requests for payment or do not offer a suitable repayment amount, it may result in court action being taken against you. We would prefer not to take legal action against you and urge you to contact us to arrange repayments as soon as possible.
If we do take legal action any related fees will be added to your overpayment (debt):
- Recovery Order £40.00
- An Oral Examination at Court £50.00
- An Enforcement Agent will charge you £75.00 immediately. Should they start recovery action against you, they will add further charges of at least £235.00. These amounts are not set by the Council but are statutory amounts and cannot be refunded once charged
- An attachment to your earnings £100.00