When we give you too much Housing Benefit, we call it an 'overpayment'. An overpayment is an amount of benefit that has been paid, but for which there was no entitlement under the Regulations. An example would be if you failed to tell us that your income had increased, and a recalculation of your entitlement meant that you had been paid too much benefit. We may also decide to take criminal proceedings in respect of fraudulent overpayments.
Most overpayments are recoverable, the only exception is where we have made a mistake which caused the overpayment, but this only applies if you or anyone receiving payment could not have known that they were being overpaid.
An overpayment is recoverable from either:
- the person or persons who did not tell us about the change in circumstance which caused the overpayment (this will not always be the person who received the money eg your landlord); or
- if the recoverable overpayment was caused by a mistake by us, it is recoverable from the person or persons who could have known that they were being overpaid.
If we give you too much benefit, we will send you a letter. The letter we send you will tell you:
- Why we gave you too much benefit
- How the overpayment is calculated including the period it is for
- If you have to pay back the overpayment.
- Who we can ask to pay it back and, if we can ask more than one person, who we are asking to pay it back
- If we are going to recover it from your current benefit payments and how much we are going to deduct from your payments
You will need to get in touch with us if you think the decision is wrong.
Council Tax Support
If the amount of Council Tax Support you are entitled to goes down, in most cases we will send you a revised Council Tax bill, and you will usually have to pay more Council Tax.
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