What is an overpayment?

An overpayment happens when you're given more Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support than you're entitled to.

Sometimes an overpayment happens because we make a mistake. But many overpayments come about because people don't tell us about a change in their circumstances straight away.

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Who pays it back?

An overpayment must be paid back either by the person who caused the overpayment, or the person who received the overpayment.

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How is Benefit paid back by a claimant?

If the person who claims Benefit (the claimant) is receiving Housing Benefit, the overpayment can be taken out of future Benefit payments on a weekly basis. This includes payments made to a landlord on the claimant’s behalf. The claimant is responsible for paying any rent arrears that happen as a result.

If the claimant is not currently receiving Housing Benefit, they will be sent an invoice which must be paid.

Recovery of an overpayment will not prejudice any criminal proceedings that may be taken by us in respect of fraudulent overpayments.

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How is Benefit paid back by a landlord?

To recover an overpayment from a landlord we send an invoice.

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Can I appeal?

For further information on reviews and the appeals process, view our Benefit appeals page.

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What will happen if an overpayment is not repaid?

Court action may be taken where a landlord does not pay an invoice or a claimant doesn’t keep up the payments arranged to clear a debt.

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