How do we recover overpayments?
- If you are still getting Housing Benefit, your benefit may be reduced each week to recover the overpayment.
- If you no longer qualify for benefit then an invoice will be sent to you. You can either pay this invoice in full, or you can contact the office to arrange repayments which suit your financial circumstances.
- If your landlord was paid your benefit, we may ask the landlord to repay the overpayment in certain circumstances.
- If your circumstances change, don’t forget to let us know as soon as possible.
How can I repay my overpayment?
The invoice that we send you will tell you how and where you can repay your overpayment. When making any repayments you will need your invoice number.
Options to make a repayment include:
- Online: you can make repayments to your overpayment through the following online form. Please make a note of your transaction number in case you need to contact us about the payment. Housing benefit overpayments form.
- Phone: You can make repayments by touch tone payments using a debit or credit card by ringing the Freephone number: 0800 0351566
- Standing Order: Repayments can be made direct from your bank or building society by standing order. Please contact us on 01653 600666 and ask for the benefits department. We will then send you a letter confirming the installments and our bank details to then set up the standing order with your bank.
- Post office or PayPoint: Repayments can be made at any post office or any establishment displaying the PayPoint logo. To pay at one of these, you will need to take in your invoice which shows the barcode on the front. You’ll get a receipt as proof of payment.
What happens if I don’t repay?
If you don’t respond and fail to set up a repayment plan, or pay the invoice in full, then the next stage of recovery could be put in place. If you do not pay your invoice you will be sent a final demand after one month.
The recovery option could be one of the following:
- Direct Earnings Attachment: If you are in work we can request from your employer direct deductions from your wages to recover the overpayment.
- Deductions from State Benefits: We can request from the Department for Work and Pensions for deductions to state benefit, such as Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments, to repay your overpayment.
- Debt Recovery Agents: We could ask debt recovery agents to collect your overpayment.
- Collection by other local authorities: If you have moved out of the area and are claiming housing benefit at another local authority we can ask the new council to reduce your ongoing housing benefit to recover the overpayment.
- Court Action: We could register the debt with the courts. This will mean further costs which you will have to pay.