Ryedale District Council


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Housing benefit overpayments

An overpayment is when you have been paid more housing benefit than what you were entitled to.

We have a duty to recover overpayments of benefit for which there was no entitlement from tenants and landlords and, where necessary, take criminal proceedings in respect of fraudulent overpayments. Housing benefit overpayment recovery has been suspended for 3 months (April 2020).

An overpayment is when you have been paid more housing benefit than what you were entitled to, this usually occurs when you have had a change in circumstances that you have not informed us about.

Examples of changes in circumstances include:

  • Changes in income (wages, working tax credits, work pension or state benefit)
  • Somebody has moved in or out of your home
  • You have moved house or your rent changes
  • Started work, changed job or becoming unemployed
  • Other adults in the households circumstances have changed

You can report changes in circumstances through this form to avoid overpayments change of Circumstances online form.

We will write and tell you when this happens. We will tell you;

  • What caused the overpayment
  • The dates of the overpayment
  • The amount of the overpayment
  • What to do if you disagree with the overpayment
  • If you are the landlord, who the overpayment is for, their address, the period and amount of the overpayment

If we are going to ask you to pay back the overpayment, we will contact you again to tell you how this will be done. If you do not agree that you have received an overpayment, you may want to appeal against the decision.


  • 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

If you need further advice, please email benefits


The invoice you receive 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, 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 the office on 01653600666 and ask for the benefits department. A letter will then be sent to you confirming the instalments 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 here you will need to take in your invoice which shows the barcode on the front. A receipt will be provide for proof of payment.

If you do not respond to the demands 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 incur further costs which you will be liable to pay.

When you receive and have read your overpayment letter, if you disagree with the decision you can:When you receive and have read your overpayment letter, if you disagree with the decision you can:

  • Ask for an explanation
  • Write to the office and as us to reconsider the decsion
  • Appeal the decision if you disagree with the overpayment. An appeal can only be made within one month of the date of the original decision. Further appeals information can be found on the Housing benefit page.

Contact us

Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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