Benefit overpayments

If you've been paid too much in housing benefits or your circumstances change in anyway, you must contact us straightaway.

Housing Benefit Overpayment

An overpayment of Housing Benefit is when we have paid you or your landlord an amount of Housing Benefit that you were not entitled to receive.

If we have paid you too much Housing Benefit, we will usually ask you to pay back the amount we have overpaid.


Why do overpayments happen?

Benefit overpayments happen for a number of reasons:

  • the claimant is late in reporting a change in their circumstances; or
  • A claimant or landlord has deliberately claimed benefit to which they are not entitled, or they have given false information to get benefit.

To reduce the risk of an overpayment, please tell us straight away of any changes in your circumstances. You must tell us about any changes and not rely on anyone else to do it for you. Even if you have told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), you must still tell us.

How do we recover the Housing Benefit overpayment?

In most cases overpayments are recovered from you, the claimant. This is because you would have known benefit was being overpaid – a breakdown of Housing Benefit is sent to you even if you are not receiving the payments.

Overpayments of Housing Benefit can be recovered in the following ways.

  • If you are still getting Housing Benefit, we may reduce your benefit each week to recover the overpayment.
  • If we paid your landlord your Housing Benefit, we may ask the landlord to repay the overpayment in certain circumstances, if the landlord would have known that they were being overpaid.

If you have received a Housing Benefit overpayment notification

Please check the notification letter carefully to make sure that your income and other details are correct. If they are not, please contact us straight away.

If your details on the notification are correct, please do one of the following:

  • make a payment
  • make an offer to repay your overpayment by instalments
  • contact us to discuss a payment plan

If you think you will have trouble paying, please contact us straight away, we are here to help.