East Devon District Council

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Guide An overview of Housing Benefit

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6. Overpayments

The amount of benefit you get to help pay your rent and/or Council Tax depends on the information provided when you make your claim.

If your circumstances change then so may your entitlement, and if we don't know about these changes in time, we may pay you too much benefit. This is called an overpayment.

All overpayments must be paid back. The only exception is if an official error made by us, Job Centre Plus, or The Pension Service. If it is considered that you or your landlord could have known, from our correspondence, that the information we were using to calculate your claim was incorrect, you will still have to pay back the overpayment. It is your responsibility to check all correspondence from us.

Even if you have told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about any changes, you must still tell us. 

Can we reduce the overpayment?

If you have been overpaid Housing Benefit we may be able to reduce the overpayment by calculating underlying entitlement to benefit.

This is not an award of benefit but a calculation of what you would have been entitled to had we assessed your Housing Benefit with the correct information. This happens automatically in some cases, but in other situations you have to contact us 01395 517446 or email benefits@eastdevon.gov.uk 

How do I pay back the overpayment?

  • weekly deductions from your Housing Benefit or rent account
  • invoice for payment
  • deductions from your social security benefits