Guide An overview of Housing Benefit

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6. Housing Benefit overpayments

The amount of money we pay you to help pay your rent depends on the information provided when you make your claim.

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

All overpayments must usually be paid back. We may not ask you to pay back an official error made by us, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Pension Service.

If we make a mistake but it is considered that you or your landlord could have known 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 and tell us of any change in your circumstances.

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 an 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 571770 or email 

How do I pay back the overpayment?

  • weekly deductions from your ongoing Housing Benefit
  • invoice for payment
  • deductions from your DWP benefits