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Guide An overview of Housing Benefit

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6. Overpayments

The amount of money we pay you to help pay your rent and/or reduce Council Tax 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 or Council Tax Support. This is called an overpayment.

All overpayments must be paid back. The only exception is if an official error is made by us, the 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 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