Search site menuicon

Overpayments

Find out what happens if we have overpaid

An overpayment is an amount of benefit we have paid to someone when they are not entitled to it.

There are several different reasons that cause an overpayment. Typically, it is when your circumstances have changed that has led to a reduction in the amount of benefit you are entitled to but has already been paid.

How do we know who to recover an overpayment from?

When we see that you have been overpaid, we look at the reason for this and who the benefit is paid to.

For example, if your benefit is paid to your landlord, but you have started work, your landlord may not know this. So if you forget to tell us of this change and your landlord is paid too much, we may recover the overpayment from you. However if you move out, your landlord would be likely to know this. So if your landlord was paid too much, we may recover it from them.

Each case is assessed on its own merit. If you disagree with any aspect of your overpayment or how it is being recovered you must contact us.

How do we recover overpayments?

We recover overpayments differently, depending on who we are recovering it from. If it is being recovered from you - we will look at whether or not you are still entitled to benefits.

Normally, if you are still entitled to Housing Benefit, we will reduce the amount of benefit we pay you by either:

  • taking money from your ongoing benefit
  • reducing any other amount we owe you
  • we can discuss the amount we reduce your benefit by if this is causing any further financial hardship.

If you no longer receive benefit, or receive benefit from another council, we will send you a bill for any overpayment outstanding.

We may ask your employer to deduct overpayments from your pay. This is called a Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA).

Read the pdf icon DEA guide for employers [286kb]

How to pay

You can pay using the our online payments website.

This online payment service website is secure and enables you to pay your council bills using any debit card or some credit cards. The service is free of charge and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Please allow up to four days for the payment to be received by us.

If you can't afford the repayments

If you can't afford the amounts we're asking you to pay you can contact the Overpayments Team on 01303 853342 to discuss paying at a rate you can afford.