What happens if I have been overpaid?
If you have been overpaid because your circumstances changed and you failed to notify us, in most cases you will have to pay us back the full amount.
How will my overpayment be recovered?
- We can recover any recoverable HB overpayment from you, the claimant, directly or from your partner.
- We may also recover an overpayment from the person who received the payments (such as your landlord or agent), or from anyone who caused the overpayment.
- If you're still entitled to HB we can reduce your weekly HB by a fixed amount until the overpayment has been recovered
- If you're no longer entitled to HB we may send you an invoice for the full amount of the overpayment. You may then be able to pay us back the overpayment by agreed instalments.
- We may contact the DWP to assist with the overpayment recovery.
So don’t delay, tell us about changes in your circumstances and avoid being overpaid.
What if I don't pay?
Any unpaid Housing Benefit overpayments are a civil debt for which we can sue in the County or High Court. If a court order is made for the repayment, your credit rating may be affected for up to six years. If no payment is made, the county court bailiff can be empowered to recover the debt, which may include the removal and sale of personal articles.
We can also apply for bank accounts to be frozen, an Attachment of Earnings deduction via your employer or even prevent the sale of property. All actions in the courts incur charges which will be added on to the original debt.
What if I can't pay?
We are committed to recovering any recoverable Housing Benefit overpayments in full. However, we will consider agreed instalments to help prevent any individual hardship.
If you have a Housing Benefit overpayment to repay please contact us for help and advice on 01424 451080 or email us.