Housing Benefit overpayments

An overpayment is when we pay you or your landlord an amount of Housing Benefit that you were not entitled to receive.

Reasons for an overpayment

An overpayment may happen if:

  • you have not told us about a change of circumstances - for example, a change of income, you moved home or an adult you live with has changed their job
  • you have not provided us with the correct information
  • we have made an error

We will usually ask you to pay back the amount we have overpaid, this is called a recoverable overpayment. We can recover all overpayments except if they are caused by an official error which you could not reasonably have known about when you were paid or told about your benefit.

How we recover overpayments

Tell us about a change of circumstance

You must tell us about any changes that occur as soon as possible and not rely on anyone else to do it for you. Even if you have told the Department of Work and Pensions about your change in circumstances, you must still let us know as well.

Tell us about a change of circumstance

If you have been paid too much Housing Benefit

We will send you a letter that will tell you how much was overpaid, and when the overpayment was made. It will also show you whether the overpayment is recoverable or not, and how that will affect your ongoing benefit payments.

If you’re still entitled to Housing Benefit after the overpayment

We will recover the overpayment from your ongoing entitlement. The letter will tell you how much your entitlement will be reduced by and for how long.