An overpayment is an amount of housing benefit or council tax support that you have received but are not entitled to.

Overpayments can occur because of a change in your circumstances or because we have found that your benefit is incorrect. For example:

  • you have started work but your benefit payments are based upon Jobseeker's Allowance which has now stopped
  • you have changed address but benefit payments continue to be made

You must tell us of changes in your circumstances immediately. Read your award letters carefully to ensure the correct information has been used to work out your benefit, and if you know a change is going to happen tell us before it happens.

When an overpayment has been identified we will work out:

  • the amount of the overpayment
  • the period of the overpayment
  • the reason it occurred
  • if the overpayment is recoverable and if so who from

We will take into account any benefit you should have received if you had told us of the change at the correct time. You can sometimes reduce an overpayment by telling us what your circumstances were at the time of the overpayment.

We will write to you telling you how the decision was worked out and if you think the decision is wrong you can ask us to look at the decision again or appeal. This must be within one month of the date of the decision.

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