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Failing to repay Housing Benefit overpayment

How will I know I've had a Housing Benefit overpayment?

If you've been paid too much Housing Benefit (an overpayment), we'll send you an invoice telling you how much you need to pay back.

How long do I have to repay my Housing Benefit overpayment?

You must pay the full amount back within 14 days of receiving the invoice.

If you can't repay it, you must contact us straight away so we can arrange repayments which suit your financial circumstances. You can contact the Overpayment Recovery Section via email to hbop@middlesbrough.gov.uk or by calling 01642 726006 (10am to 4pm).

How can I make an arrangement to pay my overpayment? 

You can use the HBOP arrangement to pay online form to set up an arrangement to repay your Housing Benefit overpayment.

You'll need to enter the amount you've been overpaid, then decide how quickly you can repay it. You can choose from 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, or more than 12 months. If you repay it over a shorter amount of time, your monthly repayments will be more.

For example, for a overpayment of £1000, you could choose to repay:

  • over 6 months - £166.67 per month
  • over 9 months - £111.11 per month
  • over 12 months - £83.33 per month

I have a question about my Housing Benefit overpayment

If you have questions about your Housing Benefit overpayment, you can get in touch with us using the HBOP general enquiry online form.

What if I don't repay my Housing Benefit overpayment?

If you don't pay the full amount on the invoice, or don't contact us, within 14 days of receiving the invoice, we'll send you a reminder notice.

What if I don't pay after I get a reminder notice?

If you fail to pay, and don't contact us, within 14 days of receiving the reminder notice, we'll send you a final demand.

What if I don't pay after I get a final demand?

If you don't repay the full Housing Benefit overpayment within 14 days of receiving the final demand, the debt will be passed to a debt recovery service who will try and recover the money from you. This could result in further costs and you having to pay back more.

We may decide to recover the money via the County Court; this could mean a deduction is made from your earnings.

If you're receiving benefits, we can ask for part of the money to be paid to us instead. This could result in a third of your weekly income being deducted until the overpayment has been repaid in full.

Getting a phone call about your Housing Benefit overpayment

We've started using a new phone service to contact customers who have a Housing Benefit overpayment to repay.

If you're called by the new phone service, your call will come from 01642 843048 (Housing Benefit overpayment).

You cannot use this number to get in touch with us. You can contact us about benefits, Council Tax, and Business Rates by calling 01642 726006.

Is this a scam?

No. If you get a call from 01642843048 then it is not a scam.

  • If you get a phone call, you will be asked to press 1 to speak to a caseworker at Middlesbrough Council.
  • If you get a voicemail, you will be given a number to call to speak to a caseworker at Middlesbrough Council.
  • If you get a text message, you will be given a number to call to speak to a caseworker at Middlesbrough Council.

You will not be asked to give any personal information before you press 1, or phone the number, to speak to a caseworker.