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Failing to repay Housing Benefit overpayment

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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.

Having trouble getting through? Our busiest time for phone calls is between 10am and 4pm. If you're able to call between 8am and 10am, or 4pm to 5pm, our lines are less busy and you'll usually get a quicker response.

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 recently started a trial of a new phone service to help us contact customers who have a Housing Benefit overpayment to repay. If you're called by the new phone service, your call will come from the number 01642 843048.

You cannot use that number to get in touch with us. You can contact us about Housing Benefit by calling 01642 726006.

Is this a scam?

No. If you get a call about your Housing Benefit overpayment from the number 01642 843048 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.

Once you speak to a caseworker, you can arrange to repay your Housing Benefit overpayment, or set up a Direct Debit.