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Housing Benefit overpayments

An overpayment is when you’re paid more Housing Benefit than you’re entitled to. This is normally because your circumstances have changed and you haven’t told us.

Why have I been overpaid?

The amount of Housing Benefit you’re paid depends on your personal circumstances, so if these change, the amount of benefit you’re entitled to can change as well.

Examples of changes to your circumstances include:

  • changes in income (from your wages or benefits you’re getting)
  • starting a new job, changing jobs, or becoming unemployed
  • people moving into, or out of, your house
  • getting married or forming a civil partnership
  • moving house or your rent changing

If you live with other people and their circumstances change, this might also affect the amount of Housing Benefit you’re entitled to.

You can report changes online to avoid being overpaid Housing Benefit.

How will I know I’ve been overpaid?

We’ll write and tell you that you’ve been paid too much Housing Benefit.  We’ll tell you why the overpayment happened, when it happened, and how much the overpayment was.

If you don’t agree with the amount we say has been overpaid, or you don’t think that an overpayment happened, you can make an appeal.

What happens next?

If you're still getting Housing Benefit, we'll make a weekly deduction from your entitlement. This means you'll get less Housing Benefit until the amount you owe has been paid back.

If you're no longer getting Housing Benefit, we'll send you an invoice telling you how much you need to pay back. You must pay the full amount back within 14 days of receiving the invoice.

If you can't repay it in full, 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 or by calling 01642 726562.

What happens if I don’t pay?

Read more about what happens if you don’t repay a Housing Benefit overpayment.

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