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Housing Benefit overpayments

About 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. If your personal circumstances change, then the amount of benefit you're entitled to can also change.

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 to you 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 it was.

If you think the amount of Housing Benefit overpayment is wrong, or you do not think it was an overpayment, you can appeal against our decision. The easiest way to do this is by making an appeal online.

Alternatively, if you'd like to speak to a benefit officer about why the overpayment happened, call 01642 726006 and choose option 2 for Housing Benefits.

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 struggling to pay the weekly deduction, you can complete the online budget sheet. We'll use the information you give us to see if we can reduce the amount of your weekly deduction for a short period of time.

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 us by emailing hbop@middlesbrough.gov.uk or calling 01642 726006.

Our phone lines are open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (10am to 4:30pm), and Friday (10am to 4pm). They are closed on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Choose option 1 to make a payment. Choose option 4 to speak to a caseworker about your Housing Benefit Overpayment. Choose option 2 to speak to a benefit officer about why an overpayment happened.

How do I repay my Housing Benefit overpayment?

Read more about how to repay your Housing Benefit overpayment.

What happens if I don’t pay?

Read more about what happens if you do not repay a Housing Benefit overpayment.

What happens if I'm struggling to pay?

If you're struggling to pay your Housing Benefit overpayment, we'll ask you to complete the online budget sheet to help us understand your current financial situation.

We'll review the information you give us, and a caseworker will contact you as soon as possible.

If you do not have a payment plan in place, the caseworker can set one up with repayments which work for both you and us.

If you already have a payment plan in place and you're still struggling to pay, the caseworker will review your plan. We may be able to reduce the payments if the budget sheet shows that you're unable to keep paying the current arrangement.

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. Alternatively, you can call 01642 726006 and choose option 4 to speak to a Housing Benefit overpayment officer.

If you'd like to speak to a benefit officer about why an overpayment happened, call 01642 726006 and choose option 2 for Housing Benefits officer.