Find out what an overpayment of housing or council tax benefit is. What can you do if you have been overpaid and disagree with the decision? How can you repay an overpayment if you are the person claiming benefit or a landlord?
1. What is an overpayment of Housing or Council Tax Benefit?
An overpayment is when more benefit has been paid than you were entitled to. This usually happens when your circumstances have changed and the Housing Benefit office was not aware.
2. What can I do if I don’t agree with the overpayment?
When we find out we have overpaid your benefit we will write to you explaining what has happened and tell you how much the overpayment is for. You will be given the chance to ask for the decision to be looked at again.
3. Can the overpayment be reduced?
It may be possible to reduce the overpayment by the amount of benefit you would have been entitled to had you applied in time. This is called underlying entitlement. You may also be entitled to new housing or council tax benefit. To reclaim benefit you must complete a new application form.
4. How can I repay an overpayment?
If you can not afford to repay the overpayment in one lump sum you can contact the Customer Services section to discuss repayment by instalments. See the contact telephone number shown.
A Housing Benefit overpayment can be recovered from your ongoing Housing Benefit entitlement or from some other benefits such as Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance.
If you have no other benefits for the overpayment to be recovered from we will send you an invoice. You can then make an arrangement to repay by the following methods:
You will need to quote your invoice number when making a payment using any of the above methods.
A Council Tax Benefit overpayment will be added to your Council Tax account. You will be sent a new bill that includes the overpayment.
5. I am a landlord who has been overpaid Housing Benefit on behalf of my tenants.
In Powys, overpaid Housing Benefit is only recovered from a landlord if they could have been expected to know they were being overpaid. This is usually when the tenant has vacated.
We will write to you and tell you that you have been overpaid and that we will be recovering the overpayment from you. You will be given the chance to ask for the decision to be looked at again.
To find out how to repay an overpayment see ‘4. How can I repay an overpayment?’. An overpayment can also be recovered from payments of Housing Benefit you receive for other tenants. We will write to you and tell you if this happens.
6. I am a landlord and you are recovering my tenant's overpayment of Housing Benefit from the payments I receive on my tenant's behalf.
If your tenant has previously been overpaid Housing Benefit we may be recovering the overpayment from their ongoing benefit entitlement which we pay to you on their behalf. We will write to you and tell you if this happens. You can not appeal against the decision to do this. You must ask your tenant to make up the difference between the rent you charge and the amount of Housing Benefit you receive on their behalf.
7. Can you take me to court if I don’t repay an overpayment?
If you do not repay the overpayment using any of the above methods we can take you to court. The court allows us to:
If we need to use the court then costs will be added to the outstanding debt. You will have to repay the costs as well as the original overpayment.
8. Contact us
To discuss repayment of an overpayment, or you think the overpayment is wrong, or would like more information about the overpayment please contact us on the telephone numbers provided.
Telephone: 01597 827462
Fax: 01597 827276
PO BOX 71