Newham

Benefit overpayments

If you have been paid too much benefit, it is likely that the council or Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will expect you to pay it back. They will write to you about the overpayment and what happens next.

What can I do if I disagree?

If you disagree with anything, you can ask for it to be explained or the decision to be reconsidered. If you still disagree, you can appeal.
 
 

How are Housing Benefit overpayments collected?

There are a number of ways that the council can do this.
  • If you are still getting Housing Benefit, the council may take money off future benefit until the overpayment is paid off. If the council is taking more than £10.80 a week, and you are in hardship, ask the council to consider taking less. You will need to make up the rent payments with your landlord, otherwise rent arrears will build up.
  • If the overpayment was made to a private landlord or housing association, the council may ask them to pay it back.
The council can collect an overpayment in other ways. 
Get more information on Housing Benefit overpayments
 



How are Council Tax Reduction overpayments collected?

If you are overpaid Council Tax Reduction, the amount of the overpayment will be added to your Council Tax bill and this usually increases your monthly payments. Contact Council Tax to discuss how much you can afford.

 
 

How does the DWP collect overpayments?

If you are still getting the benefit, the DWP may take money off future benefit until the overpayment is paid off. Or, the DWP may be able to take money off another benefit you are getting. If you are in hardship, ask the DWP to consider taking less.
 
 

Is a benefit overpayment always a priority debt?

If the council or DWP is taking money from your benefit to repay the overpayment, list the overpayment under priority debts on your financial statement. This is because you only have a limited say in how much is taken.

Also, if a Housing Benefit overpayment was made to your private landlord or housing association, list it under priority debts. This is because, if your landlord repays the money, it is likely to create rent arrears for you.
 
If you are no getting any benefits and your overpayment was not made to a private landlord or housing association, you may want to consider listing the overpayment under credit debts on your financial statement.
 
 
If you are sorting out debt problems, start at the beginning of this guidance, otherwise you may miss valuable information.

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