Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit overpayments

​How do Housing Benefit overpayments occur? 

Overpayments occur when we pay more Housing Benefit than you are entitled to.

When an overpayment is created we will write to you with full details of the overpayment and how we intend to recover it.

Overpayments usually occur when you do not tell us about a change in your circumstances which will affect your entitlement to Housing Benefit. 

These can include:  

  • An increase in income 
  • Another person moving into your household 
  • A change to or award of Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. 
  • When you have given us incorrect information 
  • If you have not told us information we need to know to work out your benefit entitlement. 

Or if we have: 

  • Been slow to deal with something you told us about 
  • Made a mistake.   

Repaying an overpayment: 

  • If you are currently getting Housing Benefit we will normally recover the overpayment from ongoing benefit payments by weekly deduction known as a ‘clawback’ which means you will have to make up the shortfall in your rent.
  • We may recover the overpayment directly from your landlord which means you could possibly end up in arrears on your rent account or statement. You will have to make up the shortfall in your rent.
  • In certain circumstances we can take money directly from your wages. Read our Direct Earnings Guide for Employers (PDF)
  • Or we will send you an invoice and an arrangement can be made.


If we send you an invoice for the overpayment you can make payments: 

  • Online - using 'My Newham'
  • By phone on 020 8430 2000 using a debit or credit card 
  • At your local post office or any outlets that accepts Allpay or Paypoint payments, using the barcode on the front of your invoice
  • By standing order - complete the standing order form and send or take it to your bank.  

​Download the standing order form (Word) 

If you have problems making payments please contact our Overpayment Team on 0208 430 6193 or 0208 430 6196 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.