Overpayments: Benefits

Overpayments: Housing benefits

How are Housing Benefit overpayments collected? 

If you are still getting Housing Benefit, the council may take money off future benefit payments until the overpayment is paid off. If the amount that the council is taking is leaving you in hardship you can ask the council to consider taking. 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.  

Overpayments: Housing benefit 

Overpayments occur when we pay you more housing benefit than you are entitled to. On this page you can find out how we recover Housing Benefit overpayments. 

​How do Housing Benefit overpayments occur? 

Overpayments usually occur when you do not tell us about a change in your circumstances which will affect your entitlement to Council tax support or 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.  

Recovering Housing Benefit overpayments  

Housing benefit overpayments will be recovered from: 

  • Ongoing entitlement which means you will have to make up the shortfall in rent to your landlord. 
  • Recovered directly from your landlord which means you could possible end up in arrears on the rent account or statement. 
  • An invoice can be sent and an arrangement can be made 
  • In certain circumstances we can take money directly from your wages. 

Read our Direct Earnings Guide for Employers (PDF)


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 (PDF) 

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.