Overpayment of benefits

What is an overpayment?
An overpayment is an amount of benefit that has been paid but to which there is no entitlement under the regulations.

This includes:-

  • an overpayment occurring when benefit is reassessed because your income and/or circumstances change.
  • any provisional Housing Benefit paid which is in excess of the final amount due.

If you have an overpayment of Housing Benefit but are still entitled to benefit we will normally reduce your on-going Housing Benefit until the overpayment has been recovered. We will write and tell you what we propose to do.

The standard recovery rates from April 2015 are as follows:-

  • Standard maximum weekly rate deducted from on-going Housing Benefit entitlement is £11.10.
  • Where the overpayment has arisen as a result of fraud the maximum weekly rate from on-going Housing Benefit entitlement is £18.50.

In addition, the Local Authority can increase the deductions by half (50%) of certain disregards, if applicable (earnings, regular charitable income or voluntary payments, War Disablement Pension, War Widows Pension). 

If an overpayment of Housing Benefit occurs and you are no longer entitled to benefit, an invoice will be issued. Where payment has been made to the landlord or agent, an invoice will be issued to the landlord or agent if it is considered that the landlord or agent would have been aware that an overpayment may have occurred.

You can make a payment online here.

If you are unable to pay back your overpayment in full you can set up an arrangement directly with the Council. Please download and complete a Benefit Overpayment Income and Expenditure Form using the link at the bottom of this page. Failure to complete this form may result in the Council either:

  • contacting your employer (where you have one) to arrange for deductions to be made from your earnings through a Direct Earnings Attachment, or
  • asking the Council’s enforcement agents to collect this money on our behalf for which you will incur substantial costs

If you have any questions regarding your overpayment or you wish to notify us of a change in your household circumstances which may affect your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support, please e-mail benefits@testvalley.gov.uk or telephone 01264 368000.

For more detailed information please refer to our Overpayments Policy provided at the bottom of this page.