An example of an over-payment is where your income increases and you tell us late. A recalculation of your benefit means that we have paid you too much benefit.
If you have a change in your circumstances, it is important that you tell us straight away.
A fraudulent over-payment occurs where you deliberately provide a false statement or document, or deliberately fail to report a change of circumstances with the intention of obtaining more benefit than you are allowed. In these cases you may face prosecution.
If you have been overpaid housing benefit, we will write to tell you. The letter we send you will tell you:
- The dates when the over-payment occurred
- Why the over-payment occurred
- How much the over-payment is
- Whether you have to pay back the over-payment
- How you can appeal if you think this is wrong
Paying Back an Over-payment
We have a legal duty to recover over-payments from tenants and landlords. All over-payments can be recovered unless they were caused by an official error (ours or a Government department) and you could not reasonably have been expected to realise that you were being overpaid.
We recover Housing Benefit over-payments by reducing your current benefit by an amount each week or by sending you an invoice for the over-payment. If you receive an invoice and cannot pay it all back straight away contact us and we can agree on regular payments.
Excess Council Tax Support is recovered by adjusting your council tax account. We will send you a new council tax bill with your increased payments. This may be for the current and previous years so you may get more than one new bill.