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If your circumstances change this might affect your benefit. If we don't know about these changes, you could be paid too much benefit and may have to pay it back, we call this an overpayment. You must tell us if your circumstances change.

If you have been paid too much benefit

We will write to you about the overpayment, and tell you:

  • the reason for the overpayment
  • how much you have been overpaid
  • what period the overpayment relates to
  • if the overpayment will be recovered and how.

How we recover overpayments

If you are still getting benefit we can take money out of each week's benefit until your overpayment is cleared. We will tell you how much in your letter.

If you are no longer on benefit, we'll send you an invoice for the full Housing Benefit overpayment.

If you are receiving Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions may recover your overpayment on our behalf. This will be shown on your entitlement letters from them. You will need to contact them if you have any questions.

How do I repay an overpayment?

What happens if the overpayment is not repaid?

We can recover a recoverable overpayment using various methods:

  • we will send you a payment request
  • we can arrange for the overpayment to be deducted from certain DWP benefits (Department for Work and Pensions)
  • we can apply for a direct earnings attachment from your employer
  • we can pass the debt to the corporate income collection team
  • we can start civil proceedings which could lead to extra court costs and bailiff involvement.

I’m struggling to pay the money back, what do I do?

Contact us straight away if you're having problems paying the money back.

Email the overpayment team on

You can also make an arrangement to pay a council debt online.

What if I disagree with a decision?

Your letter will tell you what to do.  You can find out more information on our appeals page: