A housing benefit overpayment happens when if we've paid you (or someone else on your behalf) benefit which you're not entitled to.
How can an overpayment occur?
- you may have provided the council with incorrect information
- you may not have told us about a change in your circumstances
- we may not have assessed your claim correctly
- we may have been late acting on your information.
Always read your notification letters to check that the information we have used to calculate your housing benefit is correct.
If you notice any errors you must let us know within a month of the letter date.
Change in circumstances
You must tell us about any changes in your circumstances as soon as you're aware of them. Please call us on 020 8726 7000 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to check if your benefits are affected.
Who repays the overpayment?
Each overpayment is looked at individually and in most cases we will seek to recover any overpayment. Depending on the circumstances, we may try to recover the overpayment from either you or your landlord.
- if the overpayment was caused by a change such as you starting work, we would ask you to repay the overpayment
- if we paid your housing benefit to your landlord after you moved and your landlord knew you were moving, we usually recover any overpayment from them.
Paying back an overpayment
If you need to repay the overpayment we will either;
- Send you an invoice and ask you to repay the amount
- Take weekly deductions from your on-going housing benefit payments (this is at least £11.10 per week)
How to pay
- Pay securely online 24/7 - pay now
- Pay by phone 24/7 on 0345 3000 614.
If you cannot afford to pay the invoice in one payment
We are aware that sometimes money may be tight. If you are struggling to pay the full amount please call 020 8667 8246 or email CDRec1@croydon.gov.uk. We will try to make arrangement which you can afford.
Appeals against the overpayment
If you wish to appeal, please call 020 8726 7000 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday, or email email@example.com.
What will happen if I do not pay?
We have a duty to recover all outstanding money owed and we may take the following action:
- Application for County Court judgement or other legal action
- Application of a Direct Earnings Attachment if you are in work or
- Referral to an external Debt Collection Agency
- Deductions from your ongoing Benefit entitlement
- Referral to the Department of Works and Pensions for direct deductions from any prescribed benefits that you receive
Recovery of an overpayment will not prejudice any criminal proceedings that may be taken by the council in respect of fraudulent overpayments.
Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support
Housing benefit section
London Borough of Croydon
Bernard Weatherill House
8 Mint Walk
Croydon, CR0 1EA