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Housing Benefit Overpayments

 
When a Housing Benefit overpayment occurs, we will look in to the reasons why and decide if it is  recoverable and who it should be recovered from.
 
If your payments have been made direct to a landlord, we may decide to recover the overpayment from them. Alternatively,
 

Can the overpayment be reduced?

It may be possible to reduce the amount we have overpaid you if you provide proof of your correct circumstances throughout the period of the overpayment.  

 

If we grant an award for the period you were overpaid it is known as ‘underlying entitlement’. If you do have an underlying entitlement we will use this to reduce the overpayment.

N.B. Underlying entitlement is not an award of housing benefit.

 
 

If you are still in receipt of on-going Housing Benefit

We will make a weekly deduction from this benefit, this is known as a weekly reclaim.
 
The amount in which we decide to recover each week may differ depending on the amount of benefit you are in receipt of. This amount may be negotiable, but any requests will need to be put in writing.  We cannot say this will be acceptable but we will consider your request on an individual basis.
 
To avoid any future overpayments, please inform us immediately if your circumstances change.
 

If you are no longer in receipt of Housing Benefit

We will send you an invoice for the amount of the overpayment.
 
You can then pay this back to us by:
  • Online Payment, Make your payment online at www.sstaffs.gov.uk/payments

  • Post Office Counters & Paypoint Outlets:  You must use the barcode on your most recent invoice or reminder notice each time you use this service. Please note some outlets may only accept cash payments.
  • Send us a cheque for the amount payable. 
  • By standing order.
  • By Credit/Debit card over the phone.
  • Contact us to make a weekly/monthly payment arrangement.
 

What if I don't pay?

If you fail to make a payment, we may ask the Department of Work and Pensions to make deductions from any benefits which you may receive from them.
 
If you are not in receipt of any other benefits, we may consider registering your debt with the County Court. 
 
This will enable us to gain several different recovery options:
  • We can ask your employer to deduct the money out of your salary (attachment of earnings).
  • We can take money directly from any bank account.
  • We can instruct a collection agency to collect the debt on our behalf.

 

As well as being responsible for repaying any additional costs that are incurred, your credit rating may also be affected.
 

What if I cannot afford to repay my overpayment?

If you cannot afford the weekly deductions from your benefit, or the amount agreed on your payment arrangement you need to contact our offices without delay.
 
Please do not ignore any requests for payments.  We may be able to help you with your payment arrangements based on your financial circumstances.
 

Contacts

 
Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support Enquiries               Revenues & Benefits            
Telephone: (01902) 696668 South Staffordshire Council
Fax: (01902) 696630 Wolverhampton Road
Email: benefits@sstaffs.gov.uk Codsall
  South Staffordshire
  WV8 1PX

 

 

LGSL No: 71

 

 

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