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Overpayments

Information about if you have been overpaid housing benefit.

Pay my housing benefit overpayment online

What is an overpayment?

An overpayment happens when you have been paid more housing benefit than you were entitled to.  There are several reasons why you may have an overpayment of benefit:

  • You may have forgotten to tell us that your income has changed, for example, working tax credits, wages, work pensions or state benefit.
  • Somebody may have moved into or out of your home.  
  • You may have started work or changed jobs.
  • If you have other adults living with you, and their circumstances may have changed.
  • You may have moved out of your home and not told us.
  • If you are a landlord and you have received housing benefit after your tenant was no longer resident in your property.
  • If you are a landlord and you are aware of reasons that could mean your tenant is not entitled to the housing benefit they are receiving.

It is your responsibility to tell us about any changes in your circumstances, do not rely on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or your landlord.  

You can report any changes via the link below:

Please note: this service will be unavailable from 8am - 12pm on Thursday 17 May. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

How will I know if I have got an overpayment?

Housing benefit overpayments can be recovered from, the claimant, a person acting on their behalf, or the person to whom the benefit was paid.

We will write to you and tell you:

  • What the reason is for the overpayment.
  • The amount and the dates of the overpayment.
  • Who the overpayment is to be recovered from.
  • What you can do if you disagree with the overpayment.
  • How the overpayment will be recovered, either from your ongoing housing benefit or by invoice.
  • If you are a landlord, who the overpayment is for, their address, amount and period of the overpayment.
You must read the letter carefully to see if you agree with the content.  

How will the overpayment be recovered?

If you are still getting housing benefit, we will reduce your entitlement by the weekly amount shown in your letter.  You must make up any shortfall in your rent due direct to your landlord or your rent account.

If you are no longer entitled to housing benefit we will send you an invoice.  If you find you are unable to repay this in full, please contact the overpayments team on 01482 394647 to set up a mutually agreeable repayment plan.

How can I repay the invoice?

Pay my housing benefit overpayment online

Your invoice tells you where and how you can pay.  You will need your invoice number when making any repayments.  Payment options include:

  • Direct Debit – We offer two dates in the month, 8th and 28th.  To set up call the overpayments team on 01482 394647 and have your bank details to hand.
  • Standing Order – Call (01482) 394647 for a standing order form for you to complete and take to your bank or building society.
  • Internet – If you wish to use internet banking to pay from your account you will need our bank details, which are NatWest Bank, account 99105837, sort code 60-02-23. The payment reference you need to use, is your invoice number.
  • Telephone – Call (01482) 394647 to make a secure payment by debit or credit card.
  • PayPoint Outlets or Post Office – Your invoice has a bar code unique to your overpayment and you can go to either premises and make a repayment. 
  • Customer Service Centre – You can call into your nearest customer service centre and make a payment.


What will happen if I do not pay the invoice?

If you do not pay your invoice, we will send a final demand after one month.  If you do not respond to the demands and set up a repayment plan or repay the debt in full, then the next stages of recovery will be put in place.  East Riding of Yorkshire Council has a duty to collect all recoverable overpayments and there are many recovery options available. These could be any of the following:

  • Direct Earnings Attachments - If you are in work we will ask your employer to recover the debt from your wages (in some cases deductions will be up to 20% of your net wage).
  • Department for Work and Pensions - If you are in receipt of state benefit such as Universal Credit or Personal Independence Payments, we can ask the Department for Work and Pensions to deduct from these to repay the overpayment.
  • Collection by other Local Authorities – If you have moved out of our area and are claiming housing benefit at your new address, we can ask the Local Authority for that area to reduce your housing benefit every week to recover the overpayment.
  • Debt Recovery Agents – We may ask Debt Recovery Agents to collect the overpayment.
  • Court Action - We may register the debt with the Courts.  This may incur costs for which you will be liable to repay.  We can then ask the High Court Enforcement Officer to collect the debt and they do have the power to take goods in lieu of payment  if you do not make a suitable repayment arrangement with them.
  • Recovery from future housing benefit payments – If you are a landlord and you are receiving housing benefit for other tenants, we may recover the overpayment from these payments.  This is known as ‘blameless tenant’ recovery and you must treat the accounts of these tenants as if full payment was received.

What if I cannot afford to repay my overpayment?

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to recovering outstanding debts but not at levels that would cause financial hardship. If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your repayment plan or make up the shortfall in your rent due, please complete and return the income and expenditure form below:

Income and Expenditure Form

Be aware that we may ask for proof of expenses so put your contact details so that any queries can be sorted quickly.  

You may benefit from a visit from the Welfare Visiting Team, they will be happy to look at your finances with you and may even help you claim all you are entitled to.

You can also seek independent advice from Citizens Advice (external website) or the Money Advice Service (external website)

If you are not currently in receipt of housing benefit, and you think you may now qualify, you can apply here.

What if I do not agree with the overpayment?

When you receive your overpayment letter, read it carefully and if you disagree with the overpayment you can:

  • Ask for an explanation
  • Write and ask us to reconsider the decision
  • If you still disagree with the overpayment you can appeal against the overpayment. You must do this in writing and within one calendar month of the date on your letter. Further appeals information, can be found here.
Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2018