Benefits - overpayments

Council Tax support

Each time a Council Tax support award changes we will send you a new notification letter and a Council Tax bill. These will have the same date on them and should be read together. If your Council Tax support award reduces or ends, the credit made on your account for the remainder of the financial year will be removed and a new Council Tax bill issued. As long as you make payment as requested on the new bill, you will need to take no further action regarding the Council Tax support overpayment.

Housing benefit

An overpayment of Housing benefit is any amount of Housing benefit which has been paid to you where there is now no entitlement. An overpayment can occur when there is a change in you or your partners income, rent or service charges, or the number of people in your house, it can also be created if someone commits fraud. An housing overpayment notification will be issued containing your rights of appeal. It is very important that you read it carefully as the time limits are very strict if you do not agree with the decision.

How are Housing benefit overpayments recovered?

If your Housing benefit award has reduced we will normally recover any overpayment by weekly deduction from your ongoing benefit award. If this happens you must increase the payments made to your landlord by the same amount as the deduction, otherwise you may get into rent arrears. If you believe that the rate of deduction is too high or is causing you hardship you should contact us immediately.

If you are no longer entitled to benefit we will send you an invoice with payment instructions.

Underlying entitlement

If you are overpaid housing benefit because your application has been cancelled or an assumption made, we may be able to reduce your overpayments if you provide the information that was not available at the time your application was assessed.

If we award benefit for the period of an overpayment it is called underlying entitlement and we will use it to reduce the total amount of the overpaid benefit.

Repaying an overpayment

If you have received an invoice and would like to make a payment, you can pay online using a credit or debit card.

Pay your Housing benefit overpayments online

Alternatively you can pay an overpayment at Contact Harlow.

Debt and money advice

If you have difficulty paying your Council bills please Contact Harlow in the first instance. There are also a number of other independent and government organisations, that may be able to give advice with not only Council bills but any other bills or debt you may have.