If your circumstances change while you are claiming housing benefit but you do not tell us straight away you could be paid more benefit than you are entitled to. The difference between what you were actually paid and what you should have been paid is called an overpayment.
What happens if you are overpaid Housing Benefit?
We will send you a letter giving you the full details of the overpayment. The letter will tell you:
How the overpayment happened,
The amount you were overpaid,
The period of the overpayment,
How we will recover the overpayment, and
What to do if you disagree with the overpayment
We have a duty to recover overpayments of benefit for which there was no entitlement or a reduced entitlement. We will look into the reasons as to why the overpayment occurred, 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.
How do you pay back the overpayment?
If you are still entitled to housing benefit we will reduce the amount you get (or the amount paid to your landlord if your benefit is paid direct to your landlord).
If you are no longer receiving housing benefit we will send you an invoice. You can pay this by:
Online or by phone With a Debit or Credit Card (24 Hours A Day)
Using your debit or credit card, you can pay:
Online - WebPublic allows customers to make online bill payments in a safe and secure environment.
Visit our payments page to pay now selecting the payment type 'Benefits Overpayments'.
By Phone - by ringing our automated Callpay line 0300 555 7000 when a payment is due. Select the option for 'Payment of Benefit Overpayments'.
A reference must also be quoted so we can identify you. This will be your account reference, eg - 8123456
Using the following details:
Account Name: Dudley Metropolitan Borough
Bank: HSBC, High Street, Dudley
Sort Code: 40-19-28
Account Number: 20950688
A reference must also be quoted so we can identify you. This will be your account reference, leaving out any spaces, prefixed with 24 - eg - 248123456
Paying in Person
You will need to bring a letter with your personal barcode on, such as your invoice or reminder for identification.
You must always quote your account reference number when making a payment.
What should you do if you can’t pay the full amount of the invoice?
If you can’t pay the full amount we can arrange for you to pay it back in instalments, you need to contact us on 01384 814875 as soon as possible. Please do not ignore any requests for payment; we can help you with your repayment plans.
If you do not pay or contact us, we can:
- Ask the Department of Work and Pensions to make deductions from benefits which you may receive from them, this is known as an attachment of benefits.
- Instruct an enforcement agency to collect the debt on our behalf. You will also be responsible for paying any additional costs that may be incurred.
- Ask your employer to deduct the money out of your wages, this is known as a Direct Earnings Attachment
What happens if you are overpaid Council Tax Reduction?
Council Tax Reduction is awarded to your council tax account. If you are overpaid Council Tax Reduction the amount of the overpayment will be added to your council tax account and you will be sent an amended bill with revised instalments.