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Pay back a Housing Benefit overpayment

How to pay back Housing Benefit to which you are not entitled.

An overpayment is when you've been paid Housing Benefit you're not entitled too. It usually happens when your circumstances have changed but you haven't informed us.

Changes that could result in an overpayment include:

  • an increase in your income or the income of other adults who live with you
  • an increase in capital
  • someone moving into or out of your home.

Informing you of overpayments

You'll be notified of any overpayment in writing, along with how we intend to collect the repayments. If you disagree with our decision you can ask for it to be reviewed, or appeal against the decision.

Any request for us to do any of the above must be made in writing within one month of the date of the letter telling you about the decision. Details of how to request a revision or make an appeal are on the letter.

If the overpayments were made directly to your landlord we may recover the overpayment from them.

Making repayments

You can make repayments online using the link below. Alternatively, we will collect the overpayments using the method outlined in the letter we have sent you.

To pay your invoice online you'll need:

  • your invoice number (the reference number on your payment bill, invoice or payment documentation)
  • the amount you need to pay.

Pay back overpayment of Housing Benefit

Help making repayments

If you're finding it difficult repaying the money you owe, contact us as soon as possible - we may be able to come to an alternative arrangement to help you repay.

Citizens' Advice Merton and Lambeth can also help with budgeting and debt management that could help you repay this and other debts.

Failure to make repayments

If you do not repay the overpayment we can take you to court.

The court allows us to:

  • collect repayments directly from your wages (attachment of earnings)
  • use bailiffs
  • seek a charging order.

If we need to use the court then costs will be added to the outstanding debt and you'll have to repay these costs, as well as the original overpayment.

If the overpayment is a result of fraud, we will usually seek to prosecute.