What happens if you are overpaid

What is an overpayment?

An overpayment is where you have been paid more Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax reduction than you are entitled to.

If we have paid you too much benefit, you will need to pay the money back.

This could happen if:

  • the information you give is wrong 
  • you don’t tell us about a change in circumstances 
  • we make a mistake when we pay your benefit

We will send you a letter explaining how we have worked out the overpayment.

How do I pay the money back?

Housing Benefit overpayments

If you are claiming Housing Benefit we will recover the overpayment from your benefit payments. Overpayments are recovered at standard rates. If you are experiencing hardship because of the repayments you can ask us to recover a smaller amount each week.

If you are no longer claiming Housing benefit we will send you an invoice. You can pay in full or make arrangements to repay the overpayment in instalments with the Council's Debt Recovery department.

Council Tax Reduction overpayments

If we overpay Council Tax Reduction we will need to remove this from your Council Tax account. You will have more Council Tax to pay. We will issue a new Council Tax Reduction Notice and Council Tax bill which you should make arrangements to pay.

What if an overpayment isn’t my fault?

If it was reasonable to expect you to realise that your benefit was wrong or tell us that your circumstances had changed we will ask you to repay the overpayment.

If Housing Benefit has been paid to a landlord we may ask them to repay the overpayment if the reason for it was their fault.

Can I appeal against an overpayment?

You can appeal against an overpayment within a calendar month from the letter that we send you.

You can appeal against:

  • how we have calculated the overpayment 
  • whether we should have recovered the overpayment

Please note: recovery of Housing Benefit overpayments will not start until after the appeal period. Recovery of Council Tax Reduction overpayments will start immediately.

You should not ignore council tax bills or invoices. This may lead to further costs.

Contact details

Bradford Council
Visit us (call us first to make an appointment)

Call us : 01274 432772
Email : benefits@bradford.gov.uk

Write to us at:

Housing Benefits and Reductions
PO Box 1251