Benefit overpayments occur when too much housing benefit is paid, usually due to a change in circumstances.
To avoid an overpayment, make sure you always tell us immediately about any changes in your circumstances. Do not wait or assume that someone else will tell us for you.
In almost all cases, we ask you to pay back any overpaid benefit - even if it was paid because of our error. When we work out how much benefit you get we send you notification letters explaining our decision. You should check these letters to make sure you agree with our calculation and contact us immediately if you think something is wrong.
Sometimes we will not ask you for the money back if:
- it was our error and
- you could not have reasonably known that you were being overpaid
We can get back an overpayment from you or your landlord, if you have one, depending on who we paid it to. We take account of what caused the overpayment before we decide who to claim the money back from.
If there is an overpayment as a result of a fraudulent claim or a change of circumstances which the landlord could not reasonably have been expected to know about, we will ask you to repay the overpayment.
More information about overpayments can be found on the Gov website.