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Benefit overpayments

An overpayment is when you are paid benefit which you are not entitled to. If you've been overpaid, we will write to you to let you know the full details, like:

  • what caused the overpayment
  • the dates of the overpayment
  • how much the overpayment is
  • what to do if you disagree

There are several reasons why you may have received an overpayment of benefit:

  • You may have forgotten to let us know that your income has increased, from something like working family tax credit, wages, other benefits or pensions.
  • Somebody may have moved into or out of your home. This would mean that we will need to work out your claim again.
  • If you have a non-dependant person living with you, their income may have changed.
  • If you have moved out of your home and not told us.
  • You may have a change in the type of benefit you receive from the Benefit Agency, or an increase in the benefit.
  • You may have started work, or changed jobs.
  • The Benefits Agency may have told us to cancel your claim, or there may have been a delay in us receiving information from them.
  • If your claim is found to be fraudulent, we will recover any benefit paid to you that you were not entitled to.

How is the overpayment recovered?

  • If you are still getting Housing Benefit, we may reduce this each week by an agreed amount. If you feel that the amount we are reducing your Housing Benefit by is causing you hardship, you can write or telephone and ask us to lower it. Please note, that we may ask for more details.
  • If you don't get Housing Benefit any more, we will invoice you. If you are not able to repay the amount in full, you will need to contact our Benefits Section who may be able to arrange for your to repay in instalments.
  • Council tenants will have their overpayments recovered along with their rent or from ongoing housing benefit payments.
  • If you are a private tenant, we invoice either you or your landlord, depending on who the overpayment was paid to.
  • Owner occupiers have their overpayments recovered through their council tax. 

How you can help with overpayments

  • If you get a letter about overpayments, please don't ignore it. We will have to recover any overpayments.
  • If you are starting work, don't forget to let us know - if we know before you start work, there is less chance of an overpayment.

Contact us

If you would like more information about benefit overpayment, please contact Housing Benefit Overpayment on:

Tel: 01695  585063


Email: housing.benefits@westlancs.gov.uk 

Write to: Housing Benefit Overpayment, West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk L39 2DF



Related information

Last Updated: 8/1/2013

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West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire L39 2DF
Tel: 01695 577177 | Email: customer.services@westlancs.gov.uk