An overpayment is caused when you have been paid more Housing Benefit than you are entitled to. We can recover the overpayment from:
We can recover almost all overpayments unless the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have made a mistake. There is also an exception if you could not be expected to know there had been an overpayment.
Overpayments usually happen when you do not tell us about a change in your circumstances as soon as it happens. Changes we need to be told about are:
To help us get your benefit right tell us about any change in your circumstances straight away.
You are liable for letting us know of any changes in your circumstances.
A fraudulent overpayment may occur when a person has:
We have a duty to recover overpayments. When recovering, we will consider the method of recovery and whom we should recover the overpayment from.
We can recover the overpayment from:
If you have been overpaid we will write to you with details of:
An invoice will be sent if a Housing Benefit overpayment has occurred. A Council Tax bill will be sent if Council Tax Support has been overpaid.
If you are unhappy with our decision you can ask us to look at it again or make an appeal. If you wish to do this, you must write to us within 1 month of the date of our decision letter.
If you are in financial hardship you may be able to repay the overpayment at a reduced amount. If you wish to do this please complete an income and expenditure form.
Visit our online payments page to make a payment online.
You can pay via our 24 hours a day automated telephone service on 0345 155 0028.
Our manned payment telephone line is 01772 906610 (open 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday).
Please quote the invoice number, together with the council's bank account details.
Please note - Housing Benefit Overpayments can only be repaid by standing order.
You will need to set this up on your bank account. You can do this online or by calling into your bank for a Standing Order to be set up and processed. Please note that we cannot set up a direct debit arrangement for Housing Benefit Overpayments.
Payment can be made at any Post Office. Please keep your receipt as proof of payment.
PayPoint outlets accept cash and debit card overpayments. To find your nearest PayPoint visit PayPoint Store Locator. Please take your invoice which has your bar code on it and keep your receipt as proof of payment.
Cheques and postal orders should be payable to Preston City Council. Please include your invoice number and send to:
Failure to repay an overpayment may result in further action being taken by using one of the following methods.
We are here to help. Should you get into any difficulties with your repayments, please ring the Contact Centre for advice on telephone (01772) 906903 or email email@example.com.
Please note: We can decide a landlord is not a "fit and proper person" under benefit regulations. This decision can be made if a landlord fails to repay overpayments that are recoverable to them. This also means we can refuse to make direct benefit payments to that landlord.
The Government and The Money Advice Service has set up a new on-line tool. This tool is aimed at helping people with their budgets and managing their debt.
Or, for more advice, please contact the welfare benefits advice service.
You can ask for a decision to recover an overpayment to be looked at again. This must be in writing, within one calendar month of the date the overpayment letter was sent to you. You can find further guidance notes on the appeals page.
A landlord can request a revision when:
They are notified in writing of a decision to recover it from them. Any request for a revision or appeal should be made within one calendar month from the date of the notification.