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Council Tax Support overpayments

Sometimes Council Tax Support may be overpaid.  This usually happens because:

  • you didn't tell us about changes in your circumstances straight away
  • it takes us a little while to process a change in your circumstances
  • we make a mistake or another team or organisation gave us the wrong information.
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For overpayments of Council Tax Support, initially we will add the amount of the overpayment to your Council Tax bill. Our Council Tax team will then collect the overpayment by increasing your monthly payments.

Whether we recover an overpayment depends on how it happened. If we weren’t told about a change in your circumstances or if there was a delay in processing a change, we can recover overpayments. This means that you will have to pay us back.

If an overpayment happens because we made a mistake, we may recover it. But we will only do this, if you should have realised that you were being overpaid at the time.

Each case is different. We will consider:

  • What caused the overpayment
  • Who knew about the council tax support award
  • Who received the award
  • Who could have known the award was wrong

Generally:

  • If you caused an overpayment, we will ask you to repay the money.
  • If the overpayment is our mistake, we will ask anyone who could have known they were being overpaid to repay the money.

Council Tax Support is awarded for the full financial year in advance.

If there is a change part way through the year, you may have received too much for the rest of the year.

This overpaid amount will be added to your Council Tax account, so this means that the amount you owe may go up.

If you are of State Retirement Pension age, we may be able to reduce the amount you have to pay back.  You will need to tell us about your correct circumstances during the period of the overpayment. If it turns out you were actually entitled to receive some of the Council Tax Support you were overpaid, we will use this to reduce your overpayment.

This usually only applies to Housing Benefit overpayments.  It doesn’t apply to awards of Council Tax Support unless you are over state retirement pension age.

We may ask you to explain your circumstances and give us proof (such as details of your income and bank statements for this period) before we work out your entitlement. If we find that you’re entitled to any additional money for this period, we can only use this to reduce what we’ve overpaid you. We won’t award it to you as a payment.

If we’ve paid you too much Housing Benefit, we will usually ask you to pay back the amount we’ve overpaid.

For Housing Benefit overpayments you can find out more on our recovering overpayments page.

When you tell us about a change in circumstances, it might take us a little while to deal with your claim. This could mean the next payment we send is still based on your old circumstances, which could lead to an overpayment. 

If you’re not sure the payment you’ve received is correct, you can sign up to our online benefits self-service system and manage your account online.  You can also ring our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121.