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Overpayments of housing benefit and council tax support

Sometimes housing benefit or 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 wrong information.
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If we’ve paid you too much housing benefit, we will usually ask you to pay back the amount we’ve overpaid. For overpayments of council tax support, we will add the amount of the overpayment to your council tax bill. Our council tax team will collect the overpayment by increasing your monthly payments.  You can find out more on our recovering overpayments and repaying an overpayment pages.

You must tell us about any change in your circumstances that may affect the amount of benefit you receive. These are some examples of changes you must tell us about:

  • You stop receiving income support or jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance
  • Your income changes
  • Someone leaves or joins your household
  • Your rent changes
  • Your tenancy agreement terms change
  • You move to another address

When you tell us about a change in circumstances, you should expect us to take a reasonable time to take account of the change.  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 check by ringing our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121.