Changes in circumstances and overpayments

Changes in circumstances

Overpayments

Telling you about an overpayment

What happens if I have been overpaid benefit?

How can I pay the money back?

How can I stop this from happening?

What if I don't agree with your decision?

What we will do if we get your appeal against the overpayment decision

Changes in circumstances

Have you had a change in your circumstances since you last had your housing/council tax support assessed? Have you told us about these changes?

Do you know that it is your responsibility to tell us about any changes as soon as they occur and you will not automatically receive a review form every year? If you do not report a change that may have an effect on your benefit, you will have to pay any money back that you have been overpaid and you could face legal action.

You can report a changes in circumstances online using the following two forms.

You can also report a change of circumstances by

Overpayments

The amount of benefit you get to help you pay your rent and council tax depends on what you tell us when you make your claim. If your circumstances change then your housing and council tax benefit may change too.

If your personal circumstances do change, and you do not tell us straight away, we may pay you too much benefit. This is called an overpayment.

Some changes you must tell us about are:

  • a change in income and/or savings
  • change of address
  • children who leave school/start working
  • adults moving in/out of your home
  • marriages, separations and divorce

Telling you about an overpayment

If you have been overpaid housing and council tax benefit we will write and tell you:

  • there has been an overpayment of benefit
  • the reason for the overpayment
  • the amount of benefit overpaid
  • how we worked out the overpayment

What happens if I have been overpaid benefit?

  • We will look at why you were overpaid before we ask you to pay back the money
  • We will not ask you to repay the overpayment until you have a chance to ask for the decision to be looked at again if you disagree with it.

How can I pay the money back?

  • If you are still getting housing benefit we may take an amount from your housing benefit to pay the money back. We will write and tell you before we do this and tell you how much we are going to take
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship and want to repay the overpayment at a reduced amount please contact us
  • If you are no longer getting housing benefit you will receive an bill for the amount you have been overpaid. This will tell you how you can pay the money back
  • If you are overpaid council tax benefit, we will give you a new council tax bill which will include the amount you were overpaid.

How can I stop this from happening?

  • If you know a change is going to take place, tell us in writing before it happens or as soon as the change happens
  • It is your responsibility to tell us about any change in your circumstances.

What if I don't agree with your decision?

You can ask for a decision to recover an overpayment to be looked at again. You must ask us in writing within one calendar month of the date the overpayment letter was sent to you. You can download an appeals form here.

What we will do if we get your appeal against the overpayment decision

  • We will look at your overpayment decision again
  • We will deal with your appeal within four weeks
  • We will write to you to tell you what our decision is.

 

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