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Overpayments

An overpayment occurs when you or your landlord are paid an amount of Housing Benefit that you were not entitled to receive.

If we have paid you too much benefit, we will ask you to pay back the amount you have been overpaid. This is called a “recoverable overpayment”.

We may be able to reduce the amount of the overpayment if you can show that you had an “underlying” entitlement to benefit for the period you were overpaid.

To assess “underlying” entitlement we will need you to supply documentary evidence of your income and capital and also confirm details about who was living in the property with you, for the period of the overpayment.

There is a procedure whereby you can ask us to reconsider our decision, you also have the right to make a formal appeal.

  • If you are still entitled to Housing Benefit, we will reduce your benefit every week to recover the overpayment.
  • We can ask the Department for Work and Pension to make deductions from your social security benefit to recover the overpayment.
  • If you have moved out of the area, we can ask another Local Authority to reduce your Housing Benefit every week to recover the overpayment.
  • If you are not entitled to Housing Benefit, we will issue an Invoice for the overpayment. If you cannot pay the full amount please contact us to see if we can reach an agreement to pay it back in instalments. Tel: 01554 742156

If you cannot afford to pay the entire bill straight away you may be able to pay by instalments. You will need to contact us to make an arrangement which you can pay:

  • By phone: using your debit or credit card. Please ring 01267 679900. This is an automated service available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. You will need to select option 5. Alternatively you can ring us on 01267 228686 during offices hours.
  • In Person: at one of our cash offices
  • By Direct Debit: This is a simple, convenient and safe way of paying an overpayment of Housing Benefit. The payment date will be the 1st of each month.

To set up your Direct Debit:

  • You will need to contact us to agree the monthly instalments,
  • Print off the Direct Debit form,
  • Complete all sections including the Housing Benefit Invoice number beginning with 11,
  • Return it to us at the address below, or

Alternatively we can arrange for a Direct Debit mandate to be sent to you by post.

* Please note that if you pay by credit card, you will incur an extra fee equal to 2% of your payment.

 

 

  • We will send you reminders in case you have forgotten to pay, but if you still fail to pay or to come to an agreement to clear the invoice, we will have to take further action.
  • We may refer the overpayment to the Council’s Debt Recovery Agents for them to enforce recovery which may incur further costs.
  • We may register the debt with the County Court.
  • We may ask your employer to make deductions from your earnings to recover the overpayment (Direct Earnings Attachment).
    • We will issue a Pre-Court or Pre Direct Earnings Attachment letter to notify you before such action is taken.
  • You will incur additional Court Costs which will increase the amount of the debt. These costs vary depending on the amount of the overpayment.
  • When a Court Order is awarded, we can ask the Court to enforce recovery via an Attachment of Earnings. The Court will contact your employer and request that deductions are made from your wages to repay the overpayment. You will again incur further Court Costs.
  • If you are not in employment, the Court will require you to attend a hearing when you will be asked to provide proof of your income. The Court will then enforce recovery of the overpayment and the additional costs by arranging monthly instalments.

For independent advice, you can contact:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau
    Llanelli 01554 759626 | Carmarthen 01267 234488 | Ammanford 01269 591091
  • Shelter Cymru: 01267 229206
  • CATCHUP Ltd: 01554 776850 | 01554 774570
  • National Debtline 
  • Money Advice Service

Page updated on: 14/11/2017

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