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.
If you think the overpayment is incorrect you can ask us to reconsider our decision by downloading and completing an appeal form, you also have the right to make a formal appeal.
How will the overpayment be recovered?
- 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.
How to make a payment or set up a payment plan
You can make a payment online or if you'd prefer call our automated phone line on 01267 679900, select option 5. You will need:
- housing benefit invoice number
- account name
- amount you need to pay
We accept the following types of credit/debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Solo, Visa Delta).
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 arrange this. Once we have agreed a payment plan, the easiest way to manage this is with a Direct Debit.
You can set up your Direct Debit over the phone on 01554 742156. Alternatively you can print off the Direct Debit form, complete all sections including your housing benefit invoice number and return to us at: Housing Benefit, Ty Elwyn, Town Hall Square, Llanelli, SA15 3AP. The payment date for your Direct Debit will be the 1st of each month.
If you do not pay the invoice 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 also register the debt with the County Court. 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.
We will issue a Pre-Court or Pre Direct Earnings Attachment letter to notify you before such action is taken.
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