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Benefits - overpayments and underlying entitlement


An overpayment is an amount of benefit that we have paid to someone and we then find out that you were not entitled to some, or all of it. But it is possible that we may be able to reduce the amount you owe. 

What causes an overpayment?

There are many reasons why you may be overpaid benefit. An example is if your income increases which reduces the amount of benefit you are entitled to for a period we have already paid benefit for.

What happens when an overpayment is found?

We must:

  • Establish the cause of the overpayment
  • Work out the period and the amount of the overpayment
  • Decide whether the overpayment is recoverable
  • Decide whether to recover the overpayment
  • Decide who the overpayment is recoverable from
  • Write to you about the decision.

 What if I disagree with the decision?

You can:

  • Ask to have the decision explained to you
  • Ask us to look at the decision again
  • Appeal against the decision.

How do I pay back the overpayment?

Housing Benefit

  • If you are a Paradigm Housing Association tenant, we may recover any overpayments by making an adjustment to your rent account. You will then have to pay the amount owed to Paradigm Housing Association
  • If you are still entitled to benefit, we will recover the overpayment by making deductions from your weekly entitlement until the overpayment is cleared
  • If you are no longer entitled to housing benefit, we will send you an invoice, which gives you one month to pay. If you cannot repay the total amount by the due date, you can contact us to make an arrangement on the outstanding amount.

Council Tax Support

When you are awarded Council Tax Support it is credited to your council tax account. If you have been overpaid Council Tax Support, we recover it by making an adjustment to the amount of council tax you owe. You will be sent a new Council Tax bill telling you what you now have to pay.

Can we reduce what you owe?

It may be possible that you have an underlying entitlement to housing benefit during the period of the overpayment.

Underlying Entitlement

Underlying Entitlement is the amount of Housing Benefit someone would have been entitled to if we had known about their true circumstances and that these changes in circumstances were notified at the time that happened.

If you supply details of your income and capital for the period of the overpayment, we can work out what your entitlement would have been if we had known about your changes and use this amount of Housing Benefit to reduce what you owe.

Pay for Benefits Overpayment