Overpayment of Housing Benefit

What happens if you've been overpaid, how to repay overpaid Housing Benefit and what to do if you can't pay the money back

If you're paid too much benefit it's called an 'overpayment'.

Overpayments usually happen when your benefit hasn't been altered to match your changed circumstances. You must tell us if your circumstances change.

If you think you've been paid too much, please contact us straight away.

What happens if you get paid too much

We'll write to you about the overpayment, and tell you:

  • the reason for the overpayment
  • how much you've been overpaid
  • what period the overpayment relates to
  • if the overpayment will be recovered and how

How we recover overpaid Housing Benefit

We can take money out of each week's benefit until your overpayment is cleared.  We'll tell you how much in your letter.

If you're no longer on benefit, we'll send you an invoice for the full Housing Benefit overpayment.

If you're receiving Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions may recover your overpayment on our behalf. This will be shown on your entitlement letters from them. You'll need to contact them if you have any questions.

Pay an invoice for overpaid Housing Benefit

You'll need:

  • your invoice number
  • the name as it appears on the invoice
  • your address and post code and
  • your credit or debit card details

Pay an invoice for overpaid Housing Benefit

Other ways to pay

By telephone

Call 0870 707 7776 (24-hour payment line). Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.

You'll need:

  • your invoice number
  • the name as it appears on the invoice
  • your address and post code and
  • your credit or debit card details

By post

Housing Benefits (100TS), Bristol City Council, PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS.

You'll need to include:

  • the invoice number
  • the name as it appears on the invoice
  • your address and post code. 

Never send cash to us through the post.

At a Citizen Service Point

You can pay by cash, cheque, or by credit or debit card at any of our Citizen Service Points.

What to do if you can't pay the money back

Contact us straight away if you're having problems paying the money back.

You can also make an arrangement to pay a council debt online.

If you disagree with our decision

We  may be able to look at that decision again.

Appeal a benefit decision.