Housing Benefit Overpayments
What is an Overpayment?
A Housing Benefit overpayment happens when we pay you, or your landlord, Housing Benefit that you are not entitled to. This might be because your circumstances have changed and as a result your benefit award reduces.
Therefore, to prevent overpayments it is important to 'Tell us Online and On Time' when your circumstances change.
How does the Council deal with an overpayment?
In almost all cases overpaid benefit has to be repaid, even if it was paid because of an error.
If you have been overpaid, you will receive a letter with details of the overpayment. We will tell you:-
- how much you have been overpaid
- the period of overpayment
- the reason you have been overpaid
- how the overpayment will be recovered
Can overpayments be reduced?
If you have been overpaid Housing Benefit we may be able to reduce the overpayment by recalculating your entitlement. This is called Underlying Entitlement.
Underlying Entitlement is a calculation of what you would have received if your claim was based on what your actual circumstances were when you were overpaid. It is calculated by working out any benefit or reduction you are entitled to based on your new circumstances, and using it to reduce the outstanding overpayment.
Repaying an overpayment
If you are still getting Housing Benefit, a set amount is deducted from your ongoing payments each week and used to reduce the overpayment. The amount taken will depend on your circumstances.
To prevent any arrears with your rent, you may need to be aware of this and ensure you pay more to your Landlord to make up for this.
If you are no longer entitled to Housing Benefit, you will be sent an invoice for which you can make a payment arrangement. This can be done by calling the team on 02392 545332.
How to pay
Pay your instalment ONLINE
- Select the 'PAY' button on the Home screen and then 'Make a Payment'
- Input the 8 numbers of your invoice and the amount you wish to pay
Pay by card on the automated payment line 08000 213995
- You will need to input the 8 numbers of your invoice
Pay by standing order
- Set up a Standing Order via your bank and pay National Westminster Bank, Account number 96516321, Branch reference 53-50-05
Pay by cheque
- Write the invoice number on the back of your cheque
- Cheques must be made payable to Gosport Borough Council
- Post to Town Hall, Gosport, PO12 1EB (or in person)
What if I can't pay the invoice?
If you are unable to pay the invoice in full, it is important that you contact us on 02392 545332 to talk to us about this, so that we can better understand your circumstances.
If we don't hear from you, we will consider what action needs to be taken next. This could be passing your debt to a Collection Agency, issuing an Attachment of Earnings to your employer or referring your debt to the Court.
**We fully understand that repaying a debt may cause you concern, especially with household costs rising - we just ask that you get in touch straight away**
We are keen to help you and by gaining an understanding of your circumstances, we will be able to offer you the right advice about your overpayment.
Please contact us now on contact us on 02392 545332