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Overpayments

A Housing Benefit overpayment is any amount of Housing Benefit paid to or in respect of a claimant to which he/she is not or was not entitled

 

Overpayments are normally created following a review of entitlement to benefit.

 

Overpayments can be caused by a failure to report a change of circumstances, delays in processing a change of circumstances, incorrect information being supplied, errors made by the Local Authority or errors made by the Department for Work and Pensions

 

Most overpayments are recoverable, regardless of the cause of the overpayment. If an overpayment was caused by misrepresentation or failure to disclose information the overpayment must be recovered from the person who actually misrepresented or failed to disclose that information.

 

Overpayments that are caused by ‘official error’ might not be recovered, unless it was reasonable for the tenant or landlord to have known they were being overpaid. Each case is looked at separately.

 

Overpayment Recovery

If you are still getting Housing Benefit we will recover the overpayment by reducing the amount of benefit which you are entitled to until the overpayment is recovered. The Government sets the amount by which we can reduce your benefit. The amount is higher if your overpayment is classed as fraudulent. A letter will be sent to you detailing how much we are recovering.

 

If you are no longer getting housing benefit we will send you an invoice for you to pay. The invoice will show:

  • What it is for and the amount due
  • Who owes the money
  • How to make payment
  • How to contact us

How to Pay

We aim to make payment as convenient as possible by fitting in with your personal budgeting arrangements and helping you avoid travelling solely to pay bills. You can pay Housing Benefit overpayments at the following:

 

Online payments 

 

At Council Offices

Payment may be made at the Council Cash Office, free of charge, by taking the barcoded invoice or barcoded instalment vouchers to the Civic Offices in Barry*

 

Directions to Civic Offices

At the Post Office

Payment may be made, free of charge, by taking the barcoded invoice or barcoded installment vouchers to all Post Offices.

 

Branch Finder

At Paypoint

Payments can be made, free of charge, by taking the barcoded invoice or barcoded installment vouchers to PayPoint outlets:

 

Paypoint

By Phone

Pay by debit or credit card over the phone*

 

  • 01446 709241/5

 

24-hour Automated Payments

Pay via the 24hr automated payments system:

 

  • 01446 736815
 

 *Monday - Thursday:  8:45am - 4:30pm / Friday: 8:45am - 4:00pm

  • What if I cannot afford to repay the overpayment in one go?
     

    In some cases we can negotiate a realistic level of repayment over a longer period of time (say by smaller regular payments). We will encourage you to seek independent advice if you have multiple debt problems. In setting repayments amounts, we will consider:

     - Recommendations from recognised advice agencies

     - Any information you give us on the total debts you owe

     - Your commitments to your dependants

  • What happens if I do not repay the overpayment? 

    If we have followed our procedures and you still owe money, we may pursue the debt through the courts.

    A County Court Order obtained against you will allow us:

     - To use an attachment of earnings

     - To use bailiffs to collect the overpayment

     - To put a charging order on your house if you own/mortgage it

     - To place a third party debt order against any money you hold

    If we do have to apply for a County Court Order, we will add costs to your overpayment and you will have to pay these costs as well as the original overpayment

     

 

 

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk   www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk   www.nowletstalkmoney.com

 

Payment and Income Management

Third Floor

Civic Offices

Holton Road

Barry

CF63 4RU

 

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