An overpayment is an amount of Benefit or Support that has been paid to a claimant when they were not entitled to have it.
An example would be if a customer failed to tell the council that their income had increased, and a recalculation of their entitlement meant that they had been paid too much benefit.
If you have a change in your circumstances, it is important that you tell the benefits department immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A fraudulent overpayment may occur when a person has deliberately provided a false statement or document, or has deliberately failed to report a change of circumstances with the intention of obtaining or retaining benefit.
Notification of Overpayment
If you have been overpaid housing benefit, we will write to tell you about the overpayment. The letter we send you will tell you:
- dates when benefit was overpaid
- why we gave you too much benefit
- how much the overpayment is
- if you have to pay back the amount
- how you can appeal if you think this is wrong
In some cases we may be able to reduce the amount of the overpayment if you provide us with details of your circumstances for the time period of the overpayment. This is called underlying entitlement. We will write to you where this applies. If you do not provide the details we ask for within 28 days you must pay back the full amount of the overpayment.
Paying Back Overpaid Housing Benefit
We have a legal duty to recover overpayments from tenants and landlords. All overpayments are recoverable except those which were caused by an official error, where the claimant or person to whom the benefit was paid could not reasonably have been expected to realise that they were being overpaid.
We may take criminal proceedings in respect of fraudulent overpayments.
Changes in Council Tax Support Entitlement
We will adjust the council tax support entitlement on your council tax account to show your reduced entitlement and the amount payable on your council tax account will increase. You will receive a revised council tax bill telling you your new payments.
West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard