We are currently consulting on our Council Tax Reduction scheme for 2018/19. For more information, go to: www.newcastle.gov.uk/CouncilTaxReductionScheme2018/19

What is an overpayment?

An overpayment is any amount of benefit which you are not legally entitled to.

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What causes overpayments?

There are a number of ways that you can be paid too much benefit. The main causes are:

  • Not telling us about changes to your circumstances quickly.
  • Mistakes or delays in processing your claims.
  • Fraudulent claims.

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Can the overpayment recovery rate be reduced?

If you are entitled to Housing Benefit and you are unable to afford the current overpayment recovery rate, you can request this to be reduced.  Please complete this online form to request this.  We will contact you once a decision has been made.  Your current overpayment recovery rate will still apply whilst you are awaiting confirmation of our decision.

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Can we recover overpayments?

Most overpayments are recoverable regardless of how it happened. If it was our mistake we will only ask you to pay it back if we think you should have known your benefit was wrong.

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Who can we recover overpayments from?

We can recover housing benefit overpayments from either the claimant or the person we paid, such as landlords. We will not normally recover from a landlord if the housing benefit overpayment is due to:

  • A change in your personal circumstances; or 
  • Where you have made a fraudulent claim.

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How do we recover overpayments?

There are a number of ways we can recover overpayments. The methods we use are

  1. If you still qualify for housing benefit we will reduce your benefit payment each week until the overpayment is recovered.
  2. If you no longer receive benefit we will send you an invoice.
  3. We may reduce the overpayment by any arrears of benefit you are entitled to.
  4. In some cases we may ask the DWP to reduce your benefits each week until the overpayment is repaid.
  5. We can recover direct from landlords from housing benefit paid for another tenant.

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How do I pay my invoice?

If you have received an invoice for overpaid housing benefit and you wish to pay back the full amount, or if you have made an arrangement with us to repay an invoice you can make payment in a number of ways:

Direct debit: To set up a Direct Debit please phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for Benefits, Monday to Thursday between 8am and 6pm and between 8am and 4:30pm on Friday. If the invoice is not in your name you can download a paper direct debit form or pay by an alternative method detailed below

Online and telephone banking: Make your payments to Lloyds Bank, account number  63352060, sort code 30-93-71. Please make sure that you quote the invoice number, which is on the front of your invoice.

Debit or credit cards: For debit or credit card telephone payments, please phone 0191 278 7878 Monday to Thursday between 8am and 6pm and between 8am and 4.30pm on Friday. Have your card, invoice number (shown on the front of the invoice), and a pen and paper to note your receipt number. The card holder must be present during the transaction.

*We do not accept American Express, JCB or Diners Club cards. A 2% handling fee may be added to some credit card payments.

Over the internet: Please visit Pay for it

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Can I make or amend an arrangement to repay my invoice?

If you have received an invoice for overpaid Housing Benefit and you need to make an arrangement with us to repay the invoice by instalments or amend your existing instalments plan, please complete this online form. We will contact you once a decision has been made. Your current repayment plan will still apply whilst you are awaiting confirmation of our decision.

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Important information for employers 

Please click here to view The Employer's Guide to Attachment of Earnings.

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Page last updated: 
6 July 2017
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