Skip to main content

Recovery of overpaid housing benefit

There are several ways we can arrange how money can be repaid if you’ve been overpaid housing benefit:

Weekly deductions

If you still get housing benefit, we can take money from your weekly benefit payment. The law limits how much we can take each week:

  • we won't usually take more than £11.10 a week if you don’t work
  • if you are working we ignore some of your earnings when we work out your Housing Benefit, so we may recover more than £11.10 a week
  • if you have committed fraud, we will take £18.50 a week

If we're taking so much each week that it's causing you a serious problem, complete a request to reduce form asking to reduce the weekly deduction.

It is important to remember that if we pay your housing benefit direct to your landlord, the amount your landlord gets while we are taking repayment will not be enough to cover your rent. You must pay your landlord the shortfall so you don’t fall into rent arrears.

If you would prefer to repay your overpayment as a one-off payment, contact us using the general enquiries online form for an invoice instead.

Rent account

If you’re one of our tenants, and you've paid more rent that you owe we may take this off the account, but we won't take more than that so you owe more rent.

Using other money we owe you

If we owe you benefit for another reason, we can keep the money and use it to repay what we have overpaid you.

Other ways we can get the money back

We can ask:

  • the Department for Work and Pensions to take money out of your benefits
  • another council to take money out of any housing benefit they are paying you


We may send you an invoice. You must pay it within 28 days. If you can't pay it all at once, we can arrange instalments, and there are several ways you can pay. If we don't hear from you or you don't make payments when you should, we can:

  • recover overpaid housing benefit by taking from your earnings without having to apply for a court order. This is called Direct Earnings Attachments (DEA). If we choose to use a DEA, you must, by law, give us information about your work. If you don’t you could be fined of up to £1,000
  • apply for a county court judgment (CCJ). This will affect your credit rating and make it difficult for you to get a loan or credit in the future
  • using a collection agency who may call at your home
  • if you owe us a large amount of money we may also take steps to make you bankrupt