Overpayments happen when you have received too much Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. This might be because your circumstances have changed. If this happens, we will send you a letter with details of the overpayment and we will normally ask you to pay this money back. We will take into account your circumstances and who we paid your benefit to.
Paying back a Housing Benefit overpayment
The way you pay back a Housing Benefit overpayment depends on whether your claim is still in payment or not and whether you rent from the council, or a private landlord or housing association.
- From instalments of your Housing Benefit - if you are still getting Housing Benefit we will reduce the amount you will receive each week until the debt is paid. There are legal limits to how much we can take each week. If the amount we take each week causes you a problem, please tell us. We might be able to change it and take a smaller amount
- From your rent account, if you are a council tenant and your rent account is in credit - we may take this credit off the account but we won't put your account into arrears
- By using other money we owe you - this is called 'offsetting'
- By sending you an invoice - Further information can be found on our Pay for it page
- From your landlord - if we've been paying your benefit to a private landlord or housing association, we may ask them to repay the money.
Paying back a Council Tax Support overpayment
We will take the overpaid support back out of your Council Tax account and you will get a new Council Tax bill with more to pay. The Council Tax office will try and collect this money from you fairly, such as by increasing your monthly instalments.
Other ways we can get the money back
- We can ask the Department for Work and Pensions to take money out of your social security benefits
- We can ask your employer to make deductions from your earnings called Direct Earnings Attachments (DEA)
- If you have moved away from Fareham we can ask another Council to take money out of any Housing Benefit they are paying you.
What if I disagree with the overpayment?
See our Appeals page for information about what to do if you disagree with an overpayment.