Why overpayments happen

We may have to recalculate the amount of your housing benefit or council tax support entitlement because of a change in your circumstances or because an error has been made.

If your entitlement goes down and we've already paid you a higher amount there will be an overpayment. The most common cause of overpayments is the time it takes between a change happening, you telling us about it and us dealing with it. Even if you tell us straight away and we deal with it quickly it is often impossible to avoid an overpayment.

Overpayments can happen because:

  • you may have given us wrong information
  • you may not have told us something we needed to know
  • you may have delayed telling us about a change
  • we may have delayed dealing with something you told us
  • we may have made a mistake calculating your entitlement

In the case of council tax support, we reduce your council tax bill each year in April based on your income at the time. If your income changes during the year, then you may have been under paid or overpaid and we therefore need to alter your council tax support which could mean an increase or decrease in the amount of council tax you have to pay.