Paying the money back

If you have been overpaid, will you have to pay the money back?

  • Yes, if it was your fault
  • Yes, if it was not your fault, such as a backdated pay rise that you could not have told us about earlier
  • Yes, if it was our fault, but you could have realised you were being overpaid. Such as us not including your wages and you didn't tell us
  • No, if it was our fault and you couldn't have realised you were getting too much benefit

Most overpayments have to be paid back and can be recovered from either the person who caused the overpayment, or the person who received the payment. This means that sometimes we may recover an overpayment of housing benefit from your landlord.

Overpayments that are caused by a mistake made by us or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may not be recovered, unless it was reasonable for you to realise that you were being overpaid. Each case is looked at separately.

Recovering an overpayment does not affect any criminal proceedings we may take over a fraudulent claim.

If you have been overpaid council tax support an adjustment will be made on your council tax account and your monthly instalments will be recalculated. You will then receive a new council tax bill reflecting this.