Housing benefit overpayments

If we’ve paid you more housing benefit than you're entitled to we'll usually ask you to pay back the amount you’ve been overpaid.

Why overpayments happen

Sometimes we have to review your benefit because you’ve had a change in circumstances or we find a mistake.  If we’ve paid you too much benefit, there will be an overpayment that you'll need to pay back. 

It is your responsibility to pay the difference between your housing benefit and your rent if your benefit is reduced.   

You should use our online form to tell us about any change in your circumstances that may affect your housing benefit promptly, so that we don’t pay you too much.  You can read more about the changes in circumstances (link to page)  that we’ll need to know about here.   

Paying the overpaid amount back  

If a mistake has been made with your claim we’ll consider the circumstances before making a decision about whether you’ll need to pay us back. 

If we pay you too much benefit because you didn’t tell us about a change in your circumstances we will always ask you to pay the additional money back. 

We’ll send you an invoice for your overpayment, asking you to pay us the full amount. 

You can make a payment online using your debit or credit card.

If you can’t pay us in full we can arrange to get overpaid benefit back by: 

  • reducing your weekly housing benefit until the overpayment has been cleared.  It is your responsibility to make up the shortfall in your rent if your benefit is reduced.
  • making an instalment plan with you if you are no longer receiving housing benefit
  • taking the money from your rent account if you are a Berneslai Homes tenant and your rent account is in credit
  • asking your landlord to repay the money if we have paid your benefit directly to them.  You may owe your landlord more rent.   

If you repay too much you can fill in our form to ask for a refund 

If we are no longer paying you housing benefit you must make some other arrangements to pay us back. If you do not make payments we can take the following action: 

  • we can ask the DWP to take money from other benefits to collect the overpayment
  • if you’ve moved away from Barnsley we can ask your new council to take the money from any housing benefit they are paying to you
  • if you’re working we can apply to have deductions from your wages
  • we can use a debt collection agency
  • we can take County Court action  

If you don’t agree with the overpayment

If you do not agree that you’ve been overpaid you can read more about our dispute and appeals process and what’s involved.

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