Housing benefit - overpayments
Housing Benefit overpayment is an amount of Benefit that has been paid, but for which there was no entitlement under the Benefit Regulations.
What is an overpayment?
An overpayment is an amount of Benefit that has been paid, but
for which there was no entitlement under the Benefit
There are a number of ways that you can be
paid too much benefit. The main causes are:
- Not telling us about changes to your
- Mistakes or delays in processing your
- Fraudulent claims.
A fraudulent overpayment may occur when a person has
deliberately provided a false statement or document, or has
deliberately failed to report a change of circumstances with the
intention of obtaining or retaining Benefit.
How do you recover the overpayment?
Recovery of an overpayment will not prejudice any criminal
proceedings that may be taken by the Council in respect of
An overpayment is recoverable from either the person who caused
the overpayment, or the person who received the overpayment.
How do I pay my invoice?
If you have received an invoice for overpaid
Housing Benefit and you wish to pay back the full amount, or if you
have made an arrangement with us to repay an invoice you can make
payment in a number of ways:
- In person
your bar-coded bill with you to any Northumberland County Council
customer information centre.
To find your nearest customer information centre click
Our payment machines accept cash, debit and credit cards.
Cheques can be left in the cheque deposit boxes at each
- At any POST OFFICE or PAYPOINT
Please take your bill to any Post Office or
PayPoint outlet. The bar code on the front of your bill will
be used to process your payment. You will be given a receipt
for the payment. There is no fee for this service.
- By post
your cheque or postal order payable to Northumberland County
Council. These must be sent to the Income Section,
Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61
2EF. Please ensure your invoice number is on the back of the
cheque or postal order.
- By telephone
600 6400 and pay by credit or debit card on our automated telephone
service – available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
- Internet payment
credit or debit card by clicking
- Standing order
either request a standing order or set up your own via online
banking. You must quote the following:
sort code: 08-90-06
account number: 61603530
You must also quote your invoice number as your reference.
What can I do if I disagree with the overpayment?
- The claimant can ask for a review of a decision to calculate an
overpayment. Any such request should be made within 1 month of the
- A landlord can request a review within one month of the
decision notice where recovery is being sought from him personally;
that is where an invoice for payment has been issued to him, or a
deduction is being made from the benefit he receives for one of his
tenants in order to recover an overpayment owed by the landlord in
respect of another tenant.
Where an invoice addressed to a landlord remains unpaid, or an
agreed arrangement to repay the debt over time is not being
maintained, the Council may take action in the County Court.
If a landlord habitually fails to repay overpayments that are
recoverable from him, the Council can decide that the landlord is
not a 'fit and proper person' under Benefit Regulations, and can
refuse to make direct benefit payments to that landlord.
For further information or specific help with information on
this page, please contact us:
Northumberland County Council
Tel No 0845 6006400
The council now offers nine local area code telephone numbers
for customers to use when calling the central contact centre.
For more details about the numbers, along with frequently asked
questions, please click here.
Fax No 01670 620098
If you would like any benefit document in a different format, or
if you need any help with language or translations please telephone
0845 6006400 and we will do all we can to help.
You may also wish to use the facilities available on all of our
web pages including page translation, accessibility and text size
options. Please see the links at the top of each web