An overpayment is an amount of benefit we have paid to someone when they are not entitled to it.
There are several different reasons that cause an overpayment. Typically, it is when your circumstances have changed that has led to a reduction in the amount of benefit you are entitled to but has already been paid.
For example, Jane was in receipt of £20 per week Housing Benefit. She had received payments up until the end of November. Jane started work on 1st September, but didn’t tell us until 15th December. Now Jane is working, she is only entitled to £10 a week Housing Benefit. This means she has been paid £10 too much for each week from 1st September until the end of November. This is now classed as an overpayment of benefit.
If you have been paid too much benefit, we will write to you. We will tell you how much you have been overpaid, the dates you were overpaid and how this will be recovered.
How do you know who to recover an overpayment from?
When we see that you have been overpaid, we look at the reason for this and who the benefit is paid to.
For example, if your benefit is paid to your landlord, but you have started work, your landlord may not know this. So if you forget to tell us of this change and your landlord is paid too much, we may recover the overpayment from you. However if you move out, your landlord would be likely to know this. So if your landlord was paid too much, we may recover it from them.
Each case is assessed on its own merit. If you disagree with any aspect of your overpayment or how it is being recovered you must contact us.
How do you recover overpayments?
We recover overpayments differently, depending on who we are recovering it from. If it is being recovered from you – we will look at whether or not you are still entitled to benefits.
Normally, if you are still entitled to Housing Benefit, we will reduce the amount of benefit we pay you by either:
- Taking money from your ongoing benefit
- Reducing any other amount we owe you
We can discuss the amount we reduce your benefit by if this is causing any further financial hardship. Contact us.
If you no longer receive benefit, or receive benefit from another Council, we will send you a bill for any overpayment outstanding.
How to pay
You can pay using the Capita - online payments website (opens in a new window).
This online payment service website is secure and enables you to pay your Council bills using any debit card or some credit cards. The service is free of charge and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Please allow up to FOUR days for the payment to be received by Wakefield Council.
Automated telephone payments (ATP)
Telephone payments can be made using most credit and debit cards, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just telephone 0845 603 1539 and follow the simple instructions.
Please ensure that you have your invoice, fixed penalty notice or excess charge notice and credit/debit card ready.
By post or in person
It is also possible to pay by post (using a cheque or postal orders) or in person. Please see your invoice for more details.
For more information please contact our Overpayment Recovery Section on 01977 727000.