If your circumstances change

If you claim Housing Benefit and your circumstances change, don't rely on someone else to let us know - it is your responsibility to tell us straight away. If you don't, you could be overpaid and have to pay money back.

It is a criminal offence not to tell us about any changes that may affect your benefit and legal action could be taken against you.

A change in circumstances could include things like:

  • starting or losing a job, or working more or less hours
  • someone moves in or out
  • moving to a different address
  • other benefits starting or stopping
  • other changes to your income or the amount of money you have

When you tell us about your changes, we will need:

  • Your name, address and postcode
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your claim reference number (if you know it)

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Housing Benefit Overpayments

An overpayment is an amount of benefit we have paid to someone when they are not entitled to it. 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.

If you have been overpaid benefit, you will usually have to pay this back.

If you are responsible for paying back overpaid benefit and you still receive 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. If this is the case, contact us as soon as possible.

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 make a payment in a number of different ways:


Our online payment service website is secure and enables you to pay your Housing Benefit overpayment 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 us.

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 0345 603 1539 and follow the simple instructions.

Please ensure that you have your invoice, fixed penalty notice or excess charge notice and credit or 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, or to discuss your invoice please contact our Overpayment Recovery Section on 01977 727000. We are open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm​.