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Benefits Overpayments

If you’re paid too much benefit it’s called an ‘overpayment’.

This can happen if there’s been a change in your circumstances which means you’re entitled to less benefit than we’ve paid, or if we identify new information about your circumstances that reduces your entitlement.

Examples of changes that could result in overpayment include:

  • an increase in your income or the income of other adults who live with you
  • an increase in your capital
  • someone moving into your home

You must tell us about any change of circumstances as soon as they happen.

Please Note: telling the DWP, Pension Service or HM Revenue & Customs of a change does not mean that we will be notified of the change. You must also tell us directly:

Pay back your benefit overpayment

If you’ve been overpaid, we’ll write to you to tell you how this affects you.

Housing benefit can be repaid by:

  • weekly deductions from any continuing entitlement to benefit
  • using our online payment service – please note, this link will take you to a payment form on our old-style website. It will look a little different to this site, but it’s still an up to date and secure payment form.

Alternatively, you can also pay:

  • by phoning 0345 302 2313 – please have your account details and debit or credit card with you when making the call
  • from your bank account by Payment Transfer / Standing Order
  • by sending a cheque (not cash) to South Oxfordshire District Council, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon, OX14 3JE – please include your name, address and invoice number.

Important – if you don’t repay an overpayment as arranged, we may take debt recovery action against you.

Underlying entitlement

In some cases, it’s possible to reduce your benefit overpayment by awarding ‘Underlying Entitlement’ – this is the benefit that you would have been entitled to, had your claim been based on the correct details.

For example:

If your Jobseeker’s Allowance stopped because you started work but you did not tell us for two months and did not provide evidence of your new income, you could have been overpaid.

However if, at a later date, you provide evidence of your income which shows that you would have been entitled to some Housing Benefit during the overpayment period then we can apply Underlying Entitlement to reduce the overpayment by the amount to which you were entitled.