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An overpayment is when you have been paid benefit or support that you are not entitled to.
Not always, we have to decide whether the overpayment is recoverable.
You will be required to pay it back if you:
However you may not be required to pay it back if we:
If the overpayment is recoverable, then we will need to decide who to recover it from. This will be the person who failed to tell us about the information that caused the overpayment. This could be either the claimant or the landlord, depending on what the information was.
So, if an overpayment was caused by the claimant's income increasing, even though the landlord may have been receiving the payments, we would still recover the money owed from the claimant, as the landlord could not have reasonably known he was being overpaid.
In some cases, it is possible to reduce the amount of your benefit overpayment by awarding 'underlying entitlement'.
Underlying entitlement is the benefit that you would have been entitled to, had your claim been based on the correct details.
For example, you started work and so we cancelled your claim as we weren’t told how much your wage was. So an overpayment was created. You then provide your wage details at a later date and we decide that you would have been entitled to some form of benefit or support for this period. We will then reduce your overpayment by this amount.
If you don't agree with the amount of the overpayment, you can ask for an explanation of how we worked it out.
If you don't agree that there was any overpaid benefit or support, or that you shouldn't pay it back, then you can appeal against it.
If you are still receiving benefit or support then we can take some of this money each week to repay your overpayment.
If not, then we will send you an invoice. If you can't pay this back in full, you will need to contact the overpayments section to arrange to pay by installments.
The Overpayment Section, Benefits and Exchequer Services, New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington WA1 2NH
If you need any further advice, you can contact the overpayment section, by calling us on 01925 442196, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.