Benefits overpayments are amounts of housing benefit or council tax reduction that have been paid, to which you are not entitled. Usually, this happens when you fail to tell us about a change in your circumstances.
If we find that you have been overpaid, you will be informed in writing with details of the reason for the overpayment, the period covered, the amount to be recovered and the method of recovery.
You will also be advised of what you can do if you want someone to explain the decision to you, or if you disagree with it.
There are two main methods we can use to recover overpayments of housing benefit:
- Reducing weekly benefit payments
If you still have an entitlement to housing benefit we will recover the overpayment by reducing your weekly benefit until the overpayment has been cleared. However, if you are no longer entitled to housing benefit but are still in receipt of another type of benefit such as Income Support, Retirement Pension or Incapacity Benefit, we can ask the DWP to make deductions from the appropriate benefit each week until the debt is repaid.
- Setting up a debtor account
If you are no longer entitled to claim benefits we will be unable to recover the overpayment from future benefits. In these instances, we will set up a debtor account and send you an invoice that you will be responsible for paying. Many people set up a direct debit arrangement to repay the overpaid benefit.
Overpaid council tax reduction is added back onto your council tax account and recovery is made via the council tax system.
How to pay your invoice
If you receive an invoice and wish to pay in full, payment can be made in the following ways:
- You can pay your invoice securely online using a credit or debit card. You will need your invoice number and the amount you wish to pay. Payment by credit card will incur a 2% service charge.
- Pay by credit or debit card using our 24 hour automated hotline number 01443 863366. For this you will need your invoice number and the amount you wish to pay. Payment by credit card will incur a 2% service charge.
- Payment can be made by cheque or postal order crossed and made payable to 'Caerphilly County Borough Council'. We cannot accept post dated or third party cheques. Payment should be sent to Cash Office, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed. CF82 7PG. Please do not send cash through the post and please write your invoice number on the back of the cheque or postal order.
If you wish to pay by instalments call Housing Benefits on 01443 866567 arrange a repayment method.
Alternatively, you can complete our income and expenditure form below. This will subject to acceptance.
Income and expenditure questionnaire (PDF 39kb)
If you make no contact or offer of repayment, it is the council's policy to then seek recovery through the county court. This will result in further costs being incurred, and these will be added to the already outstanding debt. This action will also result in a County Court Judgement (CCJ).
For further information about benefits overpayment call Housing Benefits on 01443 866567.