In most cases, you would need to pay back the money if you get overpaid. The process differs for tax credits overpayment.
Note: Failing to notify benefit providers about overpayments can result in a prosecution for benefit fraud or a civil penalty. The guide explaining benefit overpayment is also available in Welsh language on the GOV.UK website (Cymraeg).
Universal Credit Helpline Telephone: 0800 328 5644 Welsh language: 0800 328 1744 Textphone: 0800 328 1344 Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm Find out about phonecall charges
What if the Benefit Office Contacts You?
As a rule, the benefit office will contact you by letter stating they overpaid you. You can ask for mandatory reconsideration (within one month) if you believe you didn’t receive a benefit overpayment.
What if you have your Housing Benefit paid directly to your landlord? In cases such as these, landlords would usually have the responsibility of repaying benefit overpayments.
But, you may be responsible for paying back the money if the error or mistake was your fault.
When You Must Make Repayments
In most cases, being overpaid for benefits means you will have to make a repayment. Typical reasons for receiving too much money include:
Giving the wrong information to the benefits provider.
Failing to report a change in your circumstances (or delaying it).
Giving incorrect information when reporting a change of circumstances.
Instances where the benefits office made a mistake with your payment.
How to Repay a Benefit Overpayment after a Death?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can recover benefit overpayments from the estate of a deceased person. Contact the DWP Debt Management centre to make repayments when someone has died (details below).
But, you should contact Debt Management Recovery From Estates if the deceased person received an overpayment and should not have been receiving the benefits.
Debt Management Recovery From Estates Telephone: 0800 916 0624 NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 916 0624 Monday to Friday: 8am to 6:30pm Saturday: 9am to 4pm
The way you make a repayment will depend on whether you still have rights to benefits – or not. So, in some cases, you can repay the money from your benefits.
Whereas, you may need to set up another arrangement to repay the money if you are no longer receiving welfare benefits.
Repaying an Overpayment from Benefits
Are you still getting benefits or allowances? If so, the office that is dealing with your claim will reduce the regular amount that you get until you have repaid the money.
If you believe they are taking too much you can contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Debt Management contact centre.
Repayments if You No Longer Get Benefits
What if you are no longer receiving benefits? In this case, you would need to pay back the benefit overpayment directly to DWP Debt Management.
They would send you a letter stating how much you need to repay. You might get extra help setting up a payment plan if you are unable to pay the debt in full.
Payments through Online Banking
The table shows DWP bank account details for payments made via online banking. Remember to quote the reference number shown on your letter (or National Insurance number).
DWP Debt Management
60 70 80
Payments from Overseas Accounts
The table shows DWP bank account details if you will be paying from an account outside of the United Kingdom.
DWP Debt Management
Paying by Direct Debit, Cheque, or Cash
You would need to contact the DWP Debt Management contact centre to set up Direct Debit monthly repayments. Likewise, they can supply you with a paying-in slip if you prefer to pay by cheque or by a cash payment.
DWP Debt Management Contact Centre Telephone: 0800 916 0647 Textphone: 0800 916 0651 NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 916 0647 Calling from abroad: +44 (0)161 904 1233 Monday to Friday: 8am to 6:30pm Saturday: 9am to 4pm
What if You Do Not Pay Back a Benefit Overpayment?
You must try to pay back the money or contact the staff at DWP Debt Management. If not, the DWP can (either):
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