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Recovery of Housing Benefit Overpayment 
Guide-to-Benefits-Image

What is an overpayment?

An overpayment occurs when you or your landlord are paid an amount of Housing Benefit that you were not entitled to receive.

If we have paid you too much benefit, we will ask you to pay back the amount you have been overpaid. This is called a “recoverable overpayment”.

Can this overpayment be reduced?

We may be able to reduce the amount of the overpayment if you can show that you had an “underlying” entitlement to benefit for the period you were overpaid.

To assess “underlying” entitlement we will need you to supply documentary evidence of your income and capital and also confirm details about who was living in the property with you, for the period of the overpayment.

You must send in this information within one month of the date of the letter advising you that you have been overpaid.

What should I do if I think the overpayment is incorrect?

There is a procedure whereby you can ask us to reconsider our decision, you also have the right to make a formal appeal.

How will the overpayment be recovered?

  • If you are still entitled to Housing Benefit, we will reduce your benefit every week to recover the overpayment.
  • We can ask the Department for Work and Pension to make deductions from your social security benefit to recover the overpayment.
  • If you have moved out of the area, we can ask another Local Authority to reduce your Housing Benefit every week to recover the overpayment.
  • If you are not entitled to Housing Benefit, we will issue an Invoice for the overpayment. If you cannot pay the full amount, we can arrange for you to pay it back in monthly instalments. Please contact us on tel: 01554 742156 to arrange the instalments.

What will happen if I do not pay the Invoice?

  • We will send you reminders in case you have forgotten to pay, but if you still fail to pay or to come to an agreement to clear the invoice, we will have to take further action..
  • Further action may involve registering the debt with the County Court and / or referring the debt to the Council’s Debt Recovery Agents for them to enforce recovery.
  • We will issue a Pre-Court letter to notify you before such action is taken.

What will happen if the debt is registered with the County Court ?

  • You will incur additional Court Costs and Solicitor’s Fees which will increase the amount of the debt. These costs vary depending on the amount of the overpayment, but range from £60.00 to £100.00.
  • When a Court Order is awarded, we can ask the Court to enforce recovery via an Attachment of Earnings. The Court will contact your employer and request that deductions are made from your wages to repay the overpayment. You will again incur further Court Costs of £65.00.
  • If you are not in employment, the Court will require you to attend a hearing when you will be asked to provide proof of your income. The Court will then enforce recovery of the overpayment and the additional costs by arranging monthly instalments.

Methods of Payment

In person or by post:

At one of the Council’s payment offices, details and opening times are as follows :-

Carmarthen:

Council Offices, 3, Spilman Street,
Carmarthen. SA31 1LE.

Llanelli:

Ty Elwyn, Town Hall Square,
Llanelli, SA15 3AP.
Monday to Thursday : 8.45am to 5.00pm
Friday : 8.45 am to 4.30 pm

Ammanford:

Town Hall, Iscennen Road,
Ammanford, SA18 3BE.

Llandeilo:

Municipal Buildings, Crescent Road,
Llandeilo, SA19 6HW.
Monday to Thursday : 8.45am to 1.00pm and 1.45pm to 5.00pm
Friday : 8.45am to 4.30pm

Please make cheques payable to Carmarthenshire County Council.

Credit / Debit Card
Payment may be made by most credit / debit cards at any of the Council’s payment offices (see details above) or by telephone - 01267 228686

Internet Payment
To make an online payment, please go to the Pay for it web section.

Please ensure you quote the Invoice Number in the relevant “Reference” section.

Further information

If you require any further advice please contact:-

The Housing Benefits Section
Carmarthenshire County Council
Ty Elwyn
Llanelli, SA15 3AP

Tel:  01554 742100 or 742156
Fax: 01554 742277

E-mail: benefitoverpayments@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

If you would like either of these forms in Welsh or in large print, please contact us at the above. This leaflet is also available in Welsh.

Alternatively, you can call at one of our customer service centres located at:
Ty Elwyn    3 Spilman Street    Town Hall
Llanelli    Carmarthen    Ammanford

Opening hours
8.45am – 5.00pm (Mon-Thu),
8.45am – 4.30pm (Friday)


For independent advice, you can contact:

Citizens Advice Bureau
Llanelli              01554 759626
Carmarthen      01267 234488
Ammanford      01269 591091

Shelter Cymru
01267 229206

CATCHUP Ltd
01554 776850
01554 774570

Page last updated on 07/12/2010