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Housing benefit overpayments

An overpayment is when we pay you, or your landlord, an amount of housing benefit that you weren't entitled to receive.

You can avoid, or reduce the likelihood of overpayment, by telling us as soon as possible when your circumstances change. This includes the circumstances of all the people who live with you. 

What happens if there is an overpayment?

As soon as we are alerted to it, we will write to you and explain:

  • what caused the overpayment
  • how much you have been overpaid
  • who is responsible for paying it back
  • how it can be paid back

What can you do if you disagree?

If you do not agree with our explanation, you can ask us to look at the decision again. See the housing benefit appeals page for more information.

How do you pay back an overpayment?

If you still get housing benefit

We will normally reduce your payments at a set rate until the money is paid back in full. The amount will depend on your circumstances.

If you no longer get housing benefit

We'll send you an invoice for the full amount you owe. You can pay the invoice in the following ways:

  • Online: using our Pay your housing benefit overpayment online
  • Phone: contact us using our automated payment line
  • Through your bank: Make payments, through your bank, to Lloyds Bank Plc, account number 51009868, sort code 30-92-79. Please make sure you quote your invoice number, which is on the front of the invoice
  • Post Office or PayPoint outlet: You invoice bar code will be scanned and payment taken. Please retain your invoice and receipt.
  • Post: make your cheques payable to Durham County Council and write the invoice number on the back. Please do not send cash through the post.
  • Standing Order: contact us to organise this.

What if you can't afford to pay it back?

Contact us to discuss your circumstances as soon as possible.

Contact us
03000 26 2000
Our address is:
  • Finance and Transactional Services
  • PO Box 238
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1FP

24 hour payment line
0300 456 2771
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