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MadMat

Housing benefit overpayment and recovery

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We claimed housing benefit for a few months last year when is was unable to work, in my wife's name.

 

Recently she has had letters from the council claiming that the benefit had been over paid and that the council were seeking to recover just over £1000 in overpaid benefit.

 

Having checked the figures myself it seems we do owe the money, but the the council are being rather unreasonable imho in coming to an arrangement to repay.

 

I was wondering what options the council have open to them to persue this further if I were to start simply sending them a monthly cheque for what is can afford, rather than continue to bang my head against a brick wall explaining that i just can't clear it in 3 months and feed my kids at the same time.

 

Can they get a liability order and send in bailiffs as they do for council tax arrears or would they need to go for a CCJ where we'd get another chance to negotiate sensible monthly payments?

 

TIA

 

Mat

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Are you currently receiving HB? Or any other DWP benefits?

 

If you have an overpayment of HB, the LA will usually recover it from ongoing HB in the first instance.

 

If no ongoing HB, they will normally invoice for full sum, although if repayment of full sum would cause you hardship, you should be able to negotiate a repayment plan. Your local CAB should be able to help you with this.

 

Another option is that they can apply for a deduction from other DWP benefits.

 

Liability Orders do not apply in relation to HB debts. So if none of the above worked, they could go debt collector route, but they would have to go for a CCJ before using bailiffs.


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Not on any benefits any more, I'm full time self employed now.

 

I'll try talking to the CAB, maybe they can get the council to be more reasonable!

 

Mat

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CAB can definitely negotiate with them. The council tried the same thing with me & they won. They wouldn't accept less than £100 per month back, on a total over payment of £1600. I went & got my existing bank loan topped up, which the repayments were no where near £100 per month.

I went to the CAB after I had paid the council back, & they told me I shouldn't have got a loan to pay it back, they would have rang them for me.

Was a horrible time anyway so I just wanted them off my back tbh, they had scr***d me over in an epic way, I couldn't take anymore.

So definitely go to CAB.

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Can you give us more detail as to the reason for the overpayment and if they made the mistake? If they made the mistake you may not be liable to pay back the overpayment.

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It was my mistake. I started back to work gradually increasing my hours after illness, starting part time and continued claiming and under estimated my income (self employed)

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