What happens when we pay you too much benefit

Find out what causes a benefit overpayment, and what to do if you get one

About benefit overpayments

If we pay you more benefit than you should get, that amount is called a benefit overpayment.

This can happen when your circumstances change, but we don't find out about it until after we've paid your benefit for that period of time.

You need to keep us up to date about changes in your circumstances to avoid being paid too much benefit.

If you've been overpaid benefit

We'll write a letter telling you that you've been getting too much benefit, and how to contact us about paying it back.

You'll have to pay the money back if the overpayment was your fault, for example if:

  • the information you gave us when making your claim was wrong
  • you didn't let us know about a change in your circumstances
  • you gave us the wrong information about a change in your circumstances

If you think there's been a mistake, you can:

If you don't pay back what you owe

If you're struggling to pay us back, you need to call us on 01273291970 and choose option 2 or send an email to HBRecovery@brighton-hove.gov.uk to talk about repayment options.

Please do this as soon as possible, otherwise we'll recover your debt by:

  • reducing the amount you get from other benefits, including Universal Credit, Job Seeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance
  • asking your employer to take deductions straight from your salary
  • passing your debt to an external debt collector
  • taking court action which may add court costs to the money you owe