Benefit overpayments

If you’ve received too much benefit, this is an overpayment. 

Overpayments usually happen when your benefit hasn’t been changed to match your change in circumstances or we haven’t been told of change in your circumstances.

You must tell us if your circumstances change. 

If you think you’ve been paid too much please contact us straight away. 

What happens if you are overpaid

We’ll write to you about the overpayment and tell you: 

  • the reason for the overpayment 

  • how much you've been overpaid 

  • what period the overpayment relates to 

  • if the overpayment will be recovered and how 

If you think we are wrong you can ask us to look at the decision again

How we recover overpaid Housing Benefit

If you’re no longer receiving Housing Benefit, we’ll send you an invoice for the full Housing Benefit overpayment. 

If you are still receiving Housing Benefit, we will make a weekly deduction from your ongoing entitlement. 

Pay an invoice for overpaid Housing Benefit

Online card payment

You can make a payment online using a debit or credit card.

Make a payment

Card payment by phone

Use our secure free 24-hour automated payment line.  

You will need:  

  • a debit or credit card 

  • your 19-digit reference number (found on the bottom of the invoice) 

Phone 0330 0416 497

Online banking, telephone banking and standing order:

To set up a payment using one of these methods you will need our bank details:

Payee or name of account: Arun District Council
Sort code: 30 80 12
Account number: 14615968
Reference: please use your 10 digit Council Tax account number (starting with 81)

Please allow 5 working days for your payment to reach us.

Pay in person

You can use your barcoded invoice to pay by cash, cheque or card at any PayPoint outlet or Post Office. You should keep your receipt as proof of payment. 

If you are having difficulties paying

If you’re not able to pay the invoice in full then please complete the financial questionnaire and we will contact you to accept, change or decline your offer of repayment.

We do not have to offer you a repayment plan. If we do accept a repayment plan it is always subject to review until you have paid the debt in full.

The debt will not go away and may cause additional costs to be added to what you owe.  

Contact the overpayments team.

Phone 01903 737541


If you do not pay

If you do not pay the invoice, we will:  

  1. Send you a reminder.  

  2. If you do not pay the invoice after the reminder, we will send you a final notice. 

  3. If you still do not pay, we can recover the money by: 

  • reducing any Housing Benefit you receive from another council if you no longer live in Arun

  • asking the Department of Work and Pensions to make deductions on our behalf from any benefits you receive from them
  • asking your employer to give us a percentage of your wages if you are working by a direct earnings attachment (DEA) 

  • using Housing Benefit paid to landlords for other tenants to recover an overpayment (only relates to landlords) 

  • passing the debt to our Enforcement Agents for recovery (which may include removal of goods)

We can recover overpayments from: 

  • the person claiming 

  • someone acting on behalf of the person claiming 

  • the person the Housing Benefit is paid to (including the landlord if we pay them direct) 

If you continue to fail to pay, we may apply to the court for: 

  • an attachment of earnings - the court will take the debt from your earnings 

  • a warrant of execution (also known as a warrant of control) - we can get an enforcement officer to remove and sell your goods to pay off the debt 

  • a charging order - we can put a charge on your property which enables us to force the sale of the property to pay off the debt 

  • a third-party debt order - we can take money directly from your bank or building society accounts to pay off the debt 

  • a bankruptcy order against you 

Recovery policy

Please see our Recovery policy for full information.