Housing benefit - overpayments
Benefit overpayments are housing benefit payments that have been paid out to people who are not entitled to them. Commonly the cause for this is people failing to tell us about changes in their circumstances.
If we find that you have received an overpayment, we will write to you and give you details of the reason for the overpayment, when it occurred, the amount to be recovered and the method of recovery. Please read your overpayment letter explained (PDF, 115kb).
Reducing an overpayment (underlying entitlement)
Please read how to reduce your overpayment (PDF, 20kb).
How does the council recover overpayments?
Reducing weekly benefit payments
If you still have an entitlement to housing benefit, the overpayment is recovered by reducing the weekly benefit, and offsetting the overpayment by the amount that has been deducted from the benefit entitlement
Setting up a debtor account
This method of recovery involves setting up a debtor account and sending you an invoice that you will be responsible for paying
Benefit overpayments - payment methods
Repayment amounts are advised on the invoice and there are a number of ways payments can be made:
Cash - by using the Handi-till located in Time Square.
Cheque or postal order - in person as above or by post addressed to Time Square. Cheques and postal orders should be crossed and made payable to Bracknell Forest council. It is not council policy to accept post dated cheques.
Credit/debit card - you can pay in full using your debit/credit card. Please use our online payments system to do this. Alternatively, please call 01344 351309.
Standing order - this facility is much the same as a direct debit. Each month, an agreed amount is paid directly from your bank account into the debtor account. Please contact us to arrange this.
Through a bank - the back of the remittance slip that is attached to the invoice should be completed and used when paying through a bank.
If you are unable to repay at the requested rate we may be able to reduce the amount of the instalments. This can be arranged by contacting us.
If you make no contact or offer of repayment (PDF, 26kb), it is the council's policy to then seek recovery through either a debt recovery agent or through the county court.
This will result in further costs being incurred, and these will be added to the already outstanding debt. This action will also result in a County Court Judgement.