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Housing Benefit overpayments

Overpayments usually happen because a change in your circumstances was not reported at the time it happened.

How will I know if I have been overpaid?

We will send you a letter to tell you which will explain the reason why it happened, the period it covers and the amount to be repaid.

Is the overpayment correct?

If we have made a decision based on a change in your circumstances but we have not got full details of your new income or circumstances for the period of the overpayment our letter will ask you to provide this information. If you send us the details we have asked for we may be able to reduce the overpayment.

What if I cannot afford to repay the overpayment in one go?

Decide how much you think you can pay us each week and then telephone us on 01792 635877 - we welcome calls in Welsh, or call at our office in the Civic Centre to discuss your proposal. You can also write to us.

If your offer is reasonable, we may be able to agree the repayments immediately. However, if we cannot, we may ask you to complete a PDF Document budget planner (PDF, 54KB)Opens new window.

If you are going to call at our office to discuss repayment, it would be a good idea to fill in the budget planner before you come to see us.

Where do I find my reference number?

When you contact us, we will ask for the reference number of the invoice/reminder/final notice we sent you. This can be found in it's own box, just under the main heading of

Housing Benefit overpayment invoice or Housing Benefit overpayment reminder/final notice

Overpayment Invoice with arrows

How to repay an overpayment

Sometimes, the overpayment can be repaid by us deducting a weekly amount from any Housing Benefit you are still entitled to. If that is what happens, we will send you a letter to explain how much is being recovered every week. You must pay the amount deducted to your landlord plus any rent you already pay to make sure you do not fall into rent arrears.

If we can't recover the debt by that method over a reasonable period, then we will send you a bill asking for repayment.

There are a number of ways you can pay us if we send you a bill.

  • Use the council's automated telephone payment system - please have your invoice number and debit or credit card* (*Please note that if you pay by credit card, you will incur an extra fee equal to 2% of your payment). details to hand and telephone 0300 4562765 (local rate) and follow the instructions given.
  • ​By using our online payments system. Just select whether you want to make a repayment for a private tenant Housing Benefit overpayment or a council Housing Benefit overpayment.
  • By using most debit or credit cards*. Telephone us with the details of the payment on 01792 635877 - we welcome calls in Welsh.
  • By cheque or postal order at the Civic Centre or your local district housing office.
  • By post - please send a cheque made payable to 'The City and County of Swansea' to:- The Head of Finance and Delivery, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea SA1 3SN.
  • By standing order. Please print off the standing order form below and return it to the City and County of Swansea, Benefits Section, Debt Recovery Team, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea SA1 3SN. Please complete both parts of the form (the mandate and the overpayment acknowledgement).
  • By deductions from your wages/salary if you are an employee of the City and County of Swansea. Please telephone us on 01792 635877 to make the necessary arrangements if you want to do this. We welcome calls in Welsh.

*Please note that if you pay by credit card, you will incur an extra fee equal to 2% of your payment.

Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA)

Using this method, employers are required to make deductions from the salary of their employees and the amounts deducted are then paid over to us to reduce or clear the debt.

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