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Housing Benefit Overpayments

Overpayments can be caused when you do not tell us about a change in your circumstances. If you have received too much Housing Benefit, we will usually want the money repaid. The only exception may be when the council or Department for Work and Pensions has made a mistake, and you may be unaware that there had been an overpayment. Pay overpayments online (opens new window)

If you have been given too much Housing Benefit, we will write to you and outline:

  • the reason for the overpayment

  • how much benefit you have been overpaid

  • what period the overpayment relates to

  • whether the overpayment will be recovered and how

You have the right to ask us to reconsider the decision to recover the overpayment. Please put your request in writing within one month of the date on the letter.

Recovery is made in various ways. If you are still receiving Housing Benefit, we will make a weekly deduction from your ongoing entitlement until the debt is repaid.

If you are no longer in receipt of housing benefit, an invoice will be sent to you.

Ways To Pay

  • Direct Debit - Payment Dates are the 1st, 15th and 25th of each month

  • Standing Order NatWest Account - 26121263, Sort code 60-05-24

  • BACS and Bank Transfer - NatWest Account - 26121263, Sort code 60-05-24

  • Automated Telephone Payments by Debit card over the phone - 24 hour payment line 01243 534880

  • Online Payments Pay your invoice online (opens new window) , debit cards only

  • Internet Banking

  • Via Post Office Counter and Pay Point outlets (bar code at the bottom of the invoice)

  • Visit to Chichester District Council Offices paying at the counter either by debit card.

Please ensure you use your INVOICE number as your reference number.


If you cannot pay the invoice in full

You should phone the Overpayments Team on 01243 534509 to discuss a repayment plan. Your repayment plan is usually reviewed after 6 months.

A payment arrangement may be re-negotiated at any stage of the recovery process depending on your circumstances.

You may be requested to complete a Financial Information Form as proof of your income and expenditure.

If you don't keep to this repayment plan or you do not pay at all our next stage of recovery could be: -

  • Recover the debt from your on-going Department for Works and Pension benefits, for example from your Universal Credit or your State Pension etc. This is called Direct Deductions from Benefits.

  • If you have moved out of the area we may be able to recover the debt by deductions from your Housing Benefit paid to you by another Council. Not all Councils' use this scheme but a code of practice has been set up between all the West Sussex authorities. This is also called Direct Deductions from Benefits.

  • If you are employed we can request you employer deduct a percentage of your salary/wages per week or month. The deduction is a calculation on the amount you earn so everyone is different. Your employer is legally bound to pay this to us once a request has been sent to them and no other arrangement is in payment. This is called a Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA).

  • If all the above fail, then we will use our external collection agency to act on our behalf to collect overpayments that you have not paid. The debt collection agents will try to recover the housing benefit overpayment by letter, telephone and doorstop collection. The agents will aim to recover the full amount, but they are also authorised to set up and manage payment arrangements.

  • If we currently don't hold an address for you we will try to trace you via several methods in order for the debt to be recovered. Every effort will be made to recovery old debts too.


Contact us

For further information and advice email Alternatively, you can phone us on 01243 534509.