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Overpayments

If you think you may have been overpaid, please contact the Benefits Section as soon as possible on 0191 424 4264.

If you have been asked to repay an overpayment, there are many ways to pay:

How can I pay an overpayment?

Online

To pay back a Housing Benefit overpayment online now, fill in and submit this online form:

Housing Benefit Overpayment - Repayment

Phone 

You can pay via debit card over the phone, call 0191 424 6468 (automated service)

Direct Debit

Please contact the Benefits Section on 0191 424 4264 to arrange this.

Standing order 
A mandate may be set up to collect set amounts from your bank account. Please contact the Benefits Section on 0191 424 4264 to arrange this.

Paypoint
Payment by cash or cheque can be made at any Post Office or any retail outlet displaying the PayPoint logo. Payments made by this method will take 2 working days to be credited to your invoice.

By cheque 
Cheques should be made payable to "South Tyneside Council", and sent to the "Benefits Section, Hawthorne, Rolling Mill Road, Viking Business Park, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, NE32 3DP". If you pay by cheque, please write the invoice number on the reverse side of your cheque.

Prepaid rent 
If you have been paying full rent during the period of the overpayment, your rent account may be prepaid. Your permission is required to allow a transfer of credit. Please contact the Benefits Section on 0191 424 4264 if you believe you may be prepaid.

Who to contact

People have different circumstances, so for more detailed information, or if you think you might have been overpaid, please contact us.

Phone: 0191 424 4264

Write to:

Benefits Section
Hawthorne
Rolling Mill Road
Viking Business Park
Jarrow
Tyne and Wear
NE32 3DP

Email: benefits@southtyneside.gov.uk

What is an overpayment?

An overpayment is where you have been paid more housing or council tax support than you are entitled to.

A change in your circumstances may have reduced the benefit you are entitled to. This could be for a number of reasons:

  • An increase in your income
  • A change in your household
  • A change in your address

If an overpayment occurs South Tyneside Council has a duty to get the money back.

What if it isn't my fault?

The first thing to do when you receive your overpayment letter is to read it carefully. It will contain a paragraph, which will explain what the overpayment is for and the dates you have been overpaid.

You may still be required to repay it. If you are found responsible for the overpayment the council will expect you to have known you were being overpaid.

Can I request a review or appeal against the overpayment?

Yes, you have one calendar month from the date you were notified about the overpayment in which to request a review or make an appeal. Recovery of the overpayment will not begin until this has been dealt with.

How will I be expected to repay this money back?

  • If you have an ongoing entitlement to benefit, it will normally be recovered from your current entitlement at preset weekly amounts.
  • If you have been overpaid council tax support then the adjustment will be applied to your account. This will increase the amount you owe. You will need to contact the council tax team on 0191 424 4330 to discuss repaying the amount due.
  • If you no longer qualify for housing benefit an invoice will be issued to you. Details on how to pay can be found on the reverse side of the invoice.
  • If you are not in a position to repay this amount in full please contact the Benefits Section on 0191 424 4264 to discuss paying by instalments.

What action will be taken if I do not make and maintain an offer to pay?

Please do not ignore our letters, the debt will not go away and you will become involved in further recovery action. With this you may have additional costs added to the amount you already owe.

Action that can be taken:

  • We can deduct through other benefits that you receive from the Department of Work and Pensions
  • The debt can be passed to collection agencies, they will then make direct contact with you to recover the debt
  • Court action via our legal services department

Recovering overpayments from an employee's wages

The Council is now able to contact an employer to collect payments from an employee's wages. This is known as Direct Earnings Attachment.

For more information, see:

Social Security (Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 2013

GOV.UK: Direct Earnings Attachment
*please note this guide refers to payments to the Department for Work and Pensions, however the Council operates the Housing Benefit scheme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, so please make payments to South Tyneside Council using the reference numbers provided on your letter.

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