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Underlying entitlement

How can underlying entitlement reduce my overpayment?

An underlying entitlement is the amount of housing benefit you may have been entitled to during the period you were overpaid if we had been told about the change of circumstances when it happened. For example

  • You started working or the number of hours you work had changed.
  • A person moved into or out of your household.
  • You stopped receiving a benefit e.g. Your JSA stopped because you started work.

Your overpayment is then reduced by the amount of benefit you would have been entitled to for the period the overpayment took place

If we write and tell you there has been an overpayment you can ask us to go back and calculate underlying entitlement for the period you were overpaid.

We will use your updated evidence to work out if you had an underlying entitlement and deduct this amount from your total overpayment reducing the amount you need to repay.

If you are eligible for underlying entitlement, the amount of money you were entitled to cannot be paid to you directly as extra benefit. An underlying entitlement can only be used to reduce your overpayment.

When can I claim underlying entitlement?

If you think you may be able to claim an underlying entitlement you need to contact us within one calendar month of receiving a letter from us telling you about the overpayment.
If an overpayment is made because we were not notified your circumstances had changed we can complete a further calculation to review the amount you would have been paid if we had used the correct information to assess your entitlement.

You will need to send us proof of your income and savings for the period you were overpaid for us to assess underlying entitlement.
This underlying entitlement will then be used to reduce the amount you were overpaid. We will then write to tell you the remaining balance of the overpayment you need to repay.

You can send evidence of income and savings for the period you were overpaid for us to use to assess underlying entitlement at our evidence upload page.

How we recover housing benefit overpayments

Housing Benefit overpayments

If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit we will deduct an amount each week from your ongoing benefit.

If you stop or have stopped getting Housing Benefit, we may invoice you.

If your landlord was paid your benefit, we may ask the landlord to repay us in certain circumstances.

Council Tax Support overpayments

We will send you a new Council Tax bill, which will include any money you have been overpaid.

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