Winter support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents, businesses, and communities throughout winter.

Benefit overpayments

What Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support overpayments are and how to repay them.


  • Overpayments
  • How overpayments are recovered
  • What do to if you receive an invoice for an overpayment
  • How to avoid being overpaid



An overpayment is where you have been paid more Housing Benefit or awarded more Local Council Tax Support than what you are entitled to. You may have to pay this back, even if there was no fault on your part.

One of the most common reasons why overpayments occur is due to a change in your circumstances. There could be a number of reasons, for example:

  • an increase in your income
  • someone moving in with you
  • you move out of the property

If an overpayment arises, we are duty bound to claim the money back.

How overpayments are recovered


Overpayments can be recovered in the following ways:

  • If you are still receiving Housing Benefit, the amount you receive will be reduced by a set amount each week until the overpayment is repaid. You will need to pay extra rent to your landlord to make up the difference.
  • If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to your landlord, you will need to pay extra rent to your landlord to make up the difference.
  • If you are not in receipt of Housing Benefit, we may apply for deductions from other benefits you receive.
  • If the overpayment is for Local Council Tax Support, we will add the amount of the overpayment to your Council Tax account.
  • If you are not in receipt of any benefits, we will issue an invoice.

How to make a repayment


Housing Benefit repayments can be made in several ways.

Ways to pay

What do to if you receive an invoice


If you have received an invoice, you can set up a Direct Debit to make repayments in instalments. You can choose from a range of dates for when the instalments come out of your account and the instalment amount.

Set up a Direct Debit

If you are unable to setup a Direct Debit, you can contact our team at to setup another form of repayment. Alternatively, call us on 01206 282600.

How to avoid being overpaid


It is your responsibility to contact us straight away if:

  • you think you are being overpaid
  • your details or circumstances change

Report a change of details

Contact us

If you disagree with the overpayment decision


If you receive an overpayment invoice or disagree with the overpayment decision, you have one month to appeal this decision in writing.

If we ask you to provide more information about your overpayment, this may help us to reduce the amount you need to repay.

We can recover an overpayment at any point once the invoice has been raised.

Failure to make payments towards an overpayment or setup an arrangement with us may lead to further recovery action.