Housing benefit


A benefit overpayment is a payment of Housing Benefit made to a claimant or a landlord that exceeds the amount of benefit they are entitled to receive.

If we have paid you more benefit than you are entitled to, this money can be recovered.  This means that we can ask claimants, and in some circumstances the landlords, to repay the money to the Benefits Service at Swindon Borough Council.

Pay back an overpayment

If you have a benefit overpayment and are unable to repay the full amount, you can make an arrangement to pay back the overpayment by instalments. To make such an arrangement, please telephone 01793 464668.

You may also repay overpayments online:

Repay Overpaid Housing Benefit Online

Why benefit overpayments happen

Benefit Overpayments can happen for a number of reasons, such as:

  • You have not told us that you have had an increase in your income, e.g. in your pay, tax credit award or pension.
  • Somebody has moved in or out of your home.
  • You have not told us that you have moved out of your home.
  • You have started or changed job.
  • The circumstances of other adults living with you have changed.

How we Notify You of a Benefit Overpayment

If you have a Benefit Overpayment, you will receive a letter explaining how much the overpayment is, why you have such an overpayment and the dates between which this occurred. The letter will also explain how Swindon Borough Council will recover the overpaid money and what you can do should you want to appeal.

Recovery Process

Swindon Borough Council can recover Benefit Overpayments in the following ways:

  • By reducing the amount of benefit you receive if you are still in receipt of Housing Benefit.
  • By using any credit that you may have on your rent account if you rent a property from Swindon Borough Council.
  • By sending you an invoice.
  • If your Housing Benefit is paid directly to their landlord, we may ask that person to repay the overpayment.
  • By asking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to take the money from any social security benefits you receive.
    If you have moved out of the area, we can ask your new council to take the money from any Housing Benefit payment they pay you.

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