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Benefits Overpayment - What should I do if I think that I have been overpaid?

Find out more about Benefits Overpayments.

What should I do if I think that I have been overpaid?

If you think you are being overpaid or your award of benefit is incorrect, you should notify the office paying the benefit in question of any error as soon as possible.

If you are unsure whether the amount you receive is correct, seek advice from a benefits adviser.

Don’t delay. The longer an incorrect award goes on, the bigger any total overpayment will be.

What will happen if I have been overpaid?

If the benefits office decides that your award of benefit is incorrect, they will:

  • Recalculate your correct entitlement and revise your award

  • Calculate how much benefit has been overpaid

  • Decide whether the overpayment is recoverable and should be repaid

  • Decide if a civil penalty should be applied

  • Notify you of your recalculated award and that you have been overpaid.

Please note that you may receive one letter telling you about the overpayment or separate letters about your new award and the overpayment.

The calculation of your correct benefit, the amount overpaid, and the decisions whether it is recoverable and whether a civil penalty should be applied, will be carried out by your usual benefit delivery centre/benefit office. You have the right to appeal against one or all of these decisions if you think they may be wrong.

The Department for Work and Pensions has a number of special offices called debt recovery centres, which are responsible for collecting repayments of amounts overpaid.

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