Housing benefit

Appeals and overpayments

Appeals

If you disagree with the decision you can:

  • ask us to explain the decision
  • ask us to change the decision
  • appeal against the decision

If you wish to appeal against a decision we have made, you must do so in writing within one calendar month of the date we told you of the decision. You must also say why you think the decision is wrong.

Whenever you ask us to explain our decision, or to revise it, we will check all parts of your claim and tell you how we came to the decision. In doing so, if we find anything wrong with the decision we made, we will write to you with the decision and your right of appeal will start again.

If we do not change the decision in your favour we will send the case to either the The Tribunal Service or The Valuation Tribunal which are independent bodies who will look at each individual appeal in an impartial manner.

Overpayments

If you are paid too much benefit we will write to you. The letter we send you will tell you:

  • the reason you were overpaid
  • the period of the overpayment
  • how much the overpayment is
  • how we will recover the overpayment

Overpayments of housing benefit will either be recovered from your ongoing benefit entitlement or you will receive an overpayment invoice so you can pay the money back.

If the invoice remains unpaid after one calendar month, recovery action will start which could be in the form of either an attachment of benefit through the Department of Work and Pensions or from an attachment of earnings through your employer.

We also have the power to ask a Debt Collection Agency to collect the money on our behalf. However, if the overpayment is as a result of an official error, it may be deemed not recoverable. Like all decisions made by us, you have the right to appeal against it.