Repaying an overpayment
Your income and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Your income may be affected due to no longer being able to work, working less hours, caring for someone or self-isolation. You may be able to claim sick pay or other benefits to help you.
Many employees will be protected as the Government has a package of support for businesses to help their staff. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will enable employers to give employees 80% of their pay even if there is no work or reduced work. Employers should contact HMRC for further details or visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for the most up to date information.
If you are unable to make a scheduled payment please contact us via the online form.
If you have received an invoice for overpaid housing benefit and are unable to pay it in full straight away you must make an arrangement to pay us. You can start this process by contacting the Overpayment Recovery Officer to discuss a repayment plan. You may be asked to use our online budgeting tool to assist with calculating what you should pay.
Once a repayment plan has been agreed full details will be confirmed in writing. It is important to maintain payments to avoid further recovery action. Find out how to pay.
In some circumstances a temporary repayment arrangement may be agreed and would be reviewed after a set period of time. This may be necessary if we know your circumstances are due to change or the amount outstanding will take a significant time to repay. You will be advised if this applies to you.
What happens if there is no payment plan?
You are advised to contact us to agree a repayment plan as soon as you receive your invoice to avoid further recovery action. If you do not agree a repayment plan or fail to make an agreed payment, the amount you have to pay back each month may be decided for you.
Further recovery action we may take if you do not agree a repayment plan includes:
- We could request that your employer deduct payment from your salary. To find out how much could be taken please take a look at the recovery schedule.
- We could request that the Department for Work and Pensions deduct payment from your benefit entitlement.
- Your debt could be passed to an external debt collection agent for collection who will visit you at home to secure payment.
- Finally we could obtain a County Court Judgement which will add extra costs to the existing debt. It will also make it difficult to obtain credit as it will affect your credit rating.
Is there a minimum level of recovery?
Each individual’s circumstances are different but we do try to suggest a minimum level of recovery as a starting point. The ability to pay and size of debt is also taken into consideration.
You will be asked to use our online budgeting tool to help us determine an appropriate repayment amount. This may be higher or lower than the suggested minimum level either temporarily or until the amount is paid in full, depending on your circumstances.
How can I repay my overpaid housing benefit?
There are several methods available to make a payment:
- By Direct Debit
Direct Debit is the most convenient payment method and can be set up by phoning the Overpayment Recovery Officer on 01256 844844 (select option2) with your bank details. You can also print out a Direct Debit mandate here and send it to us in the post. Direct Debits are collected on the second day of each month.
- Online by debit or credit card
Paying online is a quick and easy method to make a repayment. Go to our Pay for it page and select Housing Benefit Overpayments. You will need your invoice number which is an eight digit number beginning with 7.
- By phone with a debit or credit card
Call the automated payment line on 01256 845757 which is open 24/7. Make sure you have your invoice number, an eight digit number beginning with 7, and your payment card details with you when you call.
- By standing order/bank transfer
Set up your standing order to pay into:
Bank: HSBC Bank plc
Sort code: 40:09:18
Payee: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
Make sure you quote your invoice number as the payment reference. This is the eight digit number beginning with a 7 on your invoice.
- In person
Come to the Civic Offices between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30 am to 4.00 pm on Friday to use the self-service payment machines. Make sure you have your invoice number with you. This is the eight digit number beginning with a 7. You can pay by debit or credit card, cash and cheque.
- By post
Send a cheque or postal order to the council’s address as shown on your invoice. Make it payable to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and write your name, address and invoice number on the back. This is the eight digit number beginning with a 7.
Please note that if you are not paying an invoice in full you need to discuss a repayment plan with us to avoid further recovery action.
What is my invoice reference number?
This is the eight digit number which always starts with a 7 and appears on your overpaid housing benefit invoice. If you are contacting us, please make sure you use this reference. It enables us to deal with your enquiry as quickly as possible and ensures that any payments are allocated correctly.
How do I contact the Overpayment Recovery Officer?
During normal office hours you can phone the Overpayment Recovery Officer on 01256 844844 (select option 2). Outside these hours you can send a message. Please quote your invoice number and also provide a daytime telephone number.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties please seek independent financial advice. Further information to assist you can be found by visiting our having trouble paying bills webpage.