Tell the office dealing with your benefit if you think you’re being overpaid or your circumstances change. You may have to pay back the benefit.

You may face a civil penalty or prosecution for benefit fraud if you don’t tell benefit providers about overpayments.

There’s a different process for tax credits overpayment.

When to contact the benefit office

It’s your responsibility to contact the office straight away if:

  • you think you’ve been overpaid
  • you get a letter telling you that you’ve been overpaid - the letter will tell you who to contact
  • your circumstances change and this is likely to affect a benefit

When the benefit office contact you

You might get a letter to let you know that you’ve been overpaid.

Contact the office dealing with your benefit within 1 month if you think it’s a mistake and you want to appeal the decision.

Housing Benefit paid directly to your landlord

Your landlord may be asked to repay the money if they’re responsible for the overpayment. You may have to repay if it was your fault.


You’ll have to pay the money back if the overpayment was your fault, eg:

  • the information you gave was wrong
  • you didn’t report a change in your circumstances
  • you gave the wrong information when you reported a change of circumstances
  • there was an administrative mistake but you should have noticed the overpayment - eg you received 2 payments instead of 1

You should also contact the office if you think the amount you’re being paid is wrong and it isn’t your fault.

Taking repayments from your benefits

If you’re still receiving the benefit, the regular amount you get will be reduced until you’ve paid back the money.

Making repayments to DWP

You’ll be asked to make payments to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Debt Management organisation if you no longer receive the benefit. You can contact them to arrange a payment plan.

Online banking

Use DWP’s bank account details to pay, quoting the reference number shown on your letter.

Account name Sort code Account number
DWP Debt Management 403418 51826107

Overseas accounts

Use the following details if you’re paying from an overseas account.

Account name IBAN BIC
DWP Debt Management GB21MIDL40341851826107 MIDLGB22

Direct Debit, cheques and cash

Contact Debt Management to:

  • set up monthly repayments by Direct Debit
  • request a paying-in slip for cheque or cash payments

DWP Debt Management contact centre
Telephone: 0845 850 0293
Textphone: 0845 604 6697
Calling from abroad: +44 (0)161 904 1233
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Call 0845 850 0051 to discuss benefit overpaid to someone who has died.

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