Benefits payments and overpayments

Housing Benefit

If you pay rent to a private landlord then any Housing Benefit will normally be paid direct into your, or your landlord's, bank account. This means you will need a bank account to pay it into. If you do not have a bank account we can help by providing advice and guidance. The government wants everyone to be able to open a bank account and all the major banks and building societies have 'basic bank accounts' that anyone should be able to have. Please ask us if you want advice.

Payments to tenants are made every two weeks in arrears. Payments directly to a landlord is paid every four weeks in arrears.

Please note that only a few claimants who have received benefit continuously from October 1996 may have their benefit paid partly in advance and in arrears.

If you pay rent to us then any Housing Benefit due will be paid direct to your rent account each week.

Council Tax Support

We will pay any Council Tax Support due direct to your council tax account for the whole year. If your benefit changes during the year, then this will change the amount of council tax you are to pay.

We will notify you of your Benefit entitlement and send you a separate council tax bill after we have dealt with the change.

What happens if you pay me too much benefit?

If you are overpaid benefit you will normally have to repay it. We will write and tell you when this happens.

We will tell you:

  • why it has happened
  • the period it covers
  • how much the overpayment is, and
  • whether you have to repay it

Housing Benefit overpayments are normally repaid by deductions from ongoing benefit or you may be sent an invoice, which you can pay online.

Council Tax Support overpayments will be added to your council tax account.