How is my Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction paid?
It is very important that you contact the Benefits Section as soon as you decide to make a claim because if you are due any benefit, it will start from the Monday following the date you first contacted, provided a written application was received by the Benefits Section within one month of you first contacting. However, if you contact the Benefits Section in the same week as your liability started benefit can be paid from that week.
However, if you receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, your benefit will start on the Monday after your Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance starts. This applies as long as we receive your benefit application form within one month of your claim for Income Support/income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
If you are a Council tenant any benefit due will be paid directly to your rent account. Private tenants will be paid via ‘bank transfer’ directly to their own bank account. Council Tax Reduction will be paid directly to your Council Tax account.
Overpayments usually happen when your circumstances change but your benefit has not been changed to match your new situation. To prevent overpayments you should tell us immediately about any changes in your circumstances.
In almost all cases, if we have paid you too much benefit we will usually ask you to pay back the amount we have overpaid, even if it was paid because of our error. However, you may not have to repay the overpayment if it was our error and we could not have reasonably expected you to know you were getting an overpayment.We can get back an overpayment from you or your landlord if you have one, depending on who we paid it to. We take account of what caused the overpayment before we decide who to claim the money back from. If there is an overpayment as a result of a fraudulent claim or a change of circumstances which the landlord could not reasonably have been expected to know about, we will ask you to repay the overpayment. If you are overpaid we will write to you to explain the situation. We will make arrangements with you to pay back the overpayment, if necessary by instalments, and we will issue you with a revised Council Tax bill.
If you disagree with the overpayment after reading our explanation you must write to us and ask for a more detailed explanation or ask for us to look at the decision again. You need to do this within one calendar month of the date on your letter.