HB underpayment used to offset o/p

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    I have an old HB overpayment for £24K from 2016 (and some from early 2023). Recovery is being taken from ongoing HB entitlement at the allowed weekly rate. It will take many years to recover.

    A few weeks ago a change was added creating an underpayment for £1650.00. The full amount was used to offset the overpayment but unfortunately the assessor did not amend the award letter to advise the claimant that this was happening. The letter implied that the £1650.00 would be paid out to the claimant.

    I have received an appeal and do not really want to pay out the £1650.00 with such a large outstanding overpayment.

    Looking at what we need to include in the decision letters, it doesn’t really talk of what we must include when creating an underpayment so I’m thinking, can I say thank you for highlighting the error, sorry about the confusion, confirming the new award is correct and the u/p has been correctly offset against the large o/p.

    This was all done within a week, so a pretty quick correction. What do you think about this? Thank you for any thoughts.


    Is the £1650 for some of the same period as the overpayment? If not, it can’t be offset against the overpayment as it is for a different period and should be paid.

    Amanda JB

    I think they have used a method of recovery as in 102(1) read along with 98, but it has to be an U/P for a period which has been revised or superseded

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Amanda JB.

    Thank you for your responses.

    Looking at the analysis of Reg 102, in the CPAG book, I’m quite happy that I can offset the £1650 against the overpayment (although the book I have is 2017/18 so hopefully the analysis hasn’t changed).

    …..there may be recovery from any HB owing to D to which D is entitled. This can be arrears owed to D even if the arrears are referable to dates outside the period of the overpayment or future payments…..

    I’m concerned with the notification letter and the fact that it wasn’t clear for the claimant. Am I over thinking this?

    Peter Barker

    That is quite correct, if the arrears related to the same period as the overpayment you would revising it, not recovering it. Recovery is necessarily made from HB for a different period.

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