O/P question

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    In my dim and distant HB past I seem to recall a “rule/Reg” that said if a claimant was currently entitled to HB you HAD to recover the o/p from ongoing entitlement. In other words you couldn’t send an invoice asking for repayment.

    A colleague has pointed out that this doesn’t actually appear to be in the regs.

    Is my memory failing me (too long in benefits perhaps 🙄 ) or can you invoice a claimant who’s currently getting HB?


    Well, reading reg 102:

    “…a relevant authority [b:568835db79]may[/b:568835db79] recover a recoverable overpayment….by deduction from any housing benefit to which that person is entitled..

    seems to suggest that your colleague is correct.

    Can’t find anything other than “may” in the DWP Overpayments Guidance either.


    Have seen and done, cases where invoices are raised because HB entitlement is too small for recovery from ongoing HB payments would be ineffective. Have also seen it where the claimant has requested an invoice, although that, I admit, is rare.


    I have never heard anyone suggest that we [b:342ce45bf3]must[/b:342ce45bf3] use instalment recovery where there is ongoing HB, and this would in any case be undesirable:

    Mr Jones has been overpaid by £500 – he is on JSA(IB) and max HB, so we are deducting £8.70 a week from his entitlement, which he obviously has to make up out of his JSA(IB).

    Ms Smith lives next door. She has been overpaid by £500 and, as a standard claim, is entitled to £1.50 a week ongoing HB. If we had to recover by instalments, we could get £1 a week. But since she has a relatively high disposal income (compared to Mr Jones), it would be better to issue an invoice and get her to make an arrangement to pay at a higher rate.

    Kevin D

    Wonder if it’s just a blind spot….

    The rule about deductions from on-going benefit relates the maximum amount you can recover via this particular method. But, my understanding is as other posters – there is no prejudice to recovery by other methods.

    I’ve worked at a couple of LAs where they’ve thought “overpayment + on-going benefit automatically equals recovery from on-going benefits – it’s easy to simply forget that you don’t HAVE to recover by this method.


    Darren W

    When I am training staff I normally tell them that we will normally recover from ongoing benefit. However if the overpayment is high, or ongoing entitlement is low, then we may also issue an invoice. I normally tell them to seek advice from our overpayments office.

    In addition because of this we have turned off the parameter on Northgate that automatically brings an invoice back in to the benefits system when we have an active claim.


    All our overpayments are recovered by invoice in the first instance.
    We only look at recovery from ongoing benefit where we get nowhere with the invoice, reminders etc.

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