overpayment recovery from backdated benefit

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    Wonder if someone can advise. We have a customer who has an outstanding overpayment of over £3000 which was created in 2009 it is currently being instalment recovered from her benefit.
    We have awarded her a backdate for a two month period last year which has resulted in an underpayment of approx £900. We have spoke to the tenant and advised that we could take this off the outstanding overpayment to reduce the balance. She has stated that she would prefer the money to be sent to her as she got into debt during this period and would like the money to pay some of the debt back.

    Are we able to insist that the money just comes off the overpayment or can she request it to her regardless of the amount she owes us.



    You can only offset an overpayment against arrears, meaning additional benefit due following an adjustment to an existing award. E.g. if you have already paid for a period, then you go back and increase the award for that period, you can use the arrears to offset an overpayment. A backdating period would be a first-time award, so would not count as arrears for this purpose.

    See this thread for details:

    Overpayment offsetting

    Andy Thurman

    Agree with Michael – except that you can recover the maximum weekly deduction for each week of the backdated period being paid.

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