Rate of Recovery – Overpayment Invoices

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    We are currently writing our overpayments policy and reviewing our procedures whilst we have extra op resource and I would be ever so grateful if you would give me your view on the following and tell me what your Council does at the moment….

    If an opay is created and the customer remains on benefit – then a clawback is taken at the standard deduction.

    However, if an invoice is issued as there is no longer any HB in payment and the customer requests an instalment plan…..what recovery rate do you request???

    My thoughts are that the minimum weekly repayment rate on invoice cases should be in line with the clawback rate that would be applicable to the case (if they were still on HB) as a minimum. If they are unable to pay this instalment, then the customer should provide us with a financial statement for us to assess the case on its own merit.

    At the moment we have a sheet (that is very old) giving minimum repayment rates for opays on invoice. The rate of recovery increases with the size of the debt….but in most cases it is still lower than the standard clawback rate. In my mind we are not treating all customers fairly – we are penalising those on HB by taking higher recovery deductions!

    I would be really really grateful if you would tell me what your Council does and if your thoughts are the same as mine. Can you see any pitfalls with implenting this? Thanks Kelly


    Don’t forget that the standard recovery rate on the in-payment cases is a maximum, not a minimum.

    I would agree that it seems sensible that the least a person on an invoice should be paying is what they would be paying if they were still in payment, but bear in mind that that may not always be as much as the standard amount.

    My council has a Financial Assessment Form for invoice cases, which (I think) is also used for clawback cases if they state difficulties paying the standard deduction.


    The answer is quite simply what the invoicee (reasonably) agrees to.
    You may be forgetting that ultimately the way the invoice will be enforced is through a money judgement in the County Court.
    The District Judge there must take account of the persons income and expenditure when making any order, and does not start out with a set figure.
    Whilst there is nothing wrong in doing so, you may be asking for a figure which would not stand up in court (m’lud) 8)

    Neil K Day

    We have an overpayments policy that was written following the visit of the DWP.
    If the overpayment is less than £500 we ask for £10 a week. If they cannot affod this then we request a financial statement. If they owe more than £500 we try to get the overpayment paid back within a year. we divide the amount owed by 52 weeks. Again, if they cannot afford it we ask for the statement.

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