Council tax benefit/reduction overpayments

If your circumstances change while you are claiming council tax benefit but you do not tell Tower Hamlets benefits service straight away you could be paid more benefit than you are entitled to. The difference between what you were actually paid and what you should have been paid is called an overpayment (or an excess payment).

Overpayments can be avoided if you make sure you always tell us when your circumstances change. You must also report changes of circumstances affecting other people who live with you.

Recovery of overpayments

We have a duty to safeguard public funds and will normally seek to recover any overpayments that occur.

Recovery is usually made by adding the overpayment back onto your council tax bill and increasing your subsequent instalment amounts.  Where a large overpayment is calculated later in the year this can mean your monthly instalments increase substantially.  If this causes hardship you need to discuss payment with the council tax recovery section.

Underlying entitlement

Any overpayment  will be offset against the correct amount of council tax benefit you should have been awarded (your underlying entitlement).

In order to work out your underlying entitlement you will have to provide full details and evidence of your actual income and circumstances for the period of the overpayment within one calendar month of first being told about an overpayment.

Further information

Report a change in circumstances online

How to contact us

Tower Hamlets operates as a centralised benefit claims processing service and a dedicated benefits call centre both based at the Town Hall where all postal, email and telephone enquiries should be directed. Home visits can be arranged if you are housebound and do not have anyone who can help you.

Benefits Service

Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ

Tel: 020 7364 5000
Fax: 020 7364 7048