Page last updated at 21:38 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Torbay Council wants overpaid benefits returned

A council in Devon is in the process of trying to recoup hundreds of thousands of pounds in overpaid benefits.

Two years ago Torbay Council made excess welfare payments of £4.7m - last year's overpayments amounted to £5.1m.

According to a Freedom of Information request, the council was still £700,000 out of pocket in December.

It said that some overpayments were due to seasonal workers' changing circumstances and that allowances had been paid out before it was notified.

A spokesperson said: "The recovery of overpaid benefit is a matter between the council and customer.

"The council has a number of arrangements with clients regarding overpayments and agrees personal repayment plans which fit the clients own personal circumstances.

"Therefore, the figures quoted relating to unrecovered monies continue to fall as repayments are made."

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