Underlying entitlement is a calculation of what your correct benefit entitlement should have been for a period where you have been overpaid. It is calculated in order to help reduce your overpayment.

For example, you receive an increase in your income, but forget to tell us about it. When we re-assess your claim, we include the increased income from the date that it changed, and you are notified how much benefit you have been overpaid.

In this example you have already had your underlying entitlement calculated, because we know what your circumstances were for this period and are therefore able to calculate the underlying entitlement automatically.

However, there are times when we don’t know what your circumstances were. We will therefore contact you asking you to provide details of your income for the period concerned, in order that we may calculate any underlying entitlement and hopefully reduce your overpayment.

Please remember if you receive a request for information relating to a previous period it is in your interest to provide us with this – your overpayment could be reduced.