Kirklees Council is chasing more than £7m owed by people who were overpaid housing benefits.
At the end of 2014/15 the council was trying to claw back £7.1m it mistakenly dished out – up 8.1% from £6.6m the year before.
Overpayments come when people’s circumstances change and they have not notified the council in time.
Other reasons are changes to the benefits system, such as the so called ‘Bedroom Tax’ and the Universal Credit system.
Some of the money owed will also be down to deliberate benefit fraud.
A report by the Department for Work and Pensions shows Kirklees managed to recover about £2.5m last year.
The council sent 40 cases of possible benefit fraud for prosecution of which 30 were successful.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: “The Department of Work and Pensions now send us regular and up to date information about changes in welfare benefit payments. “The council has also undertaken more benefit reviews over the past 12 months to check people’s circumstances.
“All this helps to ensure correct housing benefit payments are being made to claimants and increases the amount of overpayments identified.
“There are approximately 13,000 households with housing benefit overpayments that are being pursued.
“There are a number of methods used to collect benefit overpayments.
“This includes making voluntary arrangements, tracing and chasing up overdue payments, taking court action to obtain court judgements and arranging for deductions to be made from residents earnings.
“Overall we expect to collect more benefit overpayments this financial year than in previous years.”
The level of housing benefit overpayments outstanding is rising across the country.
At the beginning of this year, outstanding housing benefit overpayments across Britain stood at almost £1.59 billion, an increase of 15% when compared with the equivalent value for the previous year.
In total, 146,535 households were referred for fraud investigations over housing benefit overpayments in 2014/15, down nearly a quarter from 192,765 in 2013/14.
Councils are recovering more of the missing cash however they are also writing off more of the debt.
The total value of overpayments recovered in the latest quarter (January to March 2015) was £161.2m – the highest ever.
But almost £39m was written off – also the highest recorded ever – superseding the previous peak of £25.8m in March 2014.