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Benefit fraud

What is benefit fraud?

Benefit fraud is theft, and we’re all victims.  It takes money away from vulnerable members of the community as well as adding to the national tax bill.

We investigate many types of fraud. These are some of the kinds of fraud we find:

  • Working while claiming benefits
  • Not telling us about income coming into the household
  • Not declaring property, savings or investments
  • Not telling us about a partner or other people living in your home
  • Deliberately not reporting a change in circumstances
  • False tenancies – intended to take advantage of the benefit scheme
  • Landlord fraud
  • Giving us false or misleading information to support a claim
  • Receiving benefit payments that you know or suspect you shouldn’t be getting.

Benefit fraud costs the country about £700 million a year – which is money that could be spent on improving services.

We promise to look at every single allegation that we get and decide if we can investigate.

We’ll recover overpaid benefit and can also take further action. Last year, we prosecuted 46 people and cautioned or fined 51 people.

Avoid benefit fraud – your responsibilities

You must fully complete your claim form and give accurate information about yourself and anyone else named on the form, even if someone else fills it in for you.

When we write to you about your claim, you must read and make sure you understand the letter, check all the details are correct and tell us straight away if anything is wrong.

Remember, if you’re getting help with your rent or your Council Tax, it is your responsibility to report any change in your circumstances to us straight away.

You mustn’t assume that other organisations, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, will let us know on your behalf.

Examples of changes are:

  • Someone moves in or out of your home
  • Your income or savings change
  • There are changes to other benefits that you get.

Read more about changes in circumstances

If you’re not sure if something will affect your claim, please ask the Benefits Team.

If you don’t report a change, it can be an offence to continue to receive payments of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support that you’re not entitled to.

For more information, visit the website.

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