What is benefit fraud?
People commit benefit fraud when they:
- knowingly withhold information
- give false information
- deliberately fail to report a change in circumstances
Benefit fraud is theft and people who commit benefit fraud are breaking the law.
Benefit cheats cost you money!
Benefit fraud costs the average taxpayer £70 a year. Nationally, this is in excess of £1.5 billion. The Council has a duty to ensure that benefit payments are made only to those entitled to receive them.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for investigating Housing Benefit Fraud.
The penalties for benefit fraud can be severe and include fines and imprisonment. Any overpaid benefit will need to be repaid.
Fighting benefit fraud is everyone's responsibility. Local communities often know who these people are. You can provide information about anyone who you think is cheating the benefit system.
Examples of fraud include:
- not telling us about work you are doing
- not telling us about changes in your savings
- not telling us when your partner moves in
- not telling us about other changes in your income or household
- landlord fraud, for example, if a landlord fails to tell us their tenant has moved out
Can I report a fraud anonymously?
Yes you can.