Benefits update: The changes you must tell DWP or risk being accused of fraud
Nick Ferrari slams DWP's treatment of Universal Credit claimants
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Millions of Britons could be unknowingly committing benefit fraud. However, there is a checklist that people can tick off to make sure they are fully compliant if the DWP decides to investigate their claim.
More than half (64 percent) of British families rely on some kind of benefits from the Government to help them make ends meet.
The amount of people claiming Universal Credit alone doubled during the pandemic.
Although this was to be expected, figures show that £8.4 billion was overpaid in benefits in 2020 to 2021.
What’s more £6.3 billion of this is estimated to be down to fraud – a figure that the Government can’t afford to lose.
Although the definition of fraud is when people are deliberately cheating the system, some people could be unwittingly in the wrong if they fail to update the DWP of any changes.
Thousands could be approached as part of the DWP’s investigations into fraud and error which it carries out every year.
A DWP spokesperson said: “We also have robust plans in place to recover fraudulent claims and drive fraud and error down to the lowest feasible level.”
It stated it could be committing fraud when “someone obtains state benefit they are not entitled to or deliberately fails to report a change in their personal circumstances.”
Don’t run down your pension – how to make your savings last as long as you do [INSIGHT]
Credit card warning: Little known credit limit rules set by banks could affect your score [WARNING]
State pension age Britons set to receive up to £300 boost this winter – are you eligible? [UPDATE]
What does the DWP look for?
One of the most common ways of committing fraud is when someone is still claiming benefits yet has started work. Claimants can write a note in their journal if they are getting Universal Credit which will inform their work coach right away.
Another change to personal circumstance that affects how much benefits someone receives is when they move in with a partner. This needs to be reported straight away as someone who has children but lives alone will receive more financial help.
Other common examples of benefit fraud are:
- Forgetting to mention savings which can affect benefit entitlement
- Lying about an illness or injury in order to receive disability benefits
- Failing to report income from a business or job
What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea
If fraud is suspected, the DWP will do more than just ask for bank statements.
Investigators are allowed to check people’s social media accounts to see if they have reason to believe that fraudulent activity has taken place.
They can also use surveillance to watch people to see if they are going to and from a workplace and speak to the employer to ask why someone is there.
To avoid this people should report any changes to circumstances as soon as possible, ether by accessing the government website or by phone.
Source: Read Full Article