DWP to investigate benefits claimwritten by Bella Palmer
The ‘Fighting Fraud in the Welfare System’ plan outlines how the DWP will create a new team dedicated to reviewing more than two million existing Universal Credit claims
More than 20 million people across the UK are claiming State Pension or benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help with the additional costs of day-to-day living.
However, last week, the DWP shared details of a new £613 million plan to stop an estimated £4 billion being lost in fraud and error over the next five years. The ‘Fighting Fraud in the Welfare System’ plan outlines how the DWP will create a new 2,000-strong team dedicated to reviewing more than two million existing Universal Credit claims.
This new team will review the entitlements and circumstances of Universal Credit claims that the DWP deems are at risk of being incorrect, including suspicious cases which entered the system during the height of the pandemic - this review is expected to stop around £2 billion of losses due to fraud and error over the next five years.
The DWP plan reports that last year, there was an estimated £6.3 billion of welfare fraud, up from £2.8 billion from the year before, coupled with £2.1 billion of error, the combined loss as a result of fraud and error was £8.4 billion or 3.9% of benefit expenditure.
The DWP’s definition of benefit fraud is when ‘someone obtains state benefit they are not entitled to or deliberately fails to report a change in their personal circumstances.’
The most common form of benefit fraud is when a person receives unemployment benefits while working. Another is when claimants state that they live alone, but are financially supported by a partner or spouse.
Failing to inform the state about a ‘change of circumstances’, for example, that your partner is now living with you, or that you have moved house, or that a relative has died leaving you some money may also be seen as 'fraud by omission'.
Usually, benefits-related fraud occurs where someone has claimed benefits to which they were not entitled on purpose, such as by not reporting a change in circumstances or by providing false information.
This article is for information purposes only.
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