Benefits Fraud


Type of Fraud Details
Working and claiming Involves claimants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit on the basis of entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance/Income Support, but who are in fact working. Any cases that arise in these circumstances will usually involve a joint investigation involving the Council and the Benefits Agency.
Non-disclosure of property/capital This fraud is where a claimant fails to declare either savings/capital or the ownership of another property/land elsewhere (for which they may be receiving rent).
Non -disclosure of partner (living together as husband and wife) This fraud usually involves a claimant on Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance failing to declare the presence of a partner who is working, knowing or intending that this would affect their entitlement.
Non-declaration of non-dependants and/or sub-tenants It is fraudulent if a claimant fails to declare the presence of other adults living in the property, in order to preserve or increase entitlement to benefit.
False claims by homeowners This is where the owner of a property falsely states that he or she is paying rent to occupy what is, in fact, his or her own property, usually inventing a fictitious landlord to do so.
Failing to declare change of address Where a claimant fails to declare that he/she has moved, but continues to accept payments of Housing Benefit for their previous address, they are committing a fraud.
False address fraud This fraud may occur where a person is claiming for an address at which he or she is not in fact living. This type of offence may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.
Landlord fraud This is where a landlord continues to receive benefit paid directly to him/her for a period after which he/she is aware that the claimant has vacated the premises. Where the landlord has access to more than one property, there is the potential to move tenants around without informing the Local Authority. There are many other ways in which landlords and managing agents can defraud the benefit system, particularly in areas where there is a large proportion of multiple occupation houses and there are many seasonal workers looking for short-term lets.
Furnishing False Documents This is where people create false tenancy details or personal identity documents

Fraudulent over-payments

An overpayment may be treated as fraudulent if the local authority can establish that, on the balance of probabilities, there has been either:

  • a breach of Section 111A or 112 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (false representations for obtaining benefit;) or;
  • an identified person knowingly failed to report a relevant change of circumstances, contrary to the requirements of Regulation 75 of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987, or Regulation 65 of the Council Tax Benefit (General) Regulations 1992, with the intent to obtain or retain benefit for themselves or some other person.

Failure to notify a change of circumstances must have been carried out deliberately. There must be evidence of dishonest intent, not inadvertence, lack of understanding, or negligence on the part of the claimant.

It is against the law to give information, which is not correct or not to tell us everything that is relevant to your claim. Any person, found to be claiming fraudulently, will be prosecuted.

Last Updated: 9 December 2019