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Benefit Fraud

Requested on
Wed 4th June, 2014
Reference
FOI 4496
Resolution
Information provided

Question

Could you please list the number of occasions a member of the public has reported to you that they believed a person (or persons) has been falsely claiming benefits or lying about their living circumstances to authorities between April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2014?
Could you please separate the data by tax year (so April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014).
Could you specify what type of fraud the caller/person reporting the case suspected had been committed (ie. living with a partner but not informing authorities, sub-letting, lying about circumstances, council tax fraud etc).
Could you also explain what the outcome of each investigation was (ie. Whether the person was prosecuted for fraud, cautioned, had their benefits stopped or there was no further action).
Where people’s benefits were stopped could you detail how much money was saved by that action (where possible).
And finally could you detail how much the council has identified in benefits overpayments over each of the two financial years.

Answer

Thank you for your recent information request for  Benefit Fraud Reports which the Council has considered. 
However while the information requested may be held by the Council in the form of notes on each individual fraud case it is not held in a manner which enables the aggregated data you request to be collated easily.  The time required to go through each fraud case and retrieve information regarding how the potential fraud was reported would exceed the appropriate limit for dealing with requests set out in section 12 of the Act and the Appropriate Limit and Fees Regulations
Our Benefits team have provided the following information which we hope is useful to you:
Number of fraud referrals:
2012 – 888 total referrals – 220 from public
2013 - 523 total referrals – 190 from public

Type of fraud – these numbers are based on referrals from all sources,
not just from the public.
   
2012  2013
Data match  242  Data match  13
Landlord  2  Landlord  3
Living together 154  Living together 160
Rental                   96  Rental                   45
Undeclared capital   34  Undeclared capital   65
Undeclared earnings 114  Undeclared earnings 66
Undeclared income 94  Undeclared income 35
Undeclared Occ Pen 23  Undeclared Occ Pen 22
Undeclared non – deps 62  Undeclared non – deps 58
Undeclared property  11  Undeclared property  2
Contrived Tenancy   3  Contrived Tenancy   9
Ficticious desertion 7  Ficticious desertion 2
Other   44  Other   44

Amount of Fraud Overpayments – based on referrals from all sources, not just from the public.
2012 - £117372
2013 - £79168

Investigation outcomes - based on referrals from all sources, not just from the public.
2012
Ad penalties - 2
Cautions - 10
Prosecutions - 20

2013
Ad penalties - 6
Cautions - 10
Prosecutions - 20

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