Benefit fraud is knowingly obtaining benefit to which there is no entitlement.
It is the deliberate withholding or providing of false information in order to obtain benefits.
It covers all benefits, such as:
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit
- Income Support
- Pension Credits
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Plus many others - for confidential advice, please contact the Council's Benefit Investigation Team on (01389) 738630
Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and may result in prosecution.
Common types of benefit fraud
The most common types of benefit fraud are:
- Failure to declare earnings or income;
- Failure to declare a change in circumstances;
- Failure to declare savings;
- Failure to declare a partner who lives with you;
- Failure to declare other household members; or
- Claiming Housing & Council Tax Benefit whilst not living in the property.
How can benefit fraud be detected?
There are a range of methods used to prevent and detect benefit fraud used by West Dunbartonshire Council, such as:
- Matching its records against those held by the Department for Work and Pensions
- Carrying out visits to benefits claimants in their homes to check their circumstances are up to date
- Benefit claims are cross-checked
- Information can be obtained from employers
- Evidence can be gathered through other official sources.
Although there are various means of detecting fraud one of the most useful sources of information comes from local knowledge and receiving information from the public.