Benefit investigations

Types of benefit fraud

Here are some examples of the types of benefit fraud we come across.

Working and claiming - this, for example, involves people who are receiving housing benefit/council tax reduction on the basis that they are entitled to Job Seeker's Allowance/Income Support, but who are in fact working.

Non-disclosure of property, capital or income - this is where people do not tell us about all their income, savings, capital or property, or an increase in wages earned so that the amount of benefit they get is higher than it should be.

Non-disclosure of partner (living together as man and wife, as civil partners or as same sex couples) - this involves a person receiving housing benefit or council tax reduction, and not telling us they have a partner.

Non-declaration of non-dependants or sub-tenants - this is where a person does not tell us about other adults living in the property so that they keep, or increase, their entitlement to benefit.

False claims by homeowners - this is where the owner of a property falsely claims housing benefit, stating they do not own the property and they are paying rent for the property, inventing a fictitious landlord and using false rent books and tenancy agreements.

False address or failing to declare a change of address - this is where the claimant is claiming benefit for an address where they do not live. These types of offences can involve the landlord or other tenants, or occur when the claimant doesn't tell us that they have moved out of a property. If the person rents from the local authority and does not use the home we will recover the property for use by another person.

Landlord fraud - this is where a landlord continues to receive benefit paid directly to them when they know the claimant has left the premises.

Fictitious tenancies - this is where a tenancy is created between friends or family where the property would not normally be rented in order to obtain benefit to which they are not entitled.

Council tax reduction fraud - if you have reason to suspect that someone is fraudulently claiming council tax reduction we would like to hear from you. Please complete the online form. Any information provided will be treated in confidence.

Housing benefit fraud - if you believe someone is fraudulently claiming housing benefit or any other social security benefit you should report this fraud to the Department for Work and Pensions. You can report this online or to the National Benefit Fraud helpline on 0800 854 440 (textphone 0800 320 0512).

Notify a change of circumstance - if you are receiving benefit yourself it is your responsibility to notify the local authority immediately of any change in your circumstances that may affect your entitlement to benefit.

You must not and cannot assume that other organisations, like the Department for Work and Pensions or the Job Centre Plus, will notify us on your behalf. It is your responsibility.

Contact details
For more information on council tax reduction fraud, please contact the Benefit Investigation Team, 020 8770 5687, benefit.investigations@sutton.gov.uk.

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