A UK benefit fraud report is often filed against people who are actively receiving or who may have received benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by deliberately providing false information to the government or by failing to report changes in their personal situation or assets. Benefit fraud is a serious case and is considered a criminal offense in the UK. Aside from the direct beneficiary, other people who may have participated in committing the crime by helping the culprit conceal crucial information from the government may also be included in the case and convicted if proven guilty. To give you some samples of cases considered as benefit fraud, see the list below;
Basis of Benefit Fraud Report
- Concealing any form of investment or savings in order to qualify for a benefit. Failing to declare any current active employment status in order to qualify for benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance.
- Claiming for a lone parent benefit, when you are actually living with a partner who is helping you take care of the household.
- Falsifying required documents claim benefits or to qualify for government benefits. One example is providing a false birth certificate for a child or children in order to qualify for Child Benefits.
- Failing to report a change or changes in your household or financial circumstances in order to continuously receive benefits from DPW is also a ground for benefit fraud.
In case you commit any of the scenarios provided above, a benefit fraud may be filed against you by a concerned citizen or by a DPW officer who discovered the anomalies in your application.
How to File Benefit Fraud report
Filing benefit fraud was made easy through GOV.UK website. The GOV.UK website offers an online form which you can access anonymously in order to alert DPW about any suspected benefit fraud in your area. The form is filled with guide questions so you don’t miss out on the most important information about your report.
All benefit fraud reports filed on the site are carefully analyzed a reviewed by the Department for Work and Pensions Fraud and Error Service. Investigators from Fraud Service Investigation within the local community will be in charge of conducting a preliminary investigation. Afterwards, the department will decide whether a violation has been committed and may either petition discontinuing the culprit’s benefits or filing a criminal case against them. Either way, you will no longer receive any updates or news regarding benefit fraud that you filed.
Note that benefit fraud reports filed against a person may be investigated without any time limit. Meaning, a benefit fraud investigation may be launched against you years after you received the benefits from DPW or even if you are no longer actively receiving benefits. However, in the case of benefit overpayment, the government has a 6-year limit to bring the case to court and recover the overpayment.
The details provided above are some of the basic information that you need to know about filing a benefit fraud report in the UK.