What is benefit fraud?
If a person claims benefits that they are not entitled to they may be committing benefit fraud.
Examples of fraud would be:
- people not reporting they are working
- people not reporting they have property that they own or bank accounts or other savings
- people not reporting they have a partner, relative or friend living with them
- people not reporting that they are renting out a part of their home or that they have left the property
- people not reporting that they have another source of income
It would also be considered benefit fraud to claim under a false identity for a property they do not live in or have a rental liability at.
Benefit fraud can also be committed by landlords and employers:
- if a landlord, who is paid directly, fails to notify the council that the person entitled to benefit has left the property
- the employer of the person claiming benefit may be committing benefit fraud if they understate the number of hours worked / wages paid or incorrectly state that the claimant does not work for them
Reporting Benefit Fraud
Benefit fraud is dealt with by the Single Fraud Investigation Service at the DWP.
If you suspect that someone you know is committing Housing Benefit fraud you can report it by any of the following methods:
- phone the National Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
- report benefit fraud online, at the Department for Work and Pensions website.
- put the allegation in writing and send it to NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP
What happens after I report someone?
The DWP will look at the information you give. They are not allowed to tell you the outcome.
They will only take action if they find the person has been committing benefit fraud.
Action can include removing a person's benefits and taking them to court.
Sometimes no action is taken as the person has already declared a change or their benefit is not affected.