Benefit fraud

Report suspected fraud for both housing benefit and council tax support and advice for those who have committed fraud.

How do I report someone I believe is committing benefit fraud?

Report suspected benefit fraud

Whilst our online form is the fastest way to contact us, you can still report suspected fraud by any of the following:

I have received a claim review form, what do I need to do?

You need to fill in and sign the form, then return it using the envelope provided.

If you fail to do this, your claim for housing benefit or council tax support will be stopped.

You have received the form because we have received information that suggests your circumstances may have changed.

Why have you suspended my claim?

We may have suspended your claim because:

  • you have failed to comply with a request to review your claim

  • we have evidence showing that your circumstances have changed.

Your payments have been stopped until we can confirm your current circumstances. If you wish to discuss this further, please contact the person named on the letter you have received.

Do I have to attend an interview under caution?

No, you do not have to attend the interview but it is your opportunity to give an explanation of the facts.

If you do not attend the interview we will consider the evidence we have and make a decision on further action as outlined below.

Please note: in serious cases we may request that the police arrest you to enable us to carry out the interview. Throughout the interview you have rights and entitlements, including the right to silence, which will be explained at the start of the interview.

I have just been interviewed under caution, what happens next?

This depends on what you have said during the interview. We may need to make further enquiries. If so, you will receive a letter to update on the progress of the case every 28 days.

Once all enquiries and interviews are complete, we will make a decision as to what action, if any, is taken against you.

If we believe you have committed an offence we may:

  • issue an administrative penalty

  • take legal action against you.

If there is no evidence of an offence, no further action will be taken. We will write to you with a summary of our findings and let you know that the investigation has been closed.

Regardless of our decision, you must still pay back any amount you have been overpaid.

If I accept an administrative penalty will I get a criminal record?

No, administrative penalties are not recorded on the police national computer. They are recorded locally by our fraud investigation and enforcement team.

If you commit further offences in the future, any penalties held on your record will be taken into account when we are deciding what action is taken against you.

How do I pay an administrative penalty?

Once you accept an administrative penalty, we will send you an invoice. Find out how to pay invoices.

I've received a summons to attend court for a benefit fraud offence, what should I do?

You should attend court at the time and date specified on the summons. You should also consider seeking legal advice prior to your court appearance.

I'm an employer and I've received a letter asking for information, do I have to provide it?

Yes, investigators are authorised under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to obtain information from employers. When an authorised officer requests this information under this legislation you are compelled to provide it or you risk prosecution yourself.

You do not have to provide information that may incriminate you or your spouse.

Can I find out who reported me for allegedly committing benefit fraud?

No, the information we receive is treated as strictly confidential and will not be disclosed.

I have reported someone for benefit fraud, how do I know if something has been done about it?

All allegations of benefit fraud are treated in confidence and as such we are unable to disclose whether an investigation is taking place.

Every allegation we receive is taken seriously and considered by a senior officer. The more detailed information you supply the greater the prospect of proving any offence.

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