personal finance

State pension and benefit fraud warning as cases will be reviewed next year

Fraud officials at are to review claims for five benefits and the next year.

The DWP has said the reviews of state pension claims will include those administered through the ‘Get Your State Pension online’ service during this financial year.

Fraud and error rates fell 3.6 percent over the past year, representing £8.3billion, down from four percent the year before, at £8.7billion.

More than 20 million people claim benefits or the state pension to help with their daily living costs.

The new operation will see Disability Living Allowance cases reviewed for the first time since the 2004/2005 financial year.

The DWP will be measuring the following benefits for fraud and error:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit (pension age cases)
  • Pension Credit
  • State Pension
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The DWP plans to publish its fraud and error report for the 2023/2024 financial year in May of next year.

Definitions of Fraud, Claimant Error and Official Error

Officials will look for three types of fraud and error, including:

1. Fraud

This includes claims where all three of the following conditions apply:

  • The conditions for receipt of benefit, or the rate of benefit in payment, are not being met
  • The claimant can reasonably be expected to be aware of the effect on their entitlement
  • Benefit payment stops or reduces as a result of the review.

Common examples of benefit fraud

  • Faking an illness or injury to get unemployment or disability benefits
  • Failing to report income from a business or employment to make income seem lower than it actually is
  • Living with someone who contributes to the household income without declaring that income to the authorities
  • Falsifying accounts to make it seem like a person has less money than they say they do.

2. Claimant Error

  • The claimant has provided inaccurate or incomplete information or failed to report a change in their circumstances, but there is no evidence of fraudulent intent on the claimant’s part.

3. Official Error

  • The benefit has been paid incorrectly due to a failure to act, a delay or a mistaken assessment by the DWP, a local authority or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), to which no one outside of that department has materially contributed, regardless of whether the business unit has processed the information.

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