Benefit fraud is not a victim-less crime. Elmbridge Borough Council is fully committed to Benefit Fraud prevention, and aims to be one of the most successful in the United Kingdom in the detection, investigation and sanctioning of Benefit Fraud offenders.
Benefit Fraud in the United Kingdom costs an estimated £2 billion per year and is paid for out of public funds. We believe that this money could be better used to improve or fund vital services for local residents. The more the Council loses to benefit fraud, the less it has to spend on other services. The more the country loses to benefit fraud, the higher your income tax will be.
You Can Help
If you suspect someone of committing benefit fraud and want to tell us, please telephone 01372 474291 or the National Fraud Hotline free on 0800 854440.
You do not have to leave your name and all information will be treated confidentially.
Some common examples of types of fraud that can occur:
- Working whilst claiming to be unemployed
- Not living at the address they claim benefits from
- Not declaring savings whilst claiming benefits
- Not fully declaring all income or household members
- Subletting the property to others
- Not declaring second properties
What happens to those who commit fraud?
If it is proven that a person has committed a benefit fraud, then they will be subject to one or more of the following actions against them:
- The recovery of the amount they have received fraudulently
- A formal caution
- The charging of a penalty
- Depending upon the circumstances, prosecution through the courts.
The Fraud Act 1997 gives the Council the power to impose a fine or to administer its own cautions. The Council also realises that people often commit a fraud because they may have very serious financial problems. At the same time, they often do not realise that there are benefits they can claim without having to cheat the system.
We want to encourage people to claim the benefits due to them so they don't have to resort to fraud. We will help people who are worried that their claims might not be correct and provide assistance in putting things right.
We have welfare and housing advisors who can provide you with a private consultation to help work out the benefits you are entitled to. The Housing Welfare Advisors will visit you in your home if you have difficulty getting around or cannot get to the Civic Centre.
More information is available from the |Targeting Benefit Fraud website.