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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 that they do not 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 help to 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.