Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit Fraud Investigation

Important Changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme

 

The existing Council Tax Support Scheme which helps people on low income to pay their Council Tax is being changed from April 2014 for working age people. This means if you are working age the amount of help you receive may be reduced from April 2014.

 

The changes will not affect you if you are in one of the following groups:

• You are Pension Age

OR

You are in one of the following Protected Groups:

• You have at least one child under the age of 5 in your household

• You receive the Disability Premium or Child Disability Premium when we calculate your weekly income allowance

• You receive the Support Component of Employment Support Allowance

• You receive or have underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance

 

 

The Council has a responsibility to ensure that payments of Council Tax Support  and Housing Benefits are only made to those who are entitled to receive them.  The Council has a Fraud section to prevent and detect fraudulent claims.
 
Benefit fraud is a criminal offence involving false claims for Benefits such as Housing Benefit and Income Support.
 
If you suspect that someone is committing Benefit Fraud you can complete our online fraud form, please complete as much of this form as you can.
 
The information you provide will be treated as strictly confidential and although you can remain anonymous and not provide us with your name and address, if you do these details will remain confidential.
 
If you would prefer to report a suspected fraud by phone, please call our confidential Anti-Fraud Benefits Hotline on:
 

CONFIDENTIAL FREEPHONE FRAUD HOTLINE: 0800 281 879

 

This is a free service staffed during Council opening hours.  An answer machine is  also available to take calls received out of office hours.

 

Alternatively you can write to us at:

Audit and Fraud Department

Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk

PO Box 26

King's Lynn

PE30 1EX

 

You can also email the team at benefit.fraud@west-norfolk.gov.uk

Types of Fraud

 

Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit Fraud
 
"Working and claiming" fraud usually involves claimants who are in receipt of Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit on the basis of entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, but who are in fact working.
 
Any cases that arise in these circumstances will usually involve a joint investigation involving the Council and the Department of Works and Pensions.
 
Non-disclosure of Property or Capital
 
This fraud is where a claimant fails to declare either savings or capital or the ownership of another property or land elsewhere (for which they may be receiving rent).
 
Non-disclosure of Income
 
This is where the claimant fails to declare all of their income, knowing or intending that non-declaration will increase their benefit award.
 
Non-disclosure of Partner (Living Together as Husband and Wife)
 
This fraud usually involves a claimant on Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance failing to declare the presence of a partner who is working, knowing that this would affect their entitlement.
 
Non-declaration of Non-dependants or Sub-tenants
 
A claimant is fraudulent if they fail to declare the presence of other adults living in the property, in order to preserve or increase entitlement to benefit.
 
False claims by Homeowners
 
This is where the owner of a property falsely states that he or she is paying rent to occupy what is, in fact, his or her own property, usually inventing a fictitious landlord to do so.
 
Failing to Declare Change of Address
 
Where a claimant fails to declare that he or she has moved, but continues to accept payments of Housing Benefit for their previous address, they are committing a fraud.
 
False Address Fraud
 
This fraud may occur where a person is claiming for an address at which he or she is not in fact living. This type of offence may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.
 
Landlord Fraud
 
This is where a landlord continues to receive benefit paid directly to him or her for a period after which he or she is aware that the claimant has vacated the premises. Where the landlord has access to more than one property, there is the potential to move tenants around without informing the Local Authority.
 
There are many ways in which landlords and managing agents can defraud the benefit system, particularly in areas where there is a large proportion of multiple occupation houses and there are many seasonal workers looking for short-term lets
 
Failure to notify a Change of Circumstances Form (pdf 49Kb). must have been carried out deliberately. There must be evidence of dishonest intent, not inadvertence, lack of understanding, or negligence on the part of the claimant.

 

Last updated: 07 March 2014
Bookmark and Share What is this?