About benefit fraud

What is benefit fraud?

Benefit fraud is when people deliberately fail to report a change in their circumstances within one calendar month or lie in order to claim housing and Council Tax Reduction that they might not otherwise be entitled to. All benefit fraud is a crime.

When applying for benefits it is vital that you give accurate information, and that you let the council know if your circumstances change within 28 days.

The following are all types of benefit fraud:

- Working and claiming - this usually involves benefit claimants who receive housing and Council Tax reduction as part of their Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support and who are in fact working.

- Non-disclosure of property or capital -when someone claiming benefits fails to declare savings, capital or the ownership of another property or land elsewhere.

- Non-disclosure of a partner - this usually involves a benefits claimant who is receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance and who fails to declare the presence of a partner, who they are living with as husband and wife, who is working.    

- Non-declaration of non-dependants or sub-tenants - when the benefit claimant fails to declare the presence of other adults in the property.    

- False claims by home owners - where the owner of a property falsely claims that they are paying rent for the property by inventing a fictitious landlord.     

- Failing to declare changes of address - where the benefits claimant fails to declare that they have moved but continues to accept payments of housing benefit for that address.    

- False address fraud - this may occur where the claimant is claiming for an address which they are not living at. These types of offences may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.    

- Landlord fraud - where a landlord continues to receive benefit paid directly for a period after the claimant has left the premises.   

If you suspect someone is claiming benefits fraudulently, please let us know so our Benefit Fraud Team can investigate and take action. See How to report benefit fraud for details of how to do this.

Last reviewed: 27 - 03 - 2013

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