We have a duty under law to administer a benefits service to people who qualify in our area. At the same time we are responsible for ensuring that payments are only made to those people who are actually entitled to receive them.
We constantly monitor benefit claims, looking for any suspicious circumstances or information, but no matter how much effort we put in to this, we cannot do it alone - we need your help.
If you suspect someone is committing Housing Benefit Fraud you can report this in three ways.
Contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440. Your call is free and confidential. You do not have to give your name or address. Lines are open Monday o Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm.
If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512 or Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722.
NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP
If you suspect someone is committing Council Tax Support Fraud you can contact the Council on 01386 565280. You do not have to give your name or address when you call. The information you provide would be treated in the strictest confidence.
Alternatively, you can write to Council Tax Support Investigations Team, South Worcestershire Revenues and Benefits Shared Services, PO Box 11, Pershore, Worcs, WR10 1PU.
Types of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support Fraud
- Claimants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support on the basis of entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance/Income Support and are in fact working.
- Failure to declare either savings/capital or the ownership of another property/land elsewhere (for which they may be receiving rent).
- Failure to declare all of their income knowing the non-declaration will increase their benefit award.
- Claimants on Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance failing to declare the presence of a partner who is working, knowing this would preclude their entitlement.
- Failure to declare the presence of other adults in the property in order to preserve or increase entitlement to benefit.
- Owners of properties falsely claiming that they are in fact paying rent for the property and inventing a fictitious landlord. In these circumstances false rent books, Tenancy Agreements are provided.
- Failure to declare that he/she has moved but continues to accept payments of Housing Benefit for the address.
- Claimants who claim for an address at which they are not in fact living. These types of offences may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.
- Landlords who continue to receive benefit and are aware that the claimant has left 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.
Joint Working with the Benefits Agency
We work closely with the Benefits Agency as a lot of allegations involve both Housing Benefit /Council Tax Support and Social Security benefits.