Council tax and benefit fraud
The Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for investigating all reports of benefit fraud including Housing Benefit. The Council no longer investigates Housing Benefit fraud but will report any suspicions to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Council have a dedicated team who investigate all fraudulent Council Tax claims.
What is fraud?
A person committing fraud will give false information in order to claim certain benefits, discounts or exemptions. Please report suspected fraud so we can make sure only the right people are getting the right benefits.
We are keen to award benefits, discounts and exemptions to genuine claimants, but we are equally keen to stop fraud.
If you make false claims or don’t tell us straight away about changes to your circumstances, you’ll have to repay any overpaid benefit or council tax reduction and you may also be prosecuted. In less serious cases, benefit claimants who make false claims will be offered a formal caution or a fine instead of prosecution. The fine must be paid along with any overpaid benefit.
Types of fraud
The kinds of fraud to report are:
- People who work but do not declare this when they claim benefit.
- People who claim as a single person but someone else lives with them.
- Not telling the Council when a discount or other reduction should be cancelled.
- Claiming a student discount or exemption when not enrolled on a course of full-time education or not declaring non-students are resident at the property.
- People who claim from an address but do not live there.
- People who do not tell us the full amount of income, savings or capital when they make their claim.
- People who claim housing benefit or council tax reduction and leave the country for more than 4 weeks without telling us.
- People who for any reason do not have any right to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
How to report fraud
If you suspect someone is committing council tax or housing benefit fraud against Wyre Forest District Council, please complete our online report form.
Or, you can ring our Fraud Hotline on 01562 732658. All calls are treated in absolute confidence. We need as much information as possible. Examples of information we will need to investigate fraud include:
- Name and address
- Type of fraud you think they’re committing
- As many details as you can about the suspected fraud including;
- If working, do you know who they work for?
- What time of day does the person leave for work?
- Do they have a company van/car?
If the suspected fraud relates to Housing Benefit only, we will pass the information provided to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for them to investigate. Alternatively, you can contact Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) directly on their website to report a fraudulent Housing Benefit claim or call the National Benefit Hotline on 0800 854 440.