Merton Council

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Benefit fraud

Benefit fraud is a crime. Benefit fraud includes being dishonest in order to get benefits, or deliberately not telling us:

  • you are now living with a partner
  • about any savings or not telling us the right amount
  • children have left home
  • you have started work, or about any earnings
  • you have inherited money
  • you are going abroad, living abroad, or have changed address.

How to report benefit fraud

If you suspect any type of benefit fraud you can report it in several ways. You do not have to give your name.

How we fight fraud

We also collaborate with HMRC in matching data held on our claims with data held by them in relation to real time earnings amounts.

A major project called Real Time Information (RTI) was run from late September 2014 to early March 2015. We were able to get up to date payroll data from employers via HM Revenue and Customs. We have also been getting RTI data for occupational and private pensions and annuities. We compared those earnings to earnings declared on claims for HB and CTS. The project has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds in overpaid Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

The project will continue into the next year. We have secured funding from the DWP for two officers to help combat fraud and error. So if you or your partner has had a change in income or any other circumstances which may affect your claim, you must let us know. You can use the change of circumstances form at the end of this newsletter to tell us about your changes. You can also email the information to housing.benefits@merton.gov.uk. Remember to quote your claim reference number.

National Fraud Initiative

Every two years we take part in a nationwide scheme called the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). The last time the NFI was run in 2012, almost £75,000 worth of fraud was detected in Merton.

We supply data to the Audit Commission relating to council tax, pensions, payroll, licenses, parking permits, care homes, electoral register and market traders.

Contact us

For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.

Related websites

Benefit fraud (GOV.UK)

See also

This page was last updated on Tuesday 5 May 2015

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