West Berkshire District Council is committed to preventing fraud entering the benefit system.
Housing and Council Tax Benefit is funded by the Government and comes out of every tax payer's pocket. It is you they are defrauding - not just the system.It is estimated that during 2008/09 around 2.2 per cent, or £3.0bn, of total benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud and error. Around 4.9 per cent, or £840m, of national Housing Benefit expenditure is estimated to have been overpaid.
West Berkshire Council takes fraud seriously. We are committed to paying our customers the right benefits at the right time.
The Council will investigate allegations from members of the public, officers and members of the council, other government departments and from national and local data matching. Where appropriate we will work with the Department for Work and Pensions to establish the full extent of the fraud and recover any benefit overpaid as a result of fraudulent activity.
Examples of situations where people have been caught committing benefit fraud included:
• Providing a false address
• Not declaring earnings, Tax Credits or other income and benefits
• Not declaring capital
• Not telling us there are other people living in the household
• Failing to declare changes in circumstances that occur after the original application was made.
We want people to understand that benefit fraud is not acceptable.
Reporting a fraud
If you suspect someone is claiming benefit to which they are not entitled, please let us know. You may remain anonymous, although it would be helpful to take your name and phone number in case we need more information at a later date. Any information that you provide will remain strictly confidential and we will not give your name to anyone else.
Please use our secure, confidential Report Benefit Fraud Online facility,
Please contact the Benefit Fraud Section on 01635 519257 or 01635 519311
Alternatively, you may contact the Customer Service Centre on 01635 519258.
If you would like to report your suspicions in writing, you can complete the details in the 'How to Report Fraud' leaflet, a link to which can be found in the panel on the right of this page, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.