Presentation on theme: "Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Focus on Fraud This short presentation should only take a few minutes for you to read. We hope it will demonstrate."— Presentation transcript:
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Focus on Fraud This short presentation should only take a few minutes for you to read. We hope it will demonstrate the effects of Benefit and Council Tax Reduction fraud and encourage you to report fraud if you become aware of it. Please click on the arrow button below to start the presentation.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Benefit cheats are stealing your money The Government has estimated that Benefit Fraud costs each household in England and Wales approximately £52 per year. The City & County of Swansea is taking positive steps to beat the cheats by continuing to strive to: Make fraud harder to commit. Encourage people to report those they suspect of committing fraud. Detect and stop more fraudulent claims. Punish those who commit fraud. Make cheats pay back the money they stole. Enforce the message that fraud is not acceptable. Our aim is to promote benefit take up for those who are entitled, whilst minimising the amount of fraud and error that enters the system.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a The cost of Benefit fraud Each and every Benefit cheat effectively takes money out of your pocket. Would you like to pay less Council Tax? Would you like more money spent on education or the NHS? Are you annoyed that benefit cheats are wasting your money? Do you think Benefit cheats should not be allowed to ‘get away with it’? £600 million£800 million£1.2 billion Click on the button below that you think gives the estimated total loss to benefit fraud:
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Were you correct ? In 2012/13 Benefit cheats thieves stole an estimated from public funds. This would pay for: 12,500 Doctors. 28,000 Teachers. 25,000 Police Officers
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a So what are they trying getting away with? Not telling us about a change in their circumstances. Undeclared work (as an employee or self-employment). Undeclared savings, investments, property or land. Sources of income we do not know about (including other benefits or occupational (private) pensions). Undeclared partner. Not telling us the full facts.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Who commits benefit fraud? Most people are honest and claim their proper entitlement. However, benefit cheats can come from all walks of life. There is no stereotype for a benefit cheat!
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a What is the Council doing to beat the cheats? All staff, particularly those based in Benefits, Council Tax, Housing and Customer Services play a role in beating the cheats. We have a dedicated team of investigators whose role is to prevent and detect Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Fraud. We always seek to recover fraudulently claimed Benefits. The following sanctions may be imposed:- Prosecution - leading to a criminal conviction, fine or prison. Administrative Penalty - Depending on the circumstances a Penalty can either be 30% or 50% of the value of overpayments. Cheats have to pay back the overpayment and the Penalty. Caution - A verbal warning similar to a police caution. Loss Of Benefit Sanction - In specific circumstances, ongoing entitlements may be withheld for a period of time.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a The Consequences for Benefit cheats Wherever possible when we catch a cheat fraudster we will take them to court, which may result in: Naming and shaming in the local or even national press. Ongoing Benefits being withheld. Criminal record. Compensation order. Community service. Prison sentence. Assets seized. Fine.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Working with others We work closely with a range of partners to eliminate fraud. Internally, we share information between departments using computer data matching techniques. We also share information with external agencies including: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Banks & Building Societies. HM Revenue & Customs. Housing Associations. The Police. Immigration.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Using technology to catch Benefit cheats We have a range of computerised systems which match data between agencies such as the DWP and HM Revenue & Customs. Using technology helps to ensure: Quicker flow of information between Government and Councils. Increased ability to identify frauds and catch the cheats quickly. Better customer understanding to ensure people who need benefits claim their entitlement. Reduction in overpayments and errors.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Why do we need your help? It is very likely that you will be aware of information which could lead to the detection of fraud. It is even possible that you know someone who is claiming benefit they are not entitled to. Remember It’s your money that is being stolen by these cheats. Cheats take money that would be spent on those really in need. The Government would have an extra £1.2 billion to spend on those who need assistance if together, we cracked fraud.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a Report Fraud You can tell us about suspected fraud in a number of ways. Please use whatever method is appropriate for you. More information about reporting fraud is given on the next slide. We already get high numbers of anonymous calls giving good quality information which leads to convictions in the courts but we cannot have our eyes and ears everywhere. If every honest citizen worked with us, together we could stamp out Benefit Fraud and ensure benefit is paid to the needy not the greedy. Don't bury your head in the sand, it’s your money that is being stolen!
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a How can I report suspected fraud ? Speak to us in confidence, without leaving your name, by telephoning 01792 - 635359. Telephone the Local Authority National Benefit Fraud Hotline on - 0800 328 6340. E-mail us anonymously – email@example.com Use the online fraud reporting form on our web page http://www.swansea.gov.uk/benefitfraud All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Benefits & Council Tax Training Team a In summary We investigate everything that is reported to us. Please give us as much detail as you can (e.g. descriptions, dates, times, places, employment, etc). Investigations take time - it’s not always evident that action is being taken. By law, we must keep information about people confidential, so we cannot give progress reports to the person who reported the possible fraud. For more information on what we are doing to combat Benefit and Council Tax Reduction fraud, visit our website www.swansea.gov.uk/fraud or Visit the DWP’s benefit fraud website. http://campaigns.dwp.gov.uk/campaigns/benefit-thieves/