Free Benefit Fraud Advice
There are many people in the UK who are not even aware that they are committing some kind of benefit fraud, due to the fact they are not 100% aware of what they are legally entitled to. It is always advisable to either speak to a benefits advisor in person or use the benefits advisor tool on the Government website link here.
Benefit fraud is a serious offence which involves the fraudulent claiming of benefits. Benefit fraud can be intentionally claiming benefits when you know you are not entitled to them because you work or have other sources of income or intentionally failing to inform relevant departments that you have had a change in your circumstances. These departments include the Department of Work and Pensions and your local authority for benefits such as housing benefit or council tax benefit.
If you have been caught or are suspected to be committing benefit fraud there will be a full investigation with a fraud officer, this is a criminal investigation which could go to court if enough evidence is found.
Benefits you can lose due to benefit fraud include housing benefit, employment and support allowance, incapacity benefit, job seekers allowance and pension credit. There are other benefits such as child benefit and disability allowance which you will not lose but may still be involved in your fraudulent benefit claim.
There are various punishments if you are found guilty of benefit fraud. These range from paying any money you were not entitled to back, receiving an additional penalty which you must pay on top of the overpaid benefit or even a prison sentence. If you have only committed one offence then your benefits will be stopped for a short period of time. If you are a repeat offender this period will either be extended, benefits reduced permanently or withdrawn completely.
If you suspect someone is committing benefit fraud then there are various hot lines you can use to inform the authorities anonymously.
If you are being investigated for benefit fraud then you should seek legal advice either through a solicitor, the Citizens Advice Bureau or Community Legal Service who will be able to help you with the investigation and represent you in court