Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her latest estimate is of the monetary value of fraud connected with each social security benefit in the latest period for which information is available.

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

holding answer 8 February 2010

The available information is in the table:

Estimated overpayments due to fraud in 2008-09
£
Continuously reviewed
Income support 250 million
Jobseeker's allowance 80 million
Pension credit 110 million
Housing benefit 260 million
Incapacity benefit(1) 70 million
Instrument of payment 10 million
Occasionally reviewed
Disability living allowance 50 million
Retirement pension 0 million
Carer's allowance 50 million
Interdependencies(2) 10 million
Unreviewed( 3)
Unreviewed (excluding CTB) 110 million
Council tax benefit(4) 50 million
Total(5) 1.1 billion
(1) All incapacity benefit figures are taken from the 2008-09 incapacity benefit continuous measurement exercise. (2) "Interdependencies" is an estimate of the knock-on effects of disability living allowance overpayments on caring and disability premiums on income-related benefits, which depend on the rate of disability living allowance in payment. (3) The rate of fraud and error on unreviewed benefits has been estimated. Where suitable proxies exist, percentage-of-expenditure results from reviewed benefits that are similar are used. Where such proxies are not available the average of all measured benefits has been used. (4) The estimate of fraud and error in council tax benefit is based on the results of measurement of housing benefit, adjusted to account for the greater proportion of pensioners in receipt of council tax benefit. (5) Columns may not sum to totals due to rounding. Note: Customer fraud in income support also resulted in approximately £10 million of underpayments, which is not included, or netted off in this table. Sources: 1. Published National Statistics. 2. Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: April 2008 to March 2009.

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