Universal Credit: Fraud

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Ruth George Ruth George Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the legal basis is for her Department to ask claimants who are victims of third-party universal credit fraud to attend an interview under caution at a Jobcentre rather than provide a witness statement.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 30 September 2019

The new process for advances and identification introduced on the 18 September 2019 mean that the level of UC advances fraud will be mitigated. Where an individual is a victim of fraud and received no money personally, no claim will be made against them. However, it is often not possible to ascertain the facts without an Interview Under Caution. The powers for an Interview Under Caution are under the Social Security Administration Act 1992, Part VI, governs this process and has been followed by successive governments of different political persuasions.

DWP will ask, and allow the individual to have the opportunity to respond to any evidence in a voluntary Interview Under Caution.

DWP follows the guidance laid down in the Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act 1996 and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Code C 2014) to afford the claimant all appropriate protection in law.

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