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Universal Credit: Fraud

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 28th October 2019.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportions of claimants of universal credit that would found guilty of advance payment loan fraud have been moved back to their previous benefit.

Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the increase in universal credit advance payment loan fraud cases.

Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the criteria must be fulfilled in cases of universal credit advance payment loan fraud for a person to be removed from universal credit and returned to the old benefits system.

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

The Department is committed to the prevention, detection and investigation of all types of benefit fraud. Since 18 September 2019, claimants are required to attend an interview at a Jobcentre to verify their identity before claiming a Universal Credit new claim advance. This change is helping protect claimants from identity fraud and becoming victims of third party scams.

The Department will review each case where a claim to Universal Credit was prompted by fraudulent activity. If there is clear evidence that the claimant had no involvement in the fraud, and where the claimant wishes us to do so, we will consider re-instating DWP legacy benefits.

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