Fraud Investigations - What is Benefit or Tax Credit fraud?
The DWP applies strict rules to stop fraud. If you have been accused of fraud, check what you need to do next.
What is Benefit or Tax Credit fraud?
Benefit or Tax Credit fraud is treated as a criminal offence. You might be considered to have received benefits through fraud if you did any of the following:
a) False representation for claiming benefits or tax credits
This means that you give information or evidence which you know to be false, or
Fail to notify a change in your circumstances which you know affects your benefit or tax credit, or
Cause or allow another person to fail to notify a change which you know affects their benefit or tax credit.
b) Dishonest representation for claiming benefits or tax credits
- This means that you knew that you were acting dishonestly when you gave incorrect information or evidence, or failed to report a change.
Special rules allow for investigation and prosecution where you are suspected of benefit or tax credit fraud. They apply to any benefit or tax credit that you receive from:
- The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (which pays most benefits through either Jobcentre Plus or Pension Service or Disability and Carers Service)
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Local authorities/councils
It is very important that you get advice if you have been accused of fraud. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local advice service.