Amber Valley Borough Council is committed to tackling benefit fraud. We know that most claimants are honest but we have a responsibility to tackle those who are not. Our Benefit Investigation Unit has responsibility for developing the Councils' overall strategy for reducing the amount of benefit fraud committed.
The Benefits Investigation Unit carry out benefit fraud investigations. They jointly work with internal and external partners and have investigators who deal with the full range of benefit fraud from minor offences through to major frauds.
We aim to stop all types of benefit fraud and have set specific targets for reducing the amount of fraud and error.
By the end of 2007 we aim to reduce fraud and error in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit by 50% from 1998 levels.
We aim to meet the target of a 50% reduction in fraud by the end of 2007 through:
- Prevention - stricter benefit controls when new claims for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are first made. For example customers must now produce more evidence about their identity, or of how much they have in savings, before Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit is paid
- Checking - carrying out reviews to check entitlement during the course of a claim
- Detection - using our improved intelligence gathering and professional expertise to catch more fraudsters, and
- Punishments - a range of actions are available, including prosecution, where appropriate.
We are jointly working with The DWP Fraud Investigation Service to reduce fraud and error in Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support amongst other DWP Benefits.