A campaign has been launched by councils across Lincolnshire in an attempt to crack down on housing benefit fraud and error.
A Parliamentary report which looked at the annual expenditure on housing benefit in the UK found that most councils were affected by claimant error or deliberate fraud.
In Lincolnshire, the annual spend on housing benefit is £160 million for around 52,500 households.
Lincolnshire authorities are working together to support the Government’s bid to cut the cost of fraud and error. The ‘Tell Us’ campaign message is that if you claim housing benefit, you must tell your council about all changes in your circumstances, including money coming into the home, such as pensions, wages, other benefits or tax credits, as well as people who live in your home, and savings and investments.
As a priority, the initial focus will be on those considered a high risk of not having reported changes, meaning they have received too much in benefit payments.
While most claims are genuine and correct, the review is intended to find those that are wrong.
Some residents may have simply forgotten to let their council know that they have had a change in their circumstances.
Examples are children moving out or leaving full-time education, or getting a job or a pay increase.
Changes such as these should be brought to the attention of East Lindsey District Council as soon as possible – call 01507 601111 before fraud investigators take more serious action, which can include prosecution.