Merton’s Housing Benefit Fraud Squad success continues, with the team obtaining 20 Administrative Penalties against people in the last 12 months.
Every penalty issued results in a grant to Merton from the Department of Works and Pensions and a fine for the individual who must also pay back any monies they have inappropriately obtained. Those who refuse to accept a penalty will be prosecuted through the courts.
The Council’s visiting officers regularly visit Housing benefit claimants to check entitlement retails, however if you are a genuine claimant you have nothing to fear. A survey of claimants who had been visited recently revealed that over 99 percent of people felt that both they and their homes had been treated courteously and with respect. Most people visited were open and honest and the Council’s Anti-fraud initiatives should not put them off from applying for any benefit they may be entitled to.
Please help us help you by informing us of any change in your circumstances. Even if you have informed the Benefits Agency of any changes in your circumstance, you must inform the London Borough of Merton.
It is our policy to:
Recover overpayments which result from you failing to notify us of changes in your circumstances and;
To prosecute offenders
If you know anyone who is fraudulently claiming benefits call the confidential Hotline on 020 8545 3223