New benefit fraud blitz launched

Norfolk County Council Election Count at King's Lynn Corn Exchange
LtoR, Brian Long and Nick Daubney
Norfolk County Council Election Count at King's Lynn Corn Exchange LtoR, Brian Long and Nick Daubney

Benefit claimants in West Norfolk are being urged to make sure their affairs are in order after a new officer was recruited to investigate suspected fraud.

The borough council has been given funding as part of a scheme in which local authorities are being given the money to recruit extra resources to review housing benefit claims for fraud and error.

A new officer has been recruited on a 12 month contract, using money provided by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The official will work to check earnings details against those held on the Revenue and Customs database.

Borough council leader Brian Long said yesterday: “Housing benefit fraud is a big issue across the country, which is why funding has been made available to us to tackle it.

“I am sure that for most people it is a genuine mistake and they have simply forgotten to notify us of a change in their circumstances, rather than a serious attempt to commit fraud.

“However, if that means they are claiming money they are not entitled to, then we need to ensure those errors are corrected and that the money is paid back.”

“Claimants whose earnings details do not match will be contacted and given an opportunity to put the matter right. If they do not, then further action may be taken.”

He said claimants can update their details via an online form on the council’s website.