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Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her latest estimate is of the monetary value of fraud connected with each social security benefit in the latest period for which information is available. (316402)

[holding answer 8 February 2010]: The available information is in the table:

Estimated overpayments due to fraud in 2008-09


Continuously reviewed

Income support

250 million

Jobseeker's allowance

80 million

Pension credit

110 million

Housing benefit

260 million

Incapacity benefit1

70 million

Instrument of payment

10 million

Occasionally reviewed

Disability living allowance

50 million

Retirement pension

0 million

Carer's allowance

50 million


10 million


Unreviewed (excluding CTB)

110 million

Council tax benefit4

50 million


1.1 billion

1 All incapacity benefit figures are taken from the 2008-09 incapacity benefit continuous measurement exercise. 2 "Interdependencies" is an estimate of the knock-on effects of disability living allowance overpayments on caring and disability premiums on income-related benefits, which depend on the rate of disability living allowance in payment. 3 The rate of fraud and error on unreviewed benefits has been estimated. Where suitable proxies exist, percentage-of-expenditure results from reviewed benefits that are similar are used. Where such proxies are not available the average of all measured benefits has been used. 4 The estimate of fraud and error in council tax benefit is based on the results of measurement of housing benefit, adjusted to account for the greater proportion of pensioners in receipt of council tax benefit. 5 Columns may not sum to totals due to rounding. Note:Customer fraud in income support also resulted in approximately £10 million of underpayments, which is not included, or netted off in this table. Sources: 1. Published National Statistics. 2. Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: April 2008 to March 2009.