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War Widows And Benefit Fraud

Volume 621: debated on Tuesday 30 January 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:In how many cases benefit fraud was proven against war widows in each of the last two years; how the total in each year compared with that for mainstream benefits; and whether the numbers of proven cases justify legislation on social security fraud by war widows. [HL395]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security
(Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

Due to the methods used to collect information, it is not possible separately to identify all cases of benefit fraud by war widows. However, since April 2000 the War Pensions Agency has recorded five cases where a war widow failed to declare that she was living with a man as his wife. No prosecutions resulted but in each case payment of war widows pension was stopped. During the last two years there were approximately 10,000 successful prosecutions per annum for mainsteam social security benefit fraud.The Social Security Fraud Bill proposes that benefit would be sanctioned only if a person had twice been convicted by the courts for benefit fraud. War pensions have been included in the loss of benefits provisions in Clauses 6 to 12 of the Sociel Security Fraud Bill in order to protect the integrity of the Scheme.