District council to check benefit claims for fraud

Benefit claimants in Richmondshire are being warned that an initiative to make spot checks has been launched in a bid to stop fraudulent claims.

Richmondshire District Council officers are undertaking random reviews on housing benefit and council tax reduction – not only to be sure the details held by the authority are correct but to make sure the right amount of benefit is being paid.

Anyone asked to take part in a review will be asked to complete a review form through the authority’s website.

That might include sending in evidence of income, capital and rent of anyone in the household and information on changes in circumstances that have not been reported.

Once the review is complete any changes will be notified including a revised council tax bill.

“It is important that we are told about any changes in circumstances or those of any member of the household, as soon as they happen,” said corporate director, Sian Moore.

“Failure may mean excess benefit is paid or that benefit fraud is committed – over which prosecution could follow.”