Universal Credit has provided support to many people, however, unfortunately there are some who are looking to take advantage of the help the benefit provides. The living support payment is designed to help those on a low income or out of work, financially. Amid serious reports of benefit cheats, the DWP has offered a warning to those who could be trying to exploit a loophole in the system.
At present, the DWP has offered further support to families affected by COVID-19.
This has been done through advance payments of up to £1,500, available on up to three occasions.
The payments are likely to be particularly welcome to those who are struggling to make ends meet in the current financial crisis.
However, an application oversight has meant some have been able to receive the loans even when they are not entitled.
READ MORE: Up to £1.5 billion lost in Universal Credit benefit fraud
The Department for Work and Pensions Fraud and Error Service deals with issues of benefit falsehood, and tackles reports of individual fraud.
The service will take action if it finds a person has been committing fraud and punishments can include removing benefits, or taking a person to court.
People who suspect someone is undertaking benefit fraud can report this through the government’s online service.
It states: “Give us much information as you can about the person you’re reporting.
“This could include their name, their address and the type of fraud you think they are committing.
“You can make a report anonymously – you do not have to give your name or contact details unless you want to.”
But the DWP has also established an Enhanced Checking Service to truly crackdown on instances of benefit fraud.
In this instance, suspicious cases can undergo a very serious review to ensure fraud is spotted quickly and action is taken.
In May 2020, it was stated Universal Credit fraud cost the government £1.5billion in the weeks prior, as fraudsters attempted to take advantage of the lockdown crisis.
To assist in processing the surge in claims at the peak of the lockdown period, some rules were slightly relaxed or changed.
For example, proof of identity was moved to an online system, rather than the face-to-face interviews usually required to claim.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions for comment.