DWP update: Warning on social media issued to Universal Credit & other benefit claimants | Personal Finance | Finance

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The DWP, formally known as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is responsible for administering the benefits and payments of millions of people right across the country. As a result, it will be managing large sums of money to ensure everyone receives the amount to which they are entitled. However, unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people who attempt to exploit the system, meaning the DWP will need to check everyone is following the rules.

It is likely social media will be checked to see if their account matches the details of their benefit claim – such as location check-ins or pictures.

If the DWP suspects a potentially fraudulent claim, it is not just social media which could be checked.

Indeed, investigators are permitted to gather multiple types of evidence to help a case.

These include:

  • Photographs or videos
  • Audio recordings
  • Inspector reports from surveillance activities
  • Interviews with a person or people they know
  • Evidence submitted by anyone who reported a person
  • Copies of correspondence

It is, however, vital to note only certain benefits can be stopped or reduced – and these are known as sanctionable benefits.

The ‘deliberate’ nature of benefit fraud is important to consider, as someone may accidentally forget to inform the DWP of updates to their life.

If this occurs, people should take immediate action to let the DWP know of changes so their payment can be addressed accordingly. 

Unfortunately, there is also the issue of false reports of benefit fraud, where a person is not guilty at all.

In this instance, Britons are advised to co-operate with the investigation as much as possible to let the matter run its course.

But if a person is found guilty of committing or attempting to commit benefit fraud, there are a number of outcomes which could occur.

Individuals may be told to repay the overpaid money, taken to court, or asked to pay a penalty.

In addition, benefits could be reduced or stopped as a consequence. 





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