No ifs, No buts when it comes to benefits

Press Release: 04/06/2007

Last year £558,000 of Housing and Council Tax Benefit was overpaid to residents in the Winchester District because of fraud and customers failing to report relevant changes.  Winchester City Council is cracking down to reduce this figure.  In the last financial year 11 successful prosecutions were carried out and more cases will be taken to court this year.

You have probably seen posters around the district stating 'No ifs, No Buts' - if changes occur to you or your household you must inform the Benefits Section, there are no ifs, buts, or excuses that will do.

The Benefits Section is working hard to identify fraud and errors in the Benefits system - we have two full time investigators and our 2 visiting officers keep close checks on changes which may affect benefit.  We also data match to find inconsistencies in claimants circumstances and we also receive tip offs from other agencies and the public.

If you have changes that you need to report to the team or you suspect someone is claiming benefit they are not entitled to please email benefits@winchester.gov.uk.  You can also use our online form to give us anonymous information about someone you suspect is making a false claim.

Cllr Freddie Allgood Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources said, "At Winchester City Council we take pride in our benefits service and the help that it gives to thousands of individuals and families in our district who really need it. What we do not take kindly to are the people who are fraudulently claiming, as it takes vital money away from those who are in greatest need"

"We understand that sometimes circumstances change and it is easy to forget to tell us, but we ask you to let us know of any changes you think may impact on your benefits so we can get your payments corrected as soon as possible."