No excuses when it comes to benefits

Press Release: 24/09/2007

During the last financial year, over £550,000 of Housing and Council Tax Benefit was overpaid to residents in the Winchester District due to fraud and customers failing to report relevant changes.

Winchester City Council has been working to deal with the problem and crack down on offenders. Eleven successful prosecutions were carried out last year and more cases are due to be taken to court this year.

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

Posters have been displayed around the district warning people that there will be 'No ifs, No Buts' when it comes to benefits. The message is clear, that no excuses will be accepted for failure to inform the Benefits Section of any relevant changes in your personal circumstances.

If you have changes that you need to report to us or if you suspect someone is claiming benefits they are not entitled to, please email You can also use our online form to give us anonymous information about someone who you suspect is abusing the system.

Cllr Freddie Allgood, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources said: "The purpose of the benefits service is to help vulnerable individuals and families in our district. We will not tolerate any intentional abuse of the system that results in money being directed away from those who genuinely need it"

"We ask that you let us know, as soon as possible, of any changes you think may impact on your benefits so that we can make the necessary adjustments"