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Being cautioned of benefit fraud (UK)

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  • Being cautioned of benefit fraud (UK)

    Hi I am currently being cautioned of benefit fraud and I am really worried on what is going to happen this is a first offence and I have a 3 year old child can anyone help me please?

  • #2
    Re: Being cautioned of benefit fraud (UK)

    I wish to inform you that when a person is caught for benefit fraud there are 3 sanctions which DWP or the Council can apply. These 3 sanctions are - formal cautions, administrative penalties and prosecution. However, under the provisions of section 121 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 cautions are no longer to be offered by DWP. The words '“penalty or caution' were replaced by 'caution'.

    AFF

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    • #3
      I was interviewed under caution by DWP for suspected benefit fraud, what will happen if I'm convicted at magistrates court?

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      • #4
        Re: Being cautioned of benefit fraud (UK)

        Originally posted by s1990 View Post
        I was interviewed under caution by DWP for suspected benefit fraud, what will happen if I'm convicted at magistrates court?
        When someone is caught for benefit fraud there are three key 'sanctions' that DWP or the Council can apply. These are formal cautions, administrative penalties and prosecution. By section 121 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 from 8 May 2012 cautions will no longer be offered by DWP.

        The main criterion for the offering of a caution is that the person has to have admitted that they have committed an offence. Other than this criterion, there is no statutory framework regulating which sanction is used in disposal of a case. This is a matter of policy for the relevant authority. The Department for Work and Pensions has a national policy; each Local Authority will have its own Policy which will set different criteria and financial guidelines.

        The Administrative Penalty is effectively a fine and is set at 30% of the total amount overpaid to them. This figure is set in section 115A(3) Security Administration Act 1992 there is no negotiation on this. In addition to this, benefit thieves also need to pay back all of the money they deliberately defrauded. The suspect does not have to admit their guilt to be offered an Administrative Penalty, however it should only be offered by the Department for Work and Pensions, or the Local Authority if they believe there is sufficient evidence for court proceedings to be considered if the offer is refused.

        Prosecution may typically occur in England & Wales using the Social Security Administration Act 1992, or under the Theft Act 1978, or the Fraud Act 2006; in Northern Ireland under corresponding legislation; or in Scotland under Common Law Fraud. A Prosecution is brought when the value of the overpaid benefit is so great, or the period of the fraud is lengthy, or the person may have been in a position of trust, or the fraud was very blatant. Any prosecution brought by the Department for Work and Pensions or a Local Authority should have been subject to the Public Interest Test as set out in the Code of Practice for Crown Prosecutors. In Scotland cases of benefit fraud are reported to the Procurator Fiscal for prosecution.

        Where cases of benefit fraud result in criminal prosecution, in England & Wales such prosecutions are generally brought either under section 112 Social Security Administration Act 1992 (where no dishonesty is alleged) or under s111A of the same Act (where dishonesty is alleged). There are a number of legal cases relevant to prosecutions under these sections. Key points are dealt with in more detail in technical articles on benefit fraud.

        The penalties for benefit fraud may be mitigated where it can be shown that the defendant would have been entitled to other forms of financial benefit, such as UK Tax Credits, had an appropriate claim on the true facts been lodged at the time.

        A person convicted of benefit fraud may be held to have a 'criminal lifestyle' in confiscation proceedings under Parts 2, 3 & 4 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
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