Section: Welfare Benefits

Gang imprisoned for stealing more than £1m of housing benefits from London councils

Posted 19.03.19
Crown Prosecution Service: Article link

Seven benefit assessors have been sentenced to prison for a total of 17 years for their roles in housing benefit fraud, which saw more than £1 million stolen from three councils in London.

The assessors worked in the local authorities of Lambeth, Kingston and Barking and Dagenham.

The gang would identify properties, collect details for false claims and create appointments for the fraudsters at the council.

They also approved false claims and used their systems to ensure council letters, which might have revealed their fraud, were not sent to the properties.

Money was sent to accounts controlled by money launderers who left the country before they could be charged.

The Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions Serious and Organised Investigation Team to bring the prosecution.


Universal Credit pilot to launch in North Yorkshire

Posted 12.03.19
GOV.UK: Article link

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd has announced that claimants in Harrogate who still receive old style benefits will be the first people moved onto Universal Credit.

Amber Rudd has previously confirmed that up to 10,000 claimants across the country who are on the old system would be moved to Universal Credit under a pilot scheme to start in July 2019 - once regulations have been passed in the House of Commons.

More than 1.6 million people currently claim Universal Credit, but these are new claimants or people who have had a change in circumstance. All new claimants in the United Kingdom now go straight onto Universal Credit.

Claimants will receive transitional protection, to avoid cash loss at the point of moving to Universal Credit.

Additional support will be put in place at Harrogate Jobcentre Plus, including bespoke support that will also be on hand for vulnerable claimants - including home visits.


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Reporting on March 2019

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