Benefits overpayments rise - rightsnet story on fraud and error
As usual, DWP lump fraud and error into one category. I think it’s important to separate them and so here is the breakdown from ‘Main Messages’ on p3:
total overpayments 2.0% - £3.5bn
fraud overpayments 1.2%
claimant error overpayments 0.5%
official error 0.4%
underpayments 0.9% - £1.6bn
I was surprised to see this because, in the past, fraud has often been less than error and also less than underclaims. The report doesn’t say why. (It says “Failure to declare earnings and employment continues to be the main cause of fraud and claimant error overpayments.”)
Also, there is bad news re Universal Credit (page 8 and 9), where “overpayments have increased mainly due to a rise in official error” and, while UC underpayments are not as bad as before, they are still twice as bad as JSA: 1.2% for UC compared to 0.6% for JSA.
Financial competence has not historically been one of the DWPs strengths.