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Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 110433, tabled on 30 October 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employees of his Department are employed to investigate benefit fraud; what the estimated cost to the taxpayer is of such fraud; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

6 November 2017

As at October 2017, DWP employs 6,726 staff who are involved in work relating to benefit fraud. Of these, 2,194 staff are directly involved in the investigation of Benefit Fraud including Criminal, Fraud, Compliance and Local Service investigations. The Full Time Equivalents (FTE) of these figures, based on a 37 hour working week, are 4,045.3 FTE and 1,928.1 FTE respectively.

The latest National Statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System from May 2017 estimate benefit fraud at 1.2% (£2.0 billion) of total benefit expenditure, although not all benefit overpayments are lost to the public purse as the Department can recover them. In 2016/17, DWP recovered £1.1 billion of overpayments. There are no plans to make a statement at the current time.