Sandwell benefits cheats take £2m

Benefits cheats in Sandwell got away with nearly £2 million in overpayments after fiddling claims forms, it was revealed today.

Benefits cheats in Sandwell got away with nearly £2 million in overpayments after fiddling claims forms, it was revealed today.

Since April 1 last year, the council overpaid £1,816,140 in benefits after claimants filled out benefits forms incorrectly, figures revealed after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

And chasing benefits cheats for repayment through the courts has cost the taxpayer more than £100,000 in the last two years.

The council spent £134,739 between April 1 last year and November 30 this year in court costs pursuing cases of allegedly overpaid benefits.

But in that same time frame, the council only recovered around a third of what they had overpaid.

Fraudsters found guilty in the courts of receiving overpaid benefits through filling out forms incorrectly paid back £667,312 to the council.

But finance boss Councillor Steve Eling said the authority cracked down on fraudsters and was one of the best performing.

Comments for: "Sandwell benefits cheats take £2m"

John

Filling out a form incorrectly is not automatically the same as cheating. Also, how do these figures compare to the figure (conveniently not mentioned), that didn't allegedly cheat? I bet it's a fraction. I'd also like to see the ratio of and cost of, those filling out forms who's first language wasn't English - that also produces overhead. By the way, if people do think it's easy to cheat the system in this area..try being single, qualified and unemployed; you may just feel the one cheated and despised for putting up with the problems created by this administration.

John

Let's also remember the £40+ billion this country continues to send overseas, the EU subsidies and also the banks. According to the government's own data, most benefit 'errors' are just that: errors. A minority of that is actually claimant fraud.

It's just like this administration to focus on one 'issue' as though it is the only one..

John Bee

When you fill in a form nothing is done until it as been sent to Sale Cheshire.

It takes so long that overpayments can be made until it is returned and worked on.

I believe that these overpayments are caused by the incompetence of the local authority and should not be the responsibility of the resident.

If that is the case then I cannot see how the authority can legally claim this back, as it is their fault in the first place.

kev

I wonder how many of these mistakes conveniently claim more than they should compared to less??? oh and sandwell council one of the best??? i think not Steve Eling.

The REAL Baggie Boy

My Friend works for SMBC and knows many on benefits that are claiming illegaly and has reported everyone...every one is still being paid there benefits ..whats the point of reporting them who's the mugs people that work or people claiming there partners dont live with them when he does and works full time

mr jones

In the pressing times that we,ve all seen, and

a lot of us experienced of late, i,m sure a couple of extra words here or there or bending of the truth on application forms to make us a few pounds better off each week isnt a major crime, if its the difference between families eating/not eating.

shouldnt the access to food for the poor be a basic human right after all we as a country are so quick to offer a helping hand to all but its own truely british people.

antony

I know of 2 households that are working and claiming benefits, they was reported 3 times over the past 2 years but they still work and get the rent and council tax paid, another family won a very large amount of money 3 years ago, they still claim rent and council tax, they also claim other benefits, I was investigated last year when someone told the jobcenter that i won £7.000. They went to my bank with me and i had to request 5 years statments, they took the statements away for 3 weeks, They didnt find £7.000 because i have never won any money. The system and the goverment is a joke,

antony

Another thing, if your true british, just try getting a council property to find that other none british have priority over the ones whos family have occupied this country for hundreds of years, and battled in 2 wars to save the country that they built.