Fraud and verification

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    Have you thought about the impact of Pension Credit on fraud and verification? What about VF and the review module? Or Section 19? Is there any point visiting pensioners after October when most changes will not reduce HB?

    I am pleased to say that Susan Mclaren from DWP (the person responsible for this policy area and equivalent to Paul Howarth in position) is coming to the Pension Credit Conference on 27th August to outline her vision for the future of HB fraud and verification.

    Last chance to book. Sorry but now only one per Authority please. E-mails to


    Remember the Conference where Malcolm Wicks stated that the rules for pensioners needed to be changed as so many of them had got on his backs following NFI 2000.

    What we now have is a completely disjointed service where certain things (income, capital etc) will be reported to the Pensions Service and certain things to us. Changes in rent, non dep changes etc.

    This leads me to worry….again !!! about how an authority could show a clear intention to defraud when quite rightly the claimant doesnt know what to report or who to report it to.

    So my first point is what is the point.

    Secondly we have already seen a number of Authoritys implement blanket policies where they will not visit, interview or even investigate claimants over a certain age. Tut tut the BFI would say but we have to work in the real world. I do find it extremely difficult to justify sending a visiting officer around to an 87 year old lady once every three years who will only end up worrying that she has done something wrong, have the daughter of said claimant write a letter of complaint regarding harrasment etc. I really dont need the agro and anyway I’m saving my energy for the Inland Revenue.

    Fact….the majority of notified VF visits are a waste of time.

    Fact… HBMS uncovers more fraud referrals in one quarter than all the VF visits ever done

    So in this respect I am in favour of less visits and more data matching.


    Paul, I agree with you; pensioners are off limit for all practical purposes. The letter today from DWP security clarifies things albeit there is a need to “read between the lines”.

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