Thousands of benefit claimants warned about major change that will be implemented

The government could bring some major changes to those claiming benefits to crack down on fraudsters. Here’s everything you need to know!

benefit claimants major change that will be implemented
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benefit claimants major change that will be implemented

According to reports, the government will be implementing a new system to catch those who are wrongfully claiming benefits. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will allegedly unveil the new change during his Autumn Statement later this month.

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The new system will likely catch those lying about their savings to receive Universal credit benefits. According to Daily Mail, this new measure is linked to Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride's crackdown on benefit fraud, with a £900million three-year 'Fighting Fraud' plan.

The government will implement weekly checks

According to the Telegraph, the government will run either monthly or weekly checks on claimant’s bank accounts to ensure they are eligible for benefits. Claimants must have £16,000 or less in savings and investments to be eligible for Universal Credit.

This new system will also check to see if claimants are regularly transferring money to an overseas account. Currently, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)requests individual details of a claimant’s bank account if they suspect fraud.

A Government source said:

Every pound stolen by fraudsters could be spent on our public services or on those most in need.
Mel sees it as profoundly wrong that benefit cheats aren't playing by the rules and is determined to bring fairness for the taxpayer.

The number of benefit claimants has risen

Official figures reveal that the number of benefit claimants is still 125% higher than pre-Covid period. In March 2020 the number of claimants reached 1.2 million across the country, compared to 2.7 million in August 2022.

As per the Daily Mail, the reason for the surge in claimants is due to the changes in Universal Credit entitlement. The number of claimants has slightly reduced since last year but is still 275,000 higher than pre-Covid, despite the level of unemployment has gone down.

A spokesperson for the DWP said:

We are already cracking down on those who try to exploit the welfare system in a push to save the taxpayer £1.3bn in the next year.
We are ramping up our plans to root out fraud through our Fighting Fraud plan which will bolster the counter-fraud frontline significantly by deploying trained specialists to review millions of Universal Credit claims, among other measures.

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Sources used:

Telegraph: ‘Benefits claimants subject to bank account checks in fraud clampdown’

Daily Mail: ‘Benefits claimants could have their bank accounts checked weekly to make sure they are being honest about savings’

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