Fraudulent housing benefit written off by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

PUBLISHED: 17:26 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 07 January 2020

The housing benefit payment by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has been written-off. Picture Archant.

The housing benefit payment by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has been written-off. Picture Archant.

Archant

A fraudulent claim for £10,000 of housing benefit has been written off by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

The over-payment - which resulted from a claim that was deemed fraudulent - was discussed in private at a meeting of the cabinet on Monday (January 6).

At the request of the council's corporate director for resources, environment and cultural services, councillors agreed that the sum should be written off.

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Following the meeting, a spokesperson for the council said: "In all cases where money fraudulently claimed for housing benefit is owed to the council, we take every possible step to recover the debt to ensure the taxpayer is not out of pocket.

"This may include legal action - now taken by the Department for Work and Pensions for housing benefit cases - as a last resort.

"While we cannot comment on the individual case, in very rare instances such as this where a unique set of circumstances have led us to conclude recovery is not possible, unfortunately, we are left with no alternative other than to pass the case for write-off.

"Residents can help us protect the public purse by reporting suspected benefit fraud to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 4400."

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