The aim is to reduce fraud and error overpayments in the Welfare System by one quarter, £1.4 billion, by March 2015. A key part of this strategy is the launch of the Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) to provide for investigation covering the totality of welfare benefit fraud.
The camaraderie of the team is probably one of the best aspect of the role.I have done this job in its various guises over 17 years.I started in the Department for Health and Social Security back in 1987 as a Clerical Officer assessing Supplementary Benefit claims.These are being used to test different ways of working, a single investigation policy and the new legislation.A single management board should be in place by April 2013 and this will guide the partnership approach.
Single fraud investigation service 2013
To inform members of progress with the Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) 1.That the report is noted, and further reports are presented to the Audit Committee in order to provide updates on the progress of the Single Fraud Investigation Service. To be informed of the progress of Single Fraud Investigation Service and the likely effect on service provision. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs (HMRC) have produced a strategy for 'Tackling Fraud and Error in Government'.The Welfare Reform Act 2012, will see the introduction of Universal Credit as a replacement for Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Employment Support Allowance and Housing Benefit. A Household Benefit Cap will restrict the maximum amount of benefit that can be received by a family; An accommodation size restriction will ensure customers are only paid for the size accommodation they need; Payments will change to monthly from weekly to encourage budgeting; Rent payments will no longer be paid directly to landlords but instead to the tenants; Disability Living Allowance will change to Personal Independence Payments with a much stricter assessment criteria; Council Tax Benefit will be replaced by a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme: Pension Credits will have an additional Housing and Child premium element. All of these changes are individually large projects and this is the biggest reform to Welfare since it began.The majority of these Welfare reforms are either at pilot stage or due to start being phased in within the next year and SFIS is a vital part of the overall strategy. There are currently 4 pilots underway for SFIS around the UK.There always seem to be several tiers of administration but on the whole the Civil Service provides an umbrella of support for the work we do.
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It's not glamorous but I feel we do a necessary job that ensures benefits, wherever possible, are given to those that need it.After interviews we send details to the Decision Making team for assessment of overpayments.When we know the scale of the fraud we can then consider whether the person can be prosecuted or another punishment applies.We look into the lifestyles of the person, such as gym membership to enable us to check whether they're entitled to the benefit they claim.We can also gather further evidence by requesting copies of bank statements and undertaking surveillance.