Working together for a brighter future, a better Barnsley

Council tax and housing benefit fraud

We’ll investigate and take action against any kind of fraud and corruption.

Housing benefit and council tax reduction scheme fraud

This is where people claim housing benefit or council tax support when they’ve no right to.

You’re committing fraud if you:

  • don’t declare all of your income, including earnings and private pensions
  • don’t declare all of your savings, including all bank/building society accounts and ISAs
  • don’t declare that you own another property or land
  • no longer live at the property at which you’re claiming
  • don’t declare a partner or other adults who live with you
  • don’t report any change in circumstances that might affect an existing claim

You’re also committing fraud if you:

  • pretend to rent a property that you actually own
  • falsify documents to make it appear that your rent is higher than it actually is
  • are a landlord and you don't tell us your tenants have moved out and you continue to accept housing benefit payments
  • ask an employer to help you supply false wage details

Benefit fraud is theft and it’s a criminal offence.

If you make false claims or don’t tell us straight away about changes to your circumstances, you’ll have to repay any overpaid benefit/support and you may also be prosecuted. In less serious cases, benefit claimants who make false claims will be offered a formal caution or a fine as an alternative to prosecution. The fine must be paid along with any overpaid benefit.

Other types of fraud

This is where people claim for a service or discount that they’re not entitled to by giving false information or not telling us when their circumstances change, for example:

  • not registering to pay council tax
  • making a false application for a council tax discount, exemption or reduction
  • claiming a single person discount when someone else lives in the property
  • fraudulently redirecting monies intended for social care
  • providing false information in a ‘right to buy’ application

How to report fraud

If you’re aware that someone is committing any of the types of fraud mentioned above, please fill in either the benefit fraud referral form or the general fraud reporting form (for all fraud other than benefits).

Alternatively call our confidential anti-fraud hotline on 0800 138 2940 or email benefitinvestigations@barnsley.gov.uk.

The hotline is a 24 hour free phone service. When you ring the number, you don’t have to give your details, but if you do tell us your name and number, it will help our investigation if we can come back to you should we need further information or clarification on anything you’ve said.

Please give as much detail as you can, such as dates, full names, addresses, vehicle details, employment details.

We’ll look at all reported concerns, but not all of them will warrant a full investigation; we may be able to resolve some matters informally.

We’ll handle any information you provide sensitively and in confidence so you don’t need to worry about victimisation, discrimination or harassment. Check how we handle your information.

We’ll always prosecute if we think that doing so is in the public interest.

A - Z Directory