Rates of Benefit Fraud – Official Statistics

The DWP have published the rates of benefit fraud and overpayment for 2016/17.

As this subject often comes up, BuDS thought you might like to have the facts. In the list below, ‘total overpayment rate’ is the percentage of the benefit which is overpaid for all reasons, including DWP error, innocent claimant error and deliberate fraud.

The fraud rate quoted is the percentage of that benefit overpaid because of a deliberately fraudulent claim. For all benefits, the largest reason why there is an overpayment is because of DWP error. There is no data yet for PIP.

Housing Benefit –            total overpayment rate 6.4%,                                      fraud 4.6%
Pension Credit -               total overpayment rate 5.2%,                                      fraud 2.3%
ESA -                                  total overpayment rate 3.9%,                                      fraud 2.2%
JSA -                                   total overpayment rate 5.6%,                                      fraud 4.7%
Universal Credit -             total overpayment rate 4.8%,                                      fraud 2.5%
Income Support -             total overpayment rate 3.9%,                                       fraud 2.4%
Incapacity Benefit -         total overpayment rate 2.4%,                                       fraud 0.3%
DLA -                                  total overpayment rate 1.9%,                                       fraud 0.5%
State Pension -                 total overpayment rate 0.1%,                                       fraud 0%
Carers Allowance -          total overpayment rate 5.5%,                                       fraud 3.9%
All Benefits –                    total overpayment rate 2%,                                          fraud 1.2%

What this table shows is that the benefits claimed by disabled people – ESA, Incapacity Benefit and DLA, have the lowest rate of fraud of all benefits, under 0.5%.
This confirms all previous statistics which also show a very very low rate of fraud on disability benefits. These figures completely demolish the argument that the change to PIP and constant reassessments of disabled people are needed to defeat fraud.

There is and never has been any significant rate of fraud in disability benefits.

Quote from BuDS: The Government’s approach to disability benefits, if really about defeating fraud, is like demanding strip searches of all shoppers at all shops to defeat shoplifting.
It’s grossly disproportionate, expensive and deeply humiliating for the people who have to suffer it.

You can read the statistical summary here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/614558/fraud-and-error-preliminary-estimates-2016-17.pdf