FIRST ERROR AND FRAUD FINDINGS FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT
DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) has published its first fraud findings for Universal Credit (UC)
The department’s findings show that underpayments due to official errors were considerably higher than for the older Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Programme, however, the rate of overpayments was statistically the same, reports TechWeek Europe.
Last year, auditors anticipated that Universal Credit (UC) will be potentially advantageous to the system but its delayed rollout has slowed down the DWP’s effort to manage “unacceptably high” rates of fraud and error.
The DWP said:
“No direct comparisons could be made with JSA as the new benefit is being gradually expanded to include a wider range of claim types.
“Although, the majority of UC claims start out as the equivalent of a simple JSA claim, such as a single person without children or housing costs, they can change their circumstances over time and remain on UC.”
Here are some of the DWP’s findings:
“We estimate that 35% of the UC caseload was in employment and 36% of the caseload had housing costs, making these cases more complex to administer.”
Reports by TechWeek Europe also depict that “The total rate of overpayments on UC was 7.3%, higher than the JSA’s 5%, but the DWP said the difference was not statistically significant.
“…expenditure was much lower on the benefit, totalling only £477 million for 2015/16, compared with JSA’s £2.4 billion in 2015/2016, and as a result, the monetary value of overpayments was lower … at £35 million, compared with £120 million for JSA.” according to the DWP’s findings.
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