Claim Benefit; Move Abroad – And Then Relax As The Money Keeps Rolling In!

(Telegraph) – PEOPLE LIVING IN 20 FOREIGN COUNTRIES are illegally claiming British benefits, investigations have revealed.

The fraudulent payments are part of more than £1 billion paid out to illegal claimants every year.

People claiming benefits in Britain who move abroad are, in most cases, no longer eligible for payments. However, claiming rules can put the onus on them to inform the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about their move so benefit can be stopped.

In a written parliamentary answer, the DWP revealed that “recent investigations” have identified evidence of benefits payments fraudulently going overseas in 51 cases.

The countries where fraudulent payments were detected were: Australia; Austria; Bahrain; Bulgaria; Canada; Cyprus; Eire; France; Greece; Holland; India; Italy; New Zealand; Pakistan; Portugal; South Africa; Spain; Thailand; Trinidad and Tobago; and the US.

The DWP was unable to say how much money had been sent abroad as a result of fraud.

The DWP disclosed in November that fraud and error in the benefits system cost £3 billion in 2008/09. Around £1.1 billion of over payments were estimated to be due to fraud.

Mark Harper, the Conservative shadow benefits minister said the disclosure proved Labour is mismanaging the welfare system.

He said: “This is yet more evidence if any was needed that the government has lost complete control of the benefits system. Hard working members of the public will be astounded that it’s so easy to play the system.

“Serious questions need to be asked. How long has this been going on for and how much money has Labour lost? And most importantly how is Labour going to get a grip of the problem?

Jonathan Shaw, the benefits minister, said the Government was tackling the problem of overseas fraud by reminding people to register when they leave the country.

He said: “UK nationals can, in certain circumstances, continue to receive some benefits while abroad, others will cease immediately. The Department for Work and Pensions is reminding people in the latest targeting fraud campaign and in leaflets, of their responsibility to tell us if they are going abroad.”

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