Universal Credit claimants, PIP claimants, people who receive State Pension, and more people have been issued an ominous review warning by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

More than 20 million people across the country receive some form of payment from the Government to help with the cost of living.

However, the Government has signalled a crackdown is coming as they look to target those exploiting the benefits system.

DWP figures revealed that fraud and error in the benefit system amounted for £8.3 billion in 2022/23, down from £8.7 billion the previous year.

The findings from the 2023/24 financial year will be published this month.

This year, the DWP will measure a sample of claims from five benefit payments, as well as the State Pension, as part of its fraud and error clampdown.

The DWP revealed that “3,100 full time equivalent agents” would be reviewing Universal Credit claims, as well as other attempts of fraud.

These are the payments the DWP will be monitoring for fraud and error:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit (pension age cases)
  • Pension Credit
  • State Pension (classed as a contributory benefit)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

The DWP defines three types of fraud and error, which includes official error, claimant error and fraud.

Official errors occur due to inaction, delay or a mistaken assessment by the DWP, local authority or HMRC.

A claimant error occurs when claimants make inadvertent mistakes with no intent to commit fraud.

While fraud involves claimants intentionally seeking to mislead the DWP or local authorities in order to claim money they are not entitled to.


The DWP explained what will happen if you are suspected of committing benefit fraud: “You’ll be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Defence Business Services or your local authority if you’re suspected of fraud.

“Your benefit may be stopped while you’re investigated. You’ll get a letter telling you about this if it happens.

“You may be visited by Fraud Investigation Officers (FIOs) or asked to attend an interview to talk about your claim - this is called an ‘interview under caution’.

“FIOs will gather facts about your case and decide whether to take further action.”

If you’ve committed or attempted fraud, one or more of the following may also happen:

  • you’ll be told to pay back the overpaid money
  • you may be taken to court or asked to pay a penalty (between £350 and £5,000)
  • your benefits may be reduced or stopped