Government crackdown on single parent benefit fraud

mum and daughter holding hands

mum and daughter holding handsMany of us who raise kids without the help of a partner know that it can be a struggle to get by every month.

So it will come as quite a shock to many of you that almost £100 million is spent every year on overpaid benefits for people who claim to be single parents, but actually secretly live with someone as husband and wife.

In 10 recent cases alone, payments of up to £1 million were made - with many examples of married women claiming lone parent benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions is now planning a crackdown on these benefit frauds by introducing tough new sanctions.

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said: "Pretending you are a single parent to get benefits when you are actually living with a partner is stealing money from the people who genuinely need help.

"Sometimes these claims can be fraudulent from the outset, but often a person's circumstances change gradually and they don't tell the Department. Either way, it is a crime and one we are determined to put a stop to.

"Universal Credit will simplify and automate the benefits system to make it less open to abuse and ensure this money is going to those who need it the most."

If you're unsure about what you're entitled to, take a look at our easy guide to benefits.