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Time Limits on Benefit Fraud prosecutions.


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According to the Social Security Administration Act 1992 s116 (2)

there are "strict" time limits on when DWP prosecutions are allowed to proceed.

The time limits are that evidence of offence/intention to prosecute should be laid before a magistrate;


Within 3 months of sufficient evidence coming to light to prosecute OR


Up to 12 months from the committing of the offence, whichever is the latter.


The date from which the clock starts to tick is dependent upon when a Certificate is issued.


Does anyone know who issues the certificate, where, and how it is issued?


Help appreciated.



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Hello marcander


I have a thread running DWP Under Caution on here. I did not realise there was a time limit. I was interviewed under caution on the 22nd of December 2011 and I am still waiting and wondering what is happening although I have appealed against the money they said I owe and form they sent for me to repay on


Its a nightmare really is'nt it





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I don't know if this clears things up for you (it didn't for me, but then I'm no expert in legalese):




One thing to keep in mind is that, even though there are time limits imposed by law, it is not unheard of for DWP prosecutors to prosecute anyway, and one presumes, 'try their luck' with the court. Whilst it's not quite analogous, an investigator told me that the prosecutor in our local area will often take cases with incomplete evidence and 'give it a shot', whereas a prosecutor in the next local area is notorious for knocking back just about anything if the slightest T is uncrossed, or 'i' not dotted.

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  • 4 years later...

Hello marcander


I would appreciate it if you could have a look at my post by clicking on the link below and letting me know what you think.




Does Social Security Administration Act 1992 s116 (2) only apply to housing benefit. If so could you let me know which section of the act I need to look at for jsa for time limits on prosecution.





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Time limits for a Section 112A offence (either making a false statement or failing to report a change in circumstances) are that the offences have to be laid within 12 months . That is either 12 months from the date of the false claim or the end of the overpayment period if it is a failure to report a change.


There are no time limits for a Section 111A offence which is dishonestly failing to report a change or dishonestly making a false statement.


CPS can also issue charges under the Theft Act or Fraud Act which also have no time limits as far as I understand. (but happy to be corrected)

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