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Inmates wrongly paid benefits

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More than £18 million in benefits wrongly paid to prisoners for the past four years has not been clawed back, figures reveal.

 

A freedom of information request by the Mail on Sunday found that between 2007 and 2011, overpayments as a result of "customers being in prison" were made worth £31.7 million.

 

But the Department for Work and Pensions figures said only £13.1 million was recovered - a shortfall of £18.6 million, or £4.65 million per year.

 

The newspaper said the problem had first been reported to Government officials in 1994 but it was not until February this year a new centralised system to cross reference files with the Ministry of Justice was created.

 

Tory MP Philip Davies condemned the figures and told the MoS: "The fact prisoners are receiving benefits after committing crimes is so ludicrous it beggars belief.

 

"You'd think they would be the one group of people who wouldn't be able to rip off the taxpayer in their situation."

 

A DWP spokeswoman said: "Prisoners are not entitled to benefits and we always seek to recover any overpayments.

 

"A more efficient system was brought in earlier this year to ensure that we are quickly informed when a benefit claimant is sent to prison and we can stop benefit payments immediately."

 

The system was changed in February at the urging of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

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How come they cannot get it back - they make sure we pay any overpayment back, regardless of what financial mess it leaves us in.

Edited by citizenB

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Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the practice has cost the taxpayer £18.6 million in the last four years alone. Over the last 20 years the total could be nearer £100 million.

Last night, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) admitted that the fraud has been going on for a long time, but could not confirm how much money had been paid. :x

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248805/Prisoners-benefits-Blunder-exposed-18-YEARS-Ministers-pledged-close-loophole.html#ixzz2FEgbfnZu

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


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Ah now you know why the Disabled are having their benefits cut ??


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Yeah. When I worked for the DWP there were two main problems: it was difficult to find out if someone was in prison (and which prison they were in). Even if the claimant was honest and felt inclined to let us know, their opportunities to contact us were extremely limited - and of course, most of them were not so inclined. I remember one saga lasting a couple of months as the claimant flat out denied she had been incarcerated. It took us that long to determine conclusively that she was lying.

 

The other is that the rules regarding people who are in prison and also those sectioned under the MHA are a bit complex. People who are in receipt of contributory benefits and are being held on remand prior to trial are actually entitled to backdated payments if they are released without conviction, for example.

 

And of course, many prisoners are not exactly flush with cash when they're liberated. So recovering overpayments was tricky.


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The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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