Fraud is theft

It is important that people who are falsely claiming housing benefit or council tax support are reported. The more information provided, the more likely the investigation will result in a successful conclusion.

Benefit fraud is theft and increases the amount of tax everyone has to pay. The government estimates that benefit fraud costs £2billion every year.

Reporting fraud

A fraudulent claim can be:

  • Failing to declare an income for example earnings, pensions or another type of benefit
  • Failing to declare a change in your circumstances, this could be a change to your household (anyone in the property regardless of their relationship to you), income or capital
  • Claiming whilst living elsewhere, permanently or temporarily
  • Failing to declare the ownership of another property in this country or another

If you suspect someone is fraudulently receiving housing benefits or council tax support and you would like to make a referral, please use one of the following methods providing as much information as possible.

Housing benefit and council tax support

Local authorities no longer investigate allegations of housing benefit, this is the responsibility of the Department for Work and Pensions. Councils do have responsibility for investigating council tax support. To report allegations of fraud relating to housing benefit and council tax support please use one of the methods below:

  • Call 01242 264341
  • Email [email protected]
  • Use the online form
  • Write to: Revenues and Benefits, Cheltenham Borough Council, Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 9SA

Council tax or business rates avoidance can also be reported using these methods – for example if you believe a ratepayer is wrongly claiming a discount or relief such as the single occupier discount.

Report internal fraud or corruption

To report any other types of fraud, including misconduct by employees or councillor’s behaviour, please contact the counter fraud unit.

Useful documents and links