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Social Security Fraud Act 2001

The measures in the Act

148.The policy is to introduce powers that will facilitate closer working between the Secretary of State and authorities administering Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit in the operation of the administrative penalty system. At present, where a benefit offence results in overpayments of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit and another benefit and both the Benefits Agency and the authorities administering Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit decide to offer an administrative penalty, each will handle the process separately. This means two interviews and two sets of papers for the claimant.

149.The aim is both to make the system easier for those persons who may be subject to more than one penalty, and to streamline administrative procedures by enabling the Department and the relevant authority to act together in offering the penalty. This means one interview, not two, and one gross sum recovered. However, the process of recovery will still be the business of DSS and the authority respectively.

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