The Single Fraud Investigation Service came into being in October 2015. The government centralised the investigation of all types of benefit and tax credit fraud, bringing together investigators from the DWP, HMRC and local authorities.

We believe that in the long run this will be advantageous to criminal solicitors as specialisms investigators had in certain benefits may well be lost, but the inception of the service was mainly down to the more technological approach under which investigations are conducted nowadays.

Obviously different benefits have different rules but we will try to break down the main things investigated and the benefits they relate to.

In respect of Universal Credit, Income Support, Job-seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit and Tax Credits the SFIS mainly investigate the circumstances listed below:

  1. Living together as husband and wife, living together as civil partners or maintaining a common household. All of these basically relate to the fact that it is alleged that you live with a partner who has not been disclosed to the authorities.
  2. Failing to disclose employment.
  3. Having capital or savings over the prescribed limit.

In respect of Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments the SFIS mainly investigate the circumstances listed below:

  1. Exaggerating the extent of medical conditions to obtain benefit.
  2. Failing to notify the authorities of an improvement in their medical condition.