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Caithness.org News Bulletins - October 2002
|October 2002 Index|
COUNCIL INTRODUCES CHECKS ON CLAIMS
A new system is being introduced in all Highland Council Housing and Council Tax Benefit and second adult rebate application procedures to help ensure that benefit claims are accurate and reduce overpayments.
The system, created by the Department for Work and Pensions, and called the "Verification Framework ensures that before benefit is paid to an individual, that the amount due is correct. Each application will be scrutinised and cross-checked to assess the legitimacy of claims.
Robert Patterson, Benefits Officer with The Highland Council says: "Much of the fraud and error in Housing and Council Tax Benefit can be eliminated if the initial decision, and any subsequent decision following changes in circumstances is correct. This relies on Highland Council collecting appropriate information and evidence in support of claims for benefit.
"The Verification Framework helps increase accuracy from the start of the claim and throughout its life by emphasising both the prevention and detection of fraud and error. From today, The Highland Council will be adopting the first two parts of the Verification Framework looking at new claims and renewal claims and applicants will also see changes in a new-style application form being introduced.
The new form, which requires more detailed information from applicants, has been designed to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent applications becoming successful. Anyone needing advice about the new form can get help at their local Service Point or Council Finance Office.