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Number of ESA claimants prosecuted for fraud in 2012/13

Georgina Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Can you tell me the number of allegedly sick and disabled ESA claimants who, after having been found fit for work via a HCPs report made after a WCA, were subsequently prosecuted by the DWP for making a fraudulent claim?

Rather than go back indefinitely, could you provide the figures for the period 2012 to 2013? To make it easier and less costly for you, please feel free to use figures from a set period you already use – for example, if you normally would keep figures from April to April based on the tax year. Likewise, if Scotland and/or Wales fall outside data collection and retention for the purpose of this query, I would still like the information for England - although the whole of the UK would be preferable, if you have that information.

Furthermore, if there were few or no prosecutions of said claimants, could you explain why this is? I ask because when I completed an ESA50 I was warned:

“I understand that if I knowingly give information that is incorrect or incomplete, I may be liable to prosecution or other action.”

I had to sign the document to declare that the information I provided was true – like an affidavit. It was my sworn testimony, if you like.

I provided information that, on face value and in line with the DWP’s regulations, would have placed me in the WRAG (or Support Group if my GP’s information had been taken into account), yet I was found fit for work. And this happens to thousands of people every year. So, as far as the DWP are concerned, I, and thousands of other claimants, must have given incorrect or incomplete information.

I know I wasn’t prosecuted, but I would like to know how many other people have been prosecuted under these circumstances?

Yours faithfully,

Georgina Smith

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Operations FOI Requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Ms Smith,

 

Please find attached DWP response to your recent Freedom of Information
request.

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

DWP Operations

FOI Team

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