Recategorisation of claimants' error in claimants' fraud

Anita Bellows made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
I would like some further information regarding your release on Fraud and error in the benefit system.

The document is stating: We changed the way we categorise overpayments after 2013/14. This change in methodology means some overpayments have switched to being categorised as fraud rather than claimant error. This is driving recent trends: fraud is now at its highest recorded rate; claimant error is at its lowest recorded rate.

I would like to know which category(ies) of claimant’s error have been recategorised as fraud.
If that does not apply to Abroad Fraud overpayments, I would like to know which action DWP has taken which has led to an increase from £3m to £27m in ESA fraud
If that applies to Abroad Fraud overpayments, what was the rationale for changing the category from error to fraud? If you have any internal documents about this, could you forward them to me?

In the light of the Express article saying : ESA fraud rocketed, driven by people who are living abroad but still claiming handouts. I would like to know the median duration of ESA benefit being claimed unlawfully, beyond the initial period of 4 weeks? (in weeks if possible)

Yours faithfully,

Anita Bellows

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1 Attachment

Dear Anita Bellows,
Please see the attached file regarding your FOI request.
Thank you,
Statistical Services Freedom of Information Team

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