HC Deb 09 January 2002 vol 377 c927W
Mr. Gibb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures social security offices use to ensure claimants of means-tested benefits do not have capital at levels which would render them ineligible for benefits. [18510]

Malcolm Wicks

When income-related benefits are first claimed, officials can require claimants to provide evidence of capital. Periodic checks are made to ensure that entitlement remains correct, by a variety of means including home visit, office interview, post or telephone.

The information gathering powers contained in the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 will allow authorised officers in the Department and in local authorities, where there are reasonable grounds to suspect fraud, to require financial institutions to provide information about their customers, including savings and assets. These powers will commence in the first quarter of 2002.

Forward to