Eighteen thousand unjustified income support claims

16/12/2002 10:00

Eighteen thousand cases of unjustified claims for income support came to light in the Netherlands in the first half of 2002. This is the equivalent of 5 percent of income support claims at the end of June 2002. The established fraud amounted to a total of 45.1 million euro. The average amount of per fraudulent claim was 2,565 euro.

Most fraudulent claims in North Holland and Utrecht

Relatively most fraudulent cases of income support claims were established in the province of North Holland. Nearly 9 percent of claims for income support in this province in the first half of 2002 were unjustified. In Utrecht, too, the number of unjustified cases was relatively high. The rates were lowest in Flevoland and Limburg, where fewer than 3 percent of claims were fraudulent.

Income support fraud per province, first half of 2002

What is a fraudulent claim?

Fraudulent income support claims are claims by people who do not comply with the legal requirement to inform the social services truthfully about their situation. In other words they give incorrect or incomplete information or do not report changes on time. This is not always done intentionally. Examples are giving incorrect information about household composition and not reporting received income.

Larger fraud cases in smaller towns

Ranking of fraudulent income support cases by size of municipality reveals that the average amount involved in fraudulent income support increases as the municipality becomes smaller. In the four largest cities the average amount of unjustified claims is 2,235 euro, while for the smaller municipalities (up to twenty thousand inhabitants) the average amount is 3,300 euro.

Average amount of fraud by size of municipality, first half of 2002

Undetected fraud

The figures on unjustified income support claims refer only to detected cases. There is no insight into the real extent of fraudulent income support claims and the total amounts involved.

Antwan Vos