Almost one million claimants a year face the stress and misery of having spot checks made on their claims following the opening of Benefits Integrity Centres (BICs) by the DWP across the UK as part of a fraud and error crackdown. Claimants who fail to respond without delay to requests for information are likely to have their benefits suspended.

BICs have been set up by the DWP to check that claimants in receipt of income support, jobseekers allowance, employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit are getting the correct amount of benefit. Any claimant can be selected for review and can also be selected for repeat reviews.

If you are selected for review you will be contacted by Jobcentre Plus by telephone or post. You will be asked to provide details about your personal circumstances and may be asked to provide further information. If you do not cooperate with the review process your benefit could be suspended.

When you are contacted by BIC you will be asked random security questions to verify your identity. This may include questions about your bank account. If you want to verify who you are talking to however you will not be able to contact BICs directly. Instead you will have to call your local office who will then request verification from BIC.

If your benefit is stopped or you are asked to repay any overpaid benefit seek advice and, if appropriate, appeal within one month of the decision.

BICs are also going to text claimants about the need to return claim forms and the need to notify the DWP of any relevant change in circumstances.

There’​s more information about BICs in the latest edition of Touchbase, the DWP magazine


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