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Social welfare fraud baseline studies

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, gave details to Barry Cowen (FF, Laois Offaly) of baseline studies over 2004-9 to determine levels of social welfare fraud across a random sample of claims (about 1,000) (Dail Eireann, Debates, 22nd February 2012, 785-6).  The purpose was to investigate both fraud (deliberately supplying false or misleading information or willfully concealing relevant information) and error (inadvertently failing to notify a change in circumstances).   The rates of fraud and error were estimated as follows:


Child benefit 1.76%

Family Income Supplement 0.8%

Disability Allowance 2.3%

Illness Benefit 0.1%

Non contributory pension 0

One Parent Family Payment 6.4%

Contributory Pension 0.1%

Jobseeker allowance 2.1%


Her department planned to carry out two fraud and error surveys a year to end 2016 and listed the timetable accordingly.