Reporting changes in circumstances: Tackling error in the benefit system

A Irvine, J Davidson, R Sainsbury

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Since 1997 successive governments have pursued a range of policies to reduce the amount of money lost to the social security budget through fraud and error. While levels of fraud have consistently decreased, the problem of error has persisted and its reduction has therefore become an important policy objective. Qualitative research was carried out by the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York in 2006-07 to explore benefit claimants' knowledge and understanding concerning changes in circumstances and obligations to report them. This research was based on a longitudinal panel of 51 claimants who were interviewed three times over the course of nine months. The objectives of the overall study were focused on the key areas of: * how claimants experience changes in circumstances * their knowledge and perceptions about reporting changes in circumstances * their sources of knowledge * their experiences of reporting changes * experiences and responses to overpayment recovery due to error.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeeds
PublisherCorporate Document Services
VolumeNo. 497
ISBN (Print)978184712 378 7
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameDepartment for Work and Pensions Research Report


  • employment/benefits
  • housing


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