Updated: 20 Dec 2014
During 2012/13 we paid a total of £635.7m in Housing Benefit. £231.3m was paid in respect of public sector claims and £404.4m in respect of private sector claims (this includes payments for housing association claims). This was an increase of 4.8% over the previous year. The number of people receiving Housing Benefit increased by a further 3% during the year to a total of 166,437 (68,378 in Housing Executive tenancies, 25,059 in Housing Association tenancies and 73,000 in the private rented sector).
A further £2.8m was paid to 21,458 Rate Relief claimants and £0.53m was paid to 4,906 Lone Pensioner Allowance claimants. In addition further assistance was provided to 12,408 claimants through the Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme with awards totalling £3.32m.
We continued our efforts to reduce the level of fraudulent claims and during the year 347 cases were referred to the Benefit Investigation Service of the Social Security Agency for investigation and £4m was raised in overpayments identified through our counter fraud activities.
The level of overpayments increased from £30.2m to stand at £31.5m at the end of the year. During the year overpayments amounting to £16.5m were identified and £13.9m was recovered with a further £1.25m of irrecoverable debt being written off.