||<p /> <p>Housing Benefit is a complex benefit administered by 380 Local Authorities.
It has a high proportion of in-work claimants and this caseload is more likely to
undergo changes in circumstances than out-of-work claimants. If claimants fail to
report changes in circumstances correctly and in a timely manner then overpayments
will occur.</p><p>The rate of fraud in Housing Benefit has been stable for many years
at 1.4% since 2008-09. Official error has also remained relatively stable over the
last six years, currently standing at 0.6% which is the same level as in 2008-09.
Claimant error has increased from 2.7% in 2008-09 to 3.8% in 2013-14.</p><p>The rise
in HB claimant error is primarily earnings related and a consequence of failure to
report these changes. DWP is taking action to deal with this issue through better
data sharing with Local Authorities, such as the introduction of real time information
(RTI) on earnings, so that local authorities are alerted to changes quickly and do
not have to rely on the claimant informing them of changes.</p><p>Longer term, Housing
Benefit for working age claimants will be replaced by the housing cost element of
Universal Credit and will be paid as a single monthly payment with the other elements.
This will reduce the opportunity for Fraud and Error and prevent overpayments from