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Police and social services team up to combat domicile-related fraud
The Belgian police are henceforth required to automatically pass on the details of a domicile check to the social inspection services, with an aim to cut down on fraudulent practices among the unemployed by as much as one-third, writes De Morgen.
Domicile-related fraud is committed when an unemployed person claims to live alone because singles receive more unemployment benefits than those living with a wage-earning partner. Others commit domicile-related fraud by living abroad, while claiming to live in Belgium in order to receive the benefits.
According to federal secretary of state for social fraud, Philippe De Backer (pictured), this type of fraud is a big problem in Belgium. The National Employment Office (NEO), which controls unemployment benefits, conducted 20,000 checks between January and September, and found that some 5,000 unemployed were not in line with the requirements. As a result, the NEO either reduced or cancelled their benefits, thereby recovering about €16 million in evaded taxes.
De Backer has now launched the automatic partnership between the police and social inspection services to make it easier to perform house checks.