Full Text

Welfare Fraud

Siegfried Lamnek and Ralf Ottermann

Subject Sociology » Government, Politics, and Law, Social Problems

Key-Topics poverty, welfare

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Sociologists define fraud as any deception the intended outcomes of which are knowingly in breach of norms (of honesty, reciprocity, solidarity, etc.), and define deception as any intentional non-disclosure and/or misrepresentation of relevant information, which is to make others behave in a way they would not if they were well informed ( Ottermann 2000 ). Many frauds do not violate laws and/or are considered relatively harmless. But some frauds are regarded not just as unfair or illegitimate, but also as illegal acts of deception. Such is welfare fraud , committed in order to obtain unauthorized benefits, which is seen as a violation of statute, as an offense against the rules that regulate the welfare system. In legal terms, welfare fraud (benefit fraud, public assistance fraud) is defined as making a false or misleading statement or committing an act intended to mislead, misrepresent, conceal, or withhold facts concerning the eligibility for public assistance, which is determined, for instance, by (dis)informations of the current marital status, household composition, employment status, income, receipt of monetary and in-kind gifts, bank accounts, and other resources of the claimants or clients. Welfare fraud is committed when persons make false statements, and/or misrepresent facts, or when (changed) situations are not reported to the departments of social services, in ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top