Over 20 million people in the UK are claiming various benefits, but payments could be stopped if claimants fail to notify the Department for Work and Pensions about any change of circumstances.

Some claimants are not aware they may be committing benefit fraud by not informing the DWP about changes.

The DWP's definition of benefit fraud is when “someone obtains state benefit they are not entitled to or deliberately fails to report a change in their personal circumstances.”

The Daily Record reports most common form of benefit fraud is when a person receives unemployment handouts whilst still working.

Another is when benefit claimants state they are living alone, but they are financially supported by a partner or spouse, reports the LiverpoolEcho.

Failing to inform the state about a "change of circumstances", including co-habiting, or a claimant receiving money from an inheritance, may also be fraud by omission.

But one of the most overlooked, and easily done, is not telling the DWP of a change in address.

Payments are made into claimants’ bank or building society accounts, meaning some claimants don’t think informing the DWP of a change in address is important - or necessary.

But it could have serious consequences and result in payments being stopped while a fraud investigation is conducted.

Most changes in circumstances can be reported online.

Examples of benefit fraud

What happens if I'm reported?

If a claimant is accused of benefit fraud they will be contacted by the DWP and a benefits or fraud investigation officer may visit to talk about the claim.

Benefits may be stopped while under investigation. If this happens, the claimant will receive notification of the process.

If proof of benefit fraud is identified

The DWP always recovers any fraudulent overpayment.