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Billions in benefits paid out in error

TT/The Local · 8 Mar 2010, 06:49

Published: 08 Mar 2010 06:49 GMT+01:00

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"Yes, it can sound like a massive amount," said Ulrika Larsson at the agency to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The newspaper reports that the high level of erroneous payments are for the most part accounted for by accidental errors from applicants, but that deliberate cheating and fraud have also made a significant contribution.

Those claiming sickness benefits were paid four billion kronor too much, according to the newspaper. The agency paid out an excess of 719 million kronor in housing benefit. Assistance payments were also identified as an area with a large number of errors in the analysis that has been submitted to the government.

Child benefit payments are however reported to have resulted in few instances of mistakes or fraud.

According to the agency, only a "fraction" of mistakes and fraud are uncovered in their routine checks and controls. The number of unrecorded cases is large, the agency admits.

"There is an element of uncertainty - we have not found any better method to establish the level of unrecorded cases, but we calculate that this is a well-founded judgement which is also in line with results from other countries," Larsson told the newspaper.

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Despite the apparent lack of tools to improve the situation, the various departments at the agency responsible for the benefit categories will review their routines to find ways to reduce errors and fraud. Among the measures under consideration are increasing information resources and amending application forms.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency was responsible for payments totalling 470 billion kronor covering various social benefits and retirement pensions.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:14 March 8, 2010 by Jamis
"Yes, it can sound like a massive amount," said Ulrika Larsson, I think she should be the next person looking to get benefits. What a joke, she should be sacked immediately!!
10:39 March 8, 2010 by sendia
so are they planning to go on like this?? nothing regarding solution is discussed here.
10:47 March 8, 2010 by wyntha
Think what all of these billions could have done for creating jobs for young people, improving our Swedish Infrastructure, reducing taxes for pensioners, making other reforms in this country...... And it's probably been going on for years. A lot of the trouble that Greece has now can be put down to many Greeks not paying their taxes, fiddling the system and working black. Spend 2 billion on fighting this problem and you might gain 10 billion back for your efforts.
11:24 March 8, 2010 by Audrian
The corruption index ranks Sweden around number 12, against countries like Normway, Finland and Austria, which are identified as the most clean in the world. One can imagine how scandalous the state of corruption is in countries like the US and UK where corruption index is around 53 and 23 respectively.

My dear friend the amount lost in benefit overpaid in Sweden in 2009 is not easy matter. The funds could have relieved single mothers our of their financial misery, upgrade the quality of education in secondary school or invest the money into anything else the society might want to use it for.
11:43 March 8, 2010 by Puffin
It was largely predicted that there would be many mistakes as a result of closing down so many local offices and laying of experienced staff and going over the the *cheap* system of document 'processing centres' manned by cheaper inexperienced staff

So I guess the first thing is to identify how much was paid due to försäkringskassans own errors and how much was actually fraud

It would also be interesting to know how many errors resulted in underpayments
12:24 March 8, 2010 by renjithr
I an not surprised.

Frequently i visit AMS , i can see how much error they are making in filling out simple information.

I told i came here on 2008 , they filled as 2006.

How horrible.more over very slow.

Sweden govt should ask ppl to retire from jobs at the age of 55.

I can see a lady of ae 60 asking for a job at the msemploy job fai as project manager/developer.

How horrible.

They should allow the young generation to work
13:00 March 8, 2010 by rba
Don't worry guys, it's just a few thousand kronor per taxpayer :P
13:51 March 8, 2010 by just a question
Too much fika=errors

And all these people working in public institutions...who are YOU people? where do they recruit them?
14:01 March 8, 2010 by wyntha
Another problem I see is that the different authorities in Sweden do not share databases with each other enough. OK perosnal integrity is at stake but if one has nothing to hide then one should only be happy for this to happen more if it can result on getting back billions in wrong payments.
14:15 March 8, 2010 by G Kin

Who should do the asking?. And most of these senoiurs are women!

Remember this is sweden. Do the asking and I trust high hills wouldn't waste any time kicking your balls!
21:23 March 8, 2010 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
able bodied pple were taxed and they misappropriated their labour. thats what taxer payers should be fuzzing about
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