Benefit fraud suspects can now be charged under the Fraud Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
In the past, benefit cheats have often been pursued under specific social security legislation which carries a maximum term of seven years.
A financial threshold which prevented benefit fraud cases of less than £20,000 from being sent to crown court will also be abolished, the CPS said.
More top news
The majority of motorists want to see tighter restrictions on the amount drivers can drink, a survey has revealed.
A cheap over-the-counter painkiller taken by millions of people in Britain every day could have the hidden benefit of slowing down ageing.
Some four million Brits are expected to fly out of the UK over the festive period, along with many more using roads and railways.