Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
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    Default Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    I have a letter to attend a compliance interview with the dwp saying a matter has arisen that they need to discuss.

    I get incapacity benefit and DLA for mental illness. I have been in hospital 16 times in the last three years, the last hospital admission was two months a go. I have attended psychiatric day hospital treatment pretty much frequently for three years but was discharged recently.

    There was a lot of pressure from psychiatrists to "volunteer in a charity shop" one afternoon a week to help my recovery. I didn't volunteer in a charity shop, but somewhere else for three hours a week. At times I couldn't continue because I was too unwell. It didn't occur to me to declare it because it was upaid. I now realise I was supposed to.

    To complicate things I also did internet surveys, again which were not paid, but got sent vouchers for supermarkets. This apparently counts as payment. I am guilty therefore for not declaring two things.

    I know I am guilty and I will plead guilty at the interview. But I am absolutely terrified of what will happen to me as I consequence. I honestly didn't know until now I was doing anything wrong.

    I am finding it impossible to manage the weekend as I am so stressed about this compliance interview and am feeling so suicidal consequently. I don't want to end up back on a psychiatric ward.

    Does anyone know what my punishment is likely to be for not declaring the voluntary work and for getting food vouchers. Will I be likely to end up with a criminal record? Or will I lose benefits completely or be expected to pay them all back?

    I'm going out of my mind with worry, would appreciate feedback. I know they have to take action and it is my fault, I just would like some idea of what the action is likely to be.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Hi there. I don't know about the vouchers exactly, but I think I've heard about them being called a gift. I can't think they were worth very much, but maybe other people will comment?

    I was also told to do voluntary work by a counsellor, declared it when I was on IB and it wasn't a problem. It was intended to ease me back into work and of course, it wasn't paid.

    Try not to worry too much. I'm sure someone will be along soon.

    My best.


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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Hi skyz, I appreciate you're worried about this but please relax a little. I'm sorry I don't have a real answer for you as I don't work for the DWP [or anybody tbh!]. I hope one of those who do will pass this way soon to assist you.
    But let's put things into a bit of perspective. You were advised by your medical team to do some voluntary work as part of your rehabilitation. Your treatment. To help you get well. That it should or should not be declared is something else. You were doing it for the right reasons.
    Online surveys? Well, I do them too. And given the reward is so low I wouldn't dream of declaring the 10 a year Amazonicon voucher I 'earn'. [I don't use amazon so give it away anyway!].
    I can't imagine you're enjoying a life changing income from online surveys. And I don't see why you need worry overly about them.
    That said, as far as I'm aware - and someone feel free to correct me - you are allowed to earn something like 10 or 20 a week over and above your benefits. I think you'd fall considerably below this level.
    I am interested in how you feel hunni. Don't let this small matter be something you worry about. Don't let it make you feel suicidal. That's never the answer. I don't say that glibly. Twice in the distant past I've been there too. Quite seriously. I'm glad I never did what I thought was becoming inevitable.
    There are always people who care about you. Who love you. Often in the most unexpected of places. After all, you've just joined our family here...
    Take care hun, have a good weekend and so much love to you.
    Rae.

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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    hi SKYZ

    try not to worry and get stressed, I know its easier said then done.
    The compliance team are just a team of people that deal with a change in your circumstances that may effect your benefit, they are not FIS or fraud, The interview will be no more then a chat most probably about this work

    two things here your voluntary work and the other bit of internet survey shopping thing.

    With what you have said I do think you could be worrying over nothing to be honest.

    First things first the voluntary work, you can do voluntary work and it does not effect your claim, you say somewhere else, depending what you mean by this I cant see a problem in this, the only one maybe say it was unpaid voluntary work for a friend for example, who had a buisness and you could have been paid for that work then
    these type of circumstance could be classed as a bit different.
    But if you have only done voluntary work for three hours maybe a week in a situtation similar to that of a charity shop then that should be ok.

    Usually the Department likes you to notify them when you start such work but its nothing to worry about. You have had enough to contend with with your health and you have done remarkably well to manage three hours.

    With regards to the shopping vouchers, this would have to be looked at by a decision maker on two accounts.

    First of all it would have to be accepted as permitted work but I dont think that would cause you much problem, you are keeping your mind active it can only be beneficial.

    Permitted Work is a scheme for people on incapacity benefit who wish to try working in a limited capacity. It was designed so people could see if they were physically or mentally capable to work without it affecting their benefits.

    Under permitted work rules it is possible for a person on incapacity benefit to work for up to 16 hours and earn up to 88.50 per week profit without it affecting their benefits. You may be able to stay on Permitted Work for 12 months and by then, you should be able to make the decision whether to go ull time.

    Could you have been paid cash instead of the vouchers, the DM may ask that question, but if you have earned under the above you should have no worries.

    Please dont worry anymore, hope things go well, I am sure they will, just tell them all about it you have done nothing wrong, I wish you all the best

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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Thank you Honeybee, I appreciate your reply. The vouchers were worth hardly anything, 4 at a time but really infrequent, it comes in total to less than 2 a week over the year, none of it in cash, all in supermarket food tokens. I'm worried because I didn't declare the voluntary work to IB, I now know I should have done, but I really didn't think at the time, it just never really occurred to me either of these things would be an issue. It wasn't that I deliberately didn't disclose the information, I just didn't think at all. I will be honest and declare everything in the interview, I'm very worried because I know I am basically guilty and obviously they have to take action, I understand that. I just hope they realise that I was entitled to the incapacity and how ill I have been. Because it is mental illness it is so much harder to prove, although my psychiatrist has written a letter for the interview supporting that I am still in treatment.


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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Thankyou for posting Mikey, we were typing at the same time I suspect. So glad to have your input here.
    Rae.


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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Skyz, glad you're still online. Hope you also read the later posts. Relax hunni, you'll be just fine. {hug}
    Rae.


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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Sorry, just noticed the replies from Kelcou and Mikey as well, I am touched by your responses and that people are replying. I take on board what people have said, at no point did I intentionally do anything wrong or fraudulent. Am trying not to panic, its just so hard. Thank you though for your support and advice.


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    Default Re: Didnt declare voluntary work and now have dwp compliance interview dont know what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyz View Post
    Thank you Honeybee, I appreciate your reply. The vouchers were worth hardly anything, 4 at a time but really infrequent, it comes in total to less than 2 a week over the year, none of it in cash, all in supermarket food tokens. I'm worried because I didn't declare the voluntary work to IB, I now know I should have done, but I really didn't think at the time, it just never really occurred to me either of these things would be an issue. It wasn't that I deliberately didn't disclose the information, I just didn't think at all. I will be honest and declare everything in the interview, I'm very worried because I know I am basically guilty and obviously they have to take action, I understand that. I just hope they realise that I was entitled to the incapacity and how ill I have been. Because it is mental illness it is so much harder to prove, although my psychiatrist has written a letter for the interview supporting that I am still in treatment.

    You have nothing at all to worry about,
    they will have to conduct the interview, send it to the decision maker then the file will be written up, please dont worry



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