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.

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  1. #21
    Basic Account Holder jared Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Cheers sadone


  2. #22
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Can DWP/Councils access people's bank accounts when they claim benefit?

    The basic answer is normally "no".

    The powers available under the SSFA can only be used by authorised officers who are senior investigations staff. They are only permitted to use such powers where there is a reasonable ground to do so and there is not really an alternative avenue to obtain information, e.g. benefit fraud cases.

    When a person claims benefit, they will normally be asked for details of their bank accounts and the balances in the accounts.

    If a person declares that they have 2 bank accounts, but only provides statements for one account, the DWP/Council may decide to either request statements for the second account he claimant or they may choose to accept the balances provided by the claimant. The latter sounds like what has happened in this case.


  3. #23
    Basic Account Holder sadone Novitiate sadone Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    But a credit check will show all accounts and their balances without having to ask for any bank statements in person.
    Camerons been pushing for an increase in this actively for some time now.

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/a...raudsters.html


  4. #24
    Basic Account Holder jared Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Hi id6052

    Thanks for response but she only told them about one bank account

    Hi sadone

    I can't accept that they can simply request a credit check and bingo! obtain the balance and details of every account; since I have no knowledge of credit checks, I simply assumed they only existed to record payment defaults and the like from finance companies!

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  5. #25
    Basic Account Holder sadone Novitiate sadone Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Well the government has given the DWP full powers to check everyone who claims benefits via private credit agencies in a push to stop fraud. This proposal (like in the article above) was all over the net and is old news now.

    Thats why those who have working tax credit have been waiting far longer then normal for their renewals to be processed as all this extra checking is slowly processing claims down to an incredible amount.


  6. #26
    Basic Account Holder jared Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    I hate to sound cynical, but if I was under threat of losing my job now, the first thing i would do was empty my bank account and store the money under the mattress!


  7. #27
    Basic Account Holder sadone Novitiate sadone Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Sadly that wouldn't do you any good because credit check records go back at least six years, so they'd see you'd taken out a lump sum and do you for deprivation of assets.


  8. #28
    Basic Account Holder Tash188 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Hi there,

    I had an iuc last october and they produced bank statements going back to 2007. Nationwideicon and my current bank halifaxicon. They had details of all accounts I held with both banks, including savings accounts which had nothing in them. I was asked to explain nearly every transaction in all of these accounts. I never gave them permission to do this and after the interview I researched it and found out that when you sign your application for benefits (ie income support etc etc) you give them permission to check your personal information (bank statements) for fraud etc. It's disgusting, I was told I should have informed them of any money going into my account even if it was just 5.00 as they would count it as an income. Nearly a year on and i'm still waiting for my appeal to be heard by the tribunal


  9. #29
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    credit checks would not work as credit reference agencies only carry details of bank accounts that have overdrafts or a credit facility

    so if you had a savings account with 100k in it, it would not show up on a credit check


  10. #30
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Quote Originally Posted by id6052 View Post
    credit checks would not work as credit reference agencies only carry details of bank accounts that have overdrafts or a credit facility

    so if you had a savings account with 100k in it, it would not show up on a credit check
    That is completely wrong I am afraid.

    I only have a Natwesticon Step/Basic account, with no overdrafticon, no cheques, anything, and that shows up on my credit reference files.

    And they probably send out a standard query to the banks directly with a name/NINO/DOB anyway, they wont just be looking at CRA - they will interrogate the banks electronically and check out any "hits"


  11. #31
    Basic Account Holder jared Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Thanks to all for the feedback; seems unless you're one of the elite who can store your savings tax free offshore, you have to be prepared to have your private finances thoroughly investigated by private companies when you fall on hard times and require the state to support you.

    What a sad state of affairs.

    Since I hate all banks anyway, I think i'll take all my savings out and take my chances with house thieves; in the current economic climate, you never know when you may end up requiring to claim benefits of some description!

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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Thanks to all for the feedback; seems unless you're one of the elite who can store your savings tax free offshore, you have to be prepared to have your private finances thoroughly investigated by private companies when you fall on hard times and require the state to support you.
    You think you should be able to lie (by not declaring bank accounts) and get the state to support you?


  13. #33
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    They can only access a bank account with a court order (warrant) from a Judge,if they suspect a crime has been committed.

    Where on earth some people get the idea from that the DWP/Councils can just go around accessing everyone's bank account is belong me.....

    Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

    http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php
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  14. #34
    Basic Account Holder sadone Novitiate sadone Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Well they can I'm afraid. Have you read the papers or online about Camerons push against benefit fraud? Contracting out to private credit checking companies? This info's been out there for some time now.


  15. #35
    Basic Account Holder backofbeyond Novitiate

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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    I think 45002 has misunderstood. We aren't talking about physically accessing money, we're talking about gaining access to information in relation to accounts.

    Think I may have got out of bed the wrong side this morning but jareds comment has infuriated me!! Benefits are for the needy of our society, needy means cannot do without help from the state. I fell on hard times at the beginning of the year and had no other option but to claim benefits until we go back on our feet; if I had of had money "stashed" away I wouldn't have claimed benefits. Ooooh it makes me mad!


  16. #36
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Quote Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
    I think 45002 has misunderstood. We aren't talking about physically accessing money, we're talking about gaining access to information in relation to accounts.

    Think I may have got out of bed the wrong side this morning but jareds comment has infuriated me!! Benefits are for the needy of our society, needy means cannot do without help from the state. I fell on hard times at the beginning of the year and had no other option but to claim benefits until we go back on our feet; if I had of had money "stashed" away I wouldn't have claimed benefits. Ooooh it makes me mad!
    I feel the same. Earlier this year, my bank were being difficult in regards to bank statements. I wrote on a bank statement "you [DWP] have my permission to ask for information on my other bank accounts with <name of banks>".


  17. #37
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    Right just pulled this off the pay site we can't mention!

    Checks on bank accounts and other financial matters can be initiated by the DWP, through the generalised matching service.

    This can detect through data sharing with HMRC how many bank accounts are held by an individual, as all interesticon by law has to be declared by banks to HMRC. If for example a person claims means-tested benefits, and fails to declare a bank account or the correct amount of capital contained in a bank account, it can be detected through the GMS. If as a result fraud is suspected, authorised fraud officers can access individual bank accounts without the need to seek prior permission.
    http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/regulati...hing-40090586/

    http://www.opportunities.co.uk/artic...rror-strategy/

    So there you go.

    Maybe the OP can answer the glaring question of why they wanted to deliberately lie/withhold information about these accounts from the DWP?


  18. #38
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    speedfreek, that is correct

    HMRC, DWP and LAs routinely carry out data-matching exercises for discrepancies between the information held between them.

    If a disrepancy arises, for example if a person declares capital of 1000 to DWP/LA, however their bank declares that the person received 500 interesticon, then the matching service will notify the DWP/LA of the discrepancy.

    If it is a minor discrepancy, the DWP/LA will normally contact the individual for further information about the issue.

    If the customer refuses or fails to provide the necessary information or if it a major discrepancy, the DWP/LA may then use their powers under the SSFA to obtain the information directly from the banks.

    The SSFA powers are normally a last resort where there are substantial enough grounds to suspect fraud, and there is no other way to reasonably obtain the necessary evidence to investigate the case.

    They are not rarely (if ever) used at the time a person makes their actual claim for benefit.


  19. #39
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    If your claiming HB or ICicon,yes you have to declare your bank account/savings and if you dont,they can refuse to pay you benefit.

    If they suspect fraud is beaning committed.

    They still need a court order (warrant) from a Judge,to access a bank account

    Don't believe everything you read on a web site,especially from " the pay site we can't mention!"

    Just say No to 0870 and 0845 Numbers,Use

    http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Access to bank accounts by JCP and/or local council

    45002

    i think people may be talking at crossed purposes, I agree that the DWP/LA cannot access the funds within bank accounts without a court order

    However the discussion appears to relate to the issue of DWP/LA obtaining information in relation to bank accounts, e.g. balances, copy statements, etc - which can be obtained under the social security fraud act where there is suspicion of fraud and does not require a court order



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