I recently attended a Customer Compliance Interview at the local Jobcentreplus as a query arose on my claim. I'm on longterm sickness benefit and receive Income support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Rebate. Apparently an allegation had been made late last year that I was earning? £1000's from online gambling and taking regular holidays abroad.
As far as I'm aware I wasn't under caution?, or it's possible I might have missed this as several times I had to ask the interviewer to speak up as I'm currently hard of hearing.
After being asked my name etc, I was asked about savings. I informed the interviewer I had around £2k give or take a couple hundred. He asked where this came from and I informed him I received £4k from the local council as compensation when they had to rehouse me around 4 years ago. The bottom line is I rarely go out and my money can slowly but surely build up (I never told him this though)
He then moved on to my online gambling. Whilst it's true I do play online poker, I certainly dont make the alleged £1000's. I'm basically a low roller playing small buyin tournaments and freerolls. I informed him my biggest ever single win was around $200 (not pounds). Like any form of gambling, I win some and lose some. It's basically a pastime to kill time. In the interviewer's own words he told me if I play the lottery and win £10 they couldn't care less, if I win a quarter of a million I would need to inform them. I agreed that sounded reasonable.
He then moved on to holidays abroad. I informed him between 2006 and 2008-2009 I took 3 x 50+ day holidays to Asia. I also said on reflection maybe I should've informed them as that is what I have since learnt, after the event. That said, I failed to tell the interviewer on my 1st 2 trips it wasn't my intention to stay as long as I did, it was just so cheap there I took the opportunity to stay longer. I think I might still have the flight itinery with the original dates on them, is it possible to add this to my interview at a later date if needed?. I was advised I need to report any holiday abroad that exceeds 28 days. I may or may not have to repay overpaid benefits, presumably those holiday days that exceed 28 days? I also have to take my passport in to be scanned.
I was told none of the above affects my current claim but basically warned to report things when needed. Given they want my passport I guess it's not over yet? Is there any more I can expect aside from a decision on holiday overpayments? Maybe I'm a bit confused and have misinterpreted something above? Is there anything there they can take further? I dont know why but I'm still feeling very worried and stressed by it all.
Thanks in advance for any advice or replies to my questions.