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  1. Hi there, I hope you can help me. I am a single mum and have been since my son was 3 months old (he is now 2 years old). I claim Income Support (which is only £46 a week now as they are stopping money from it for debts), Child Tax Credits and Child Benefit as well as Housing Allowance and Council Tax benefits. On saturday I had a letter through saying I am being investigated for alleged benefit fraud and have to attend an interview under caution on June 3rd. It doesn't say what I have been accused of exactly and I am miffed. I do not know. I have thought of 3 possible reasons but I didn't think they would be benefit fraud and still don't so I don't know... They are as follows. My son's father is not allowed near us, there is a court order preventing him accessing his child (for bloody good reason!) but he does pay money into to my bank by direct transfer every week or two. He is well off and it is usually around 100 a week (when he sends it, sometimes he sends nothing for 6 weeks) but I read somewhere that maintenance money from a parent does not affect a claim for IS. I probably should have told them but I was worried they would think I was letting the dad see my child and call social services (they're the ones who obtained the court order and it took a lot to convince them I have nothing to do with the ex. Which I don't). Could the money he sends mean I have been committing fraud and not even known it??? 2) I had a girlfriend for around 10 weeks last year. She had trouble with her home situation and I let her stay with me for just over a week while she got herself sorted. She was only staying over, we weren't living together.. It was only a week.. Could it be that? Or 3) My mum is a cleaner at a nursery. She works one hour an evening there. On fridays for the last 3 weeks I have done her one hour shift (for free) while she baby sits my son as she then has him over night and it gives me a break. I didn't get paid for it I just did it so she could babysit and I got a restful sleep. It amounts to 3 hours in total and even the lady who works with my mum will say I didn't get paid and just helped her hoover and get the place tidy. Could it be that? I only did it for the first time 3 weeks ago. As far as I know I haven't broken the law. I possibly should have told them about the money from my ex but it says online that it doesn't affect a claim for IS so I didn't think it would matter... Any advice?? I don't think I have time to find a solicitor as I have no childcare and it's not going to be easy sitting in a solicitors office explaining while stopping my toddler wrecking the place..
  2. Hi, I was horrified and slightly confused recently to receive a letter from the council informing me that they had suspended my housing benefit in order to look at it in more detail. The reason I was horrified and confused was because I wrote to them on 18th June 2012 to inform them that I was moving out of the property I was in on 25th June 2012. However, on speaking to them, it appears they never received this letter. Having moved out I started a two month working contract during which I was immensely busy often working evenings as well as all day. I didn't check my bank account too closely, but knew I had money in there when I started and was paid periodically (every 4 weeks) by my employer. I never had any problems with paying for things, though I did think once or twice that I had been paid more than I should have been. However, I didn't have access to my payslips, as they were delivered to my mother's address while I was staying onsite at work (I was working in Bath and my mother lives in London). Anyway, I received this letter recently which confused me because I thought the benefit had been cancelled at my request, and I checked my bank account in detail. This revealed to me that I had been paid HB for the last 3 months or so and that I owed the council around £1650. I immediately wrote to the council apologising profusely explaining my position (and enclosing a copy of the letter I sent in June, though this, admittedly, doesn't really prove anything, as I didn't send it recorded delivery or anything like that, so have no proof of posting) and offering to pay back the money as soon as possible, and they have invited me to an Interview under Caution on 23rd October. As I say, they are saying they never received my letter cancelling my benefit, so as far as I can see it is my word against there's - therefore, my question is how do I stand? I am very worried here (I have never committed a crime in my life and am scared stiff of a criminal record, fines, possible imprisonment etc...)that I could be prosecuted for benefit fraud given the fact that I can't prove that I sent the letter (am kicking myself for not sending recorded delivery). Do I have any legal standing at all and am I right to think that the consequence could be as bad as I think it could be? Hope to hear from someone soon and thanks in advance, Matt
  3. Hi, I have received a letter inviting me to an interview under caution at my council offices. An officer from the council and the DWP will be interviewing me. Nobody will tell me the reasons for this. The only reason on the letter is 'We have reason to believe that you may have failed to declare your true circumstances'. The only thing that I can think it could be is the fact that I have had a baby. I am not claiming an extra housing benefit since having the baby as I currently house share. I suffer very greatly with depression and anxiety. I have started receiving child tax credits. Could this be the reason? I informed everyone when I had the baby, he's 11 months now, but may not have told the council as I was not planning to claim any extra benefit from them. Please help me, I am not coping at all well with this.Thanks
  4. Hi everyone, I am new on here and am in desperate need of advice. My husband and i have recieved a letter from the Housing Benefit to attend an interview under caution. It s a long story but I'll try and keep it simple. We have been claiming HB for about 7 months. At the time of claiming we were both unemployed and provided all the relevant documentation which they were happy with. Three months later, I started working but was not earning enought to cover all our expenses. So we decided that once i recieve my payslips we'll inform the HB as they want proof of change in circumstances. The problem being was the company i was working for was not paying my taxes, my NI or giving me payslips - which i was not aware of until my payslips never arrived in the post. I left after being there for 3 months as i knew what was happening was illigal. In the mean time though, we still had not informed the HB as I had no payslips to prove anything and we didnt want to cancel it completely because then we wouldnt have been able to live! On top of all of this, which we are to blame, we were over payed slightly and never told them about it - we are happy to pay them back though. VERY bad of us:| So now we have this letter, it does not say why they are investigating, they just want my husband to go in for an interview. We have been advised not to say anything to them but my husband is trying to decide whether to go or not. What will they do if he doesnt attend? Or, if he does attend, does he have to speak? Any advice would be much appreciated:-)
  5. Hi Guys new here and would appreciate any advice anyone can give. This morning I received an horrible letter from my local council asking me to attend an interview under caution. It says they suspect they have grounds for criminal prosecution because I have failed to tell them about changes in my income!!!! Im really upset and very scared by this letter. I left my job last Feb due to childcare being a complete nightmare and my quest continues for a job that is around school hours. I am not claiming job seekers and my husband works full time but still classed as a low income, he earns £12,000 per year. we get working tax credit and child tax credit then last March I decided to see if we could get help with council tax. I applied giving all bank statements, my husbands pay slips and all other info they wanted. They eventually wrote back and said we where entitled and the we have been getting help with council tax since last April. About November last year I got a form from the council tax department asking me to fill it in, they where just checking everybodys information was correct. I again gave the correct details, my husbands wage, benefits we get and money we have including all the proof they wanted. Not heard anything until today when this lovely letter dropped on the door mat. I just dont understand whats happening. My husbands income as not changed during the year nor as anything. Why are they interviewing me, im really scared!!! got to wait 3 weeks now until the interview, dont know what to do. I HONESTLY have done nothing wrong and all the info ive ever given them is correct. Anybody got any ideas??????? Thanks in advance.
  6. I recieved a letter from the council asking me to attend an interview under caution as they think I have lied about my partner living with me. He moved out last May as we seperated. I claimed help with council tax & rent as only working part time. This was all fine but now they all of a sudden don't believe me, nearly a year later! My Ex has not had a perment address after having to move out of his parents house last Nov, and currently lives with some friends. He has not changed his address with his bank etc, and even though I keep asking him he won't untill he gets perment address for himself. I am assuming this is the evidence they have. We did change his council tax bill address to his parents at the time though, so they must know this? He does spend every other weekend here to have his time with our child but sleeps in the lounge and mostly I spend that weekend away. He also, if not working, will look after our child when I am working, in the house as he has no-where else to go. Anyway, I know there is not any time limit law on how many nights he can stay. I don't do his laundry or cook for him but the council won't know this unless I tell them or they visit the home. We are 100% not together but what can I do to proove this? What can I do to show he does not live here and has not since last May? I am asking him to write a statement explaining why he has not changed his address and still uses it for correspondence etc and thought maybe to get a statement from my neighbour. Would this help?
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