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In BIG TROUBLE with benefits Please help

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I received a letter in post telling me that as part of a routine check my working tax award was being investigated and can I please supply all relevant info to them - they asked for proof of income from my job hrs I worked etc etc - problem is I am self emplyed and have been designing a website and writing an ebook for most of the 6 months so have not any income or outgoings to show - never made anything yet never spent anything neither also I never kept a record of the hours I worked - what with 3 kids and a baby it was when I could grab half an hr spare!

 

Problem is they are asking for all the info from 07-08 - also any other income ie partners income.

 

Now I met my partner in July 07 via the internet he lived 3 hrs from me - after a one night stand this resulted in our daughter being born 9 mnths later - during this time my partner well not partner at time more mates as I did not want relationship visited as often as he could to come to scans etc and help out with housework n decorating etc and my other 3 kids as I developed kidney failure during pregnancy.

He lost his job due to taking so much time off because of me.

He got friendly with the guy who was manager of little garage near my home and he offered him a part time job 2-3 days per week usually weekends so this was great to me as he was here weekends but went back to his place during week.

I was claiming income support then and HD & CT.Partner did not contribute to anything with regards to my home in all honesty it barely covered train tickets.

Partner only worked at the garage for 16-18 weeks. We had problems and we didnt speak for a few weeks.

We then decided to give a relationship ago when my daughter was born in May 08 and he moved in ( I say moved in but he was still travelling to his parents weekly/fortnightly to stay there as his mum is terminally ill)

He never claimed and benefits nor worked. I decided to go self employed but due to not being convinced that our relationship would work I claimed as single parent.

This went on me claiming as single parent and in receipt of working tax while partner claimed nothing I provided.

OK THAT SEEMS WRONG I KNOW AS I AM WRITING IT BUT .... because he was not working nor claiming benefits did not seem harm for few weeks till we decided if we could have a relationship.(lots of baggage in way) We split and he moved back to stay with family n friends far too many times to count.

I fell 6 weeks after having my daughter with my son - partner became mentaly ill and was under care of mental health crisis team. We were struggling with bills etc so partner got in touch with jobcentre - they told him he needed to get ESA.So on 16th Jan 09 he started getting ESA my name and all kids are on that benefit , they knew I was in receipt of working tax and child tax credit.They told me I would get a run on of working tax?

I have upon getting this letter to investigate me noticed that my working tax credit has never been stopped - seems it has been greatly reduced but not stopped - I did write to them informing them of the ESA.

I had to phone them to add my son onto child tax credit a few weeks ago when he was born and they asked if there were anyother changes which was no. But I did not even realise I was still getting working tax.

To be perfectly honest I am in debt (from past relationship) of approx £27k so ther are that many bills and payments coming out my bank I do not have a clue what is paid in each week and what with 2 extra children being added on within 10 months of eachother I just asumed my award for child tax credit had gone up - now I am terrified they are going to say I am commiting fraud as I am still being paid working tax but have been on my partners claim for ESA since 16th Jan thats 5 months? HELP PLEASE !

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Ok first of all don't panic. I have had this investigation performed on me so many times, it's unreal. They are looking at 07/08, which means they are looking into the claim for the tax year 08/09, that's from 1st April 08 to March 31st 09.

 

You never informed them that you began to live with a partner, until you wrote to them informing them that you were on an ESA claim. This is really important -

 

when you informed them of ESA, did you then tell them about the partner, or that your partner was receiving the ESA and you were part of the claim, or did you just tell them that you were now in reciept of ESA?

 

Did you at any point inform them that you were no longer working?

 

After you informed them of the ESA, did you receive a new award notice which acknowleged the change of circumstances?

 

If you did inform them that you were no longer working, was there a new award notice which reflected that?

 

When you rang to add your son to the claim, do you remember the security questions they asked, and if so, did they ask about anything which might indicate they were aware of the changes such as "partner's details" or details regarding your work?

 

When they asked if there were any other changes, did they clarify? And if so, what did they ask and what was your response?

 

What I am trying to ascertain is whether or not they actually knew about any of your changes.

 

From their point of view, you may well have acted fraudulently as you had a partner living on and off with you for a significant period of time and never declared it, regardless of the working tax credit. If you can dig out the last few award notices and have a look to see if any of your change of circumstances are reflected within them. The first thing we need to consider is, did they know that you have a partner and from what date was he registered on the Tax Credit claim, and did they know that you had stopped working, and again from what date.

 

Incidently, have you actually stopped working or not? Did you inform ESA that you were unemployed?


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

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I have never informed Working Tax about partner ( to be honest I knew I should hve but with circumstances was not convinced we would stay together he moved in and out too many time)

 

I have never told Working Tax that My partner is claiming ESA ( His claim automatically put me on it along with the children - this I assumed working tax and child tax would know via computer)

 

ESA never told my partner to tell me I needed to phone Working Tax so once again thought working tax would cease automatically - they did tell me that a run on from working tax would be paid

 

I never informed them I stopped working - in all honestly I am now writing a book ( not sure if that's classed as self employment) so prob doing that wrong too aggghhhhhh

 

When I phoned to tell them about my son being born they asked for any other changes I said no - she then commented on my mad house due to 2 babies crying in background and hurried up for me so I could get off the phone to see to babies.

 

Security questions asked were - name DOB payment method ie how did i receive my tax credits 9 bank account) and childcare provider

 

OH NO THATS ANOTHER THING - I was also getting £89 chilcare allowance and of course the kids have never been to childcare since JAN !!!!!

 

It just gets worse ......

 

I have no idea if partner told them I was unemployed or self employed - I was 6 months pregnant and had 8 month old baby so maybe they assumed I was not I honestly do not know.

 

I dare not just phone working tax or ESA to ask .....

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Right. I had thought in your previous post you said that you wrote to them and informed them of ESA. I got the impression from that, that you had informed them of everything and they had not acted on it, or that you had sent the letter but they had not received it. This changes things significantly.

 

As there have been several changes to your circumstances and you have not declared them either at the time or at the end of the tax year, or at any point when you have had the opportunity to do so that essentially you have comitted fraud. The award notices and letters are very clear of what changes you need to inform them of so although I empathise that you thought they would automatically know - they won't be so quick to accept that as they do make it quite clear.

 

This is not the advice you had hoped for, but I can only be realistic. Whether or not it comes to light during this compliance check, it will come to light (and is likely to during compliance checking). People who have committed fraud often find leinancy when they admit it outright, rather than allowing it to drag on. The compliance letter is a way of saying they think you may be claiming fraudulently and this is an opportunity to admit it of your own free will. If you keep schtum or try to conceal it, and they are able to find evidence of fraud, they will be looking for a harder line in punishment. People who admit it upfront usually fare far better. Tell them everything you said here. Like I said I have been investigated many times. Although I've had nothing to declare, I've had all sorts of indirect accusations, and am aware at how far they will go to attempt to find something.

 

I'm sorry I can't help you any further than that, as there isn't really anything I can say. I won't advise you to lie because in reality that won't help you, it only digs a deeper hole.

 

I am not judging, nor am I saying you deliberately set out to decieve anyone, however you may feel I am - I am simply saying that there isn't anything you can do other than submit the information they have requested and tell them now of your changes.

 

Once you have spoken with them if you feel we can advise you further, for example if there is something they say that you don't feel could be right, just ask.

 

As for what they will do, if this is the first time anything like this has happened, it will more likely be a ticking off and an admin penalty and/or repaying any money that has been overpaid, or paid because you didn't declare the changes, however again that would depend on the figure involved. It may not even come to that! They may well take no action at all.

 

Let us know how you get on and if we can help you further just ask.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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It might be an idea to take this to your local CAB or local council welfare rights officer. You and your kids will have an entitlement to benefits- you haven't said what or if you are being paid for writing the book.

 

Go in for a full benefit check and get it all sorted out and a bit of advice. You may be entitled to more that you are receiving.


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I was self employed in selling kids clothes online via my own website and ebay - I spent loads on ebay fees so decided to just sell sell online - this just did not happen it cost me a forune in advertising etc with nothing coming back in.

I had my daughter then went onto income support - when she was 4 mnth old I rang back up working tax and decided to go back to being self employed - I wrote an ebook on selling online etc but have not even finished it yet let alone has anyone else read it so no have not made nay money from it.

It is during this time my partner moved in with me Jan 08 - he due to ill health claimed ESA with me as his partner.

They told him that a run on of 4 weeks working tax would be paid - I wrote to working tax office to state that my partner had moved in and we were then in receipt of ESA. I did not follow this up with a phone call which maybe I should have. I no it's no excuse to them but ended up in hospital for over 2 weeks on a transfusion due to kidney failure and heavily pregnant. I was given pethidine evry 4 -6 hrs for the pain and when allowed home was on strong painkillers that made me extremely sick thus making me dehydrated and put me back into hospital for 8 days ( 4 of those hooked up to a drip) I was exremeley ill. I came back home and supposedly on bed rest and drugged up just carried on best I could.

Bearing in mind I had a 10 year old - 6 year old and 5 year old and 8 month old baby - I then had a scare at the hospital as my placenta was very low lying and my baby at 32 weeks showed signs of not growing.

I had to return to the hospital a week later - to find the placenta had moved thankfully but my iron was dangerously low - I was booked in the following day for an Iron transfusion.

3 weeks later I heamoraged and was taken into hospital yet again - I gave birth to my son 3 weeks early.

As you can see I did not delibertly set out not to get in touch with them about partner moving in since Jan it was just a case of never getting round to doing it and having other things on my mind.

As for the 07 year my partner was living with his ex partner while seeing and staying the odd few days at mine - all his wages went into that relationship not mine in all honesty I was the bit on the side.

This is causing me to become ill with worry. I dare not go to CAB or phone the Tax credits. They may just put me into Jail for fraud.

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hi mummy5 wondered how you got on hun?

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