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What do they class as evidence?


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Hi all, i got letter for a Interview under Caution, for tomorrow. It states that they need to interview me about my PREVIOUS claim for benefits, housing benefit and oncome support. I stopped claiming in April of this year as my partner moved in with me.

I moved into my privately rented accomodation, from a council house, and was renting from a friend of the family, who works all over the place, so had this house sitting empty for 11 months of the year. I moved here to get away from an abusive ex partner. I went to the Job Centre, and explained and they had no issue with it, also did the same thing to housing benefit, telling them that i was renting the house, but not the whole house, being a 3 bed the guy said that he would need a room to come back to, if he was in the country, a few days a month occasionally. I explained this to the council nd they said that it was fine, as i was only paying a fraction of the market rate rent. I paid him for all the bills, and the council tax was covered by benefit. I was straight with them from the start, and as it happens he hardly ever stayed in the house but i never thought anything of it, as i had explained it to the JC and HB people.

In April my partner and i decided we should live together, i made all the relevant calls, went to JC to finish my claim etc. I then called the CSA and put in a claim against my oldests dad, and ive yet to have any money.

I got this letter yesterday, from the DWP, saying that they have information that i was living with someone as husband and wife/civil partnership. I dont know what to do, except to say that im quite sure i know who called them, and im sure it is my ex, as he doesnt see my daughter and has got away with no maintenance for the last 5 yrs, its only since april that i had to call them to put in claim, He is a police man, and i think he has used his connections to try to get me into trouble.

My question is, what do i say to them, as strictly speaking i wasnt living with him but he had all his post coming here, he had no financial responsibility for me or my children, but was on the electoral roll here.

 

Im so worried cos they know he was staying here, and i have no proof that he wasnt staying here as a 'house-share' basis.

 

Help me, what do i do, what do i need to say to them, can i do anything to prove that he wasnt livign here like that. Im so CROSS:-x cos i cleared it with them bfore i moved here, cos otherwise i wouldnt have given up my council house!

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forgot to say, i allowed rumour to spread that i was in a relationship, and never did anything to stop it, so it would get back to him and id get no more trouble. But surely if anything was wrong they would have picked me up on it at least before my claim ended, i was living in this situation for 3+ years and never had any trouble,. I even had people from the council round to check my accomodation and they had no troubles with it!

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forgot to say, i allowed rumour to spread that i was in a relationship, and never did anything to stop it, so it would get back to him and id get no more trouble. But surely if anything was wrong they would have picked me up on it at least before my claim ended, i was living in this situation for 3+ years and never had any trouble,. I even had people from the council round to check my accomodation and they had no troubles with it!

 

From what you have said you have done everything correctly. The intiview is probably due to the fact someone has said you were living withsomeone while claiming for just you.

 

No police officer can ask for information of be given any information unless a court has told them to do so.

 

If you have proof you were not living with anyone as a cival partnership you should have no worries and as you have informed them correctly at every point you should have no problems in this interview.

 

I am sure someone on this forum will come along and answer your questions with better understanding of how DWP handle these cases.

 

Hope all goes well.

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Sorry to hear that you're being hauled in for an Interview under Caution. I went through a similar experience last year (although because I had informed the Council that they had overpaid my HB and CT, they still investigated but not under caution and the interview was not taped).

 

Try not to worry - I know it's difficult. If you feel you need to take advice first before attending the interview, telephone them and tell them that you need some time to gather together evidence to support your claim and that you would like to re-arrange the meeting for some time next week. Try to take some control of the situation. Take a friend along with you for support if need be.

 

Usually they don't invite you for an Interview under Caution unless they have evidence to support their claim.

 

Try to provide as much "evidence" as possible and draw up a timeline with dates and events so that you don't get too muddled (very easy when you feel as if you're under pressure). Answer the questions as clearly and concisely as possible.

 

If your now partner was living elsewhere - was he responsible for paying CT at another address? If he has a car, did DVLA have his old address/car insurance address/etc? He could swear a Statutory Declaration as to his address prior to moving in with you.

 

Sorry, I'm not an expert but try not to panic.

 

 

Impecunious

 

Believing in Positive Mental Attitude :)

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Hi thanks for replying so quickly. What evidence would they have? Thats what i heard also before, but as ive done nothing wrong, could it be something as simple as my bank statements, and a few payments that dont correlate? Im worried due to the fact that he paid all the bills, they were all in his name, so i dont know if that will make me instantly living with him, even if just by default? And no, there is no other address, as he worked away, he used this address as his permanent. I explained this to the hb team when i applied for it, and they never raised any issue with it? do you think it goes in my favour that i told them all this and didnt just assume it would be ok? I wouldnt have given my council house up if i thought id get into trouble, so i consulted them before i did anything, i had my young children to think of!

 

I dont want to put it off,its tempting but i just want to get it out of the way! I asked CAB what to do and they said if i am worried to just not go, and see what they do next, as they tend to use things you say to investigate further. If you say nothing they dont usually have anything anyway, so by not going you arent fuelling it. I just feel if i dont go that i look instantly guilty, and im not.

 

Also does it matter that it was so long ago? I guess that my ex has been told that im now living with someone and he obviously doesnt know that im not on benefits anymore? Could the evidence they have be as simple as a statement from him or one of his friends stating that i had someone living here, in which case could i just explain the bitterness and hope they drop it?

As you can probably tell im REALLY stressing about it, and dont know what is best to do!

 

Impecunious

 

Believing in Positive Mental Attitude :)

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You of course, do not have to attend the IUC. However the IUC is not always about trying to get you to incriminate yourself. They can take you to court anyway if you don't turn up, if they believe there is enough evidence to prosecute....So as you have done nothing wrong, is there a good reason for you not to go? - it's your chance to give your version of events, and possibly stop it going further.

 

When it gets to IUC stage, it normally is an indication that they have collected evidence which could indicate that you have been commiting fraud and have been overpaid benefit. The evidence they have can vary. They are able to access a number of things. They can check billing, bank accounts, loans you have applied for, DVLA records, employment records, the list really is endless. They can also place a person under surveillience.

 

An IUC is always tape recorded. They will inform you of your rights, including your right to stay silent and your right to leave. They will open the interview by checking you understand the conditions of your claim and may possibly show you the claim forms you signed at the time, and declarations you made during the course of your claim. They will show you any evidence they have and ask you questions, some of which may include:

 

  • Who owns the accommodation?
  • How did you find this accommodation?
  • If there is no formal agreement in place, why not?
  • Where do you watch television, listen to music?
  • What arrangements do you have for storing food, clothing, toiletries, personal belongings?
  • Who owns the furniture?
  • Has anything been bought jointly for the accommodation?
  • What arrangements have you made for paying for accommodation and household bills?
  • How is the household income shared or used?
  • Do your pool their money? If so, is this all your income or only the money for a specific purpose such as shopping or bills?
  • Do you have any joint bank accounts, credit accounts or loans? If so, what are they used for?
  • Would one of you provide long-term financial support to the other if they had no income?
  • If there are no financial arrangements, why not?
  • Have the financial arrangements always been the same or have they changed? If so, how and when?
  • How much does each person contribute to the bills, e.g. rent, fuel?
  • Whose name is on the bills, e.g. utility bills?
  • Do you expect the financial arrangements to change, and if so, how?
  • Who maintains the property?
  • How is housework divided up?
  • Who is responsible for shopping?
  • Who prepares meals? Do you eat together?
  • Who cleans any shared rooms?
  • Who does the laundry?
  • Who pays for household repairs?
  • How do you spend your time at home when you are both there?
  • Do you go out together, just the two of you or as part of a group?
  • Do you think friends, relatives and neighbours think of you as a couple?
  • Do you watch television/videos/DVDs together?
  • Do you go to each other’s family celebrations?
  • Do you entertain friends jointly?
  • Do you have shared interests or hobbies?
  • Are holidays taken together?
  • How have you shared leisure time in the past?
  • What are your plans in the short, medium and long term?
  • If the arrangement is:
  • temporary, what are you doing to find alternative accommodation?
  • longer term, why?
  • Do you intend living in separate accommodation in the near future?
  • Do you have any shared plans, such as marriage, civil partnership, or buying property together?

They will ask you for your comments on the matter, and offer you a chance to provide explanation(s) for any evidence they hold.

 

The reason it would come up now, rather than at the time is that a person may have reported you recently for previous fraud, and they do have to look into that. If they believe you have committed fraud, it doesn't matter when the claim was, they can still investigate and prosecute.

 

With your ex being a police man he really is very foolish if he thinks his "connections" can get you into trouble. Benefit fraud has to be proven with evidence, something a police man should be well aware of. The fact that he is a police man will hold no bearing over any investigation.

 

I would recommend you take someone with you to the interview for support. They cannot answer questions for you but can attend with you. It may well be worth your while speaking to a welfare rights officer - you can find them via your local council, it's a free service.

 

You can go to the interview, look at the evidence they have and refuse to comment.

 

This guide may also help you to prepare, it will give you an idea of what aspects they look at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/ch11-23254.pdf

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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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Thanks Erica, I am going to go,i just dont know wha they could have on me! Everything they have must be explainable, due to the fact i have only ever been honest every step of the way. I am just worried as he paid everything, and i dont know if i can prove that i was giving him the money. I know he will do a declaration thingy if he has to, but i dont really want to get him involved in this? I am so stressed about this, so i have no option but to go and hope there is nothing firm, and they just drop it.

 

Wish me luck...:(

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