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    • Hi Ade,   Stop speaking to them by phone and keep contact in writing only, which you've said you prefer.   Send TT a SAR by post immediately. The data you get back should enable you to see what they think you owe, and how it's made up.   Also write to BW Legal confirming you dispute the alleged debt owed to TT and have written to TT seeking data, so BWL must stop demands until TT have replied to the SAR you've sent them.
    • Please do although obviously I don’t know the facts from your side but at least I can tell you how much of a cut and paste job it is.
    • Please check back for a full reply tomorrow. However, it would help if you would introduce pergo spaces into a story full stop it's very long and especially for people with small screens it's very difficult to follow when it is so compacted.   I think this straight has become rather confused because of the third party account which we received at the outset. I think it will probably be helpful if you could repost your story but on a new thread and more openly spaced please.   Then we can start to have a closer look at it. However, as I've already suggested, I think there are two issues. The question of your liability in the accident and the problem of how you have been persuaded to take a rental car at such a high rate.    I would suggest that you hold off telephoneing anyone until we have had a closer look.before you do anything on the telephone. You have obviously had some very important conversations but you don't have any evidence of them. Although the other side may say that they have recorded them, you you may find it difficult to get hold of those recordings if in fact those recordings incriminate them in any way. for instance if they have promised you that you don't have to pay anything for the hire car, that would be an extremely useful conversation to have but you may find that it is difficult to get hold of.   please start a new thread it will be much easier to continue from there                                
    • When I sadly lost my job a while back, i reportd it immpediately to DWP as you are supposed to, but didnt realise at the time that the day I reported to them was the day before I was paid out for the last month. I was actually paid extra whem I left as it was cheaper than redundancy fort the business and at the time it was a good financial move (so I thought).   I was paid on Fri 26th Jan, they paid me out 2 months in one go. I reported to DWP on the 22nd of Han that I was made unemployed, had the letters and evidence. As they spun the story, because of their assesment dates and that, my first payment was on the 1st May and reassured that it works the other way around. That when work starts again, if I dont actually receive money from the company during the assesment period, there wont be an issue as it balances up.   Can I believe this or was it another spun story? I'm concerned that as I'll be paid monthly, (Starting on the 15th paid on the last day of the month), assment ends on the 22nd. Tha they'll take that money into consideration.   I'm just concerned due to the disparity it would cause between 4 odd months I endured with zero income because of how their system works and whatever they ahe in place to counter at this end of the claim.   Anywa, it's just awonder.   Cheers,   Ade    
    • Hi, OP sister here, im going to try and explaine in full details from start to present and see if you have any advice for me on what i can do. on 15/1/2021  at 16:25pm i was traveling along hazlebarrow cresent wich is on my estate at around 30mph, its a tight road with cars parked along the left hand side, as i proceeded through, a van ( which was parked on my left hand side, facing towards me) pulled out from the side of the road, he stopped the van wich resulted in the van being at an angled stationary position on the road. I breaked immediately but the ice and snow skidded my tyers, i skidded into the drivers side of his van, my car bounced off his van and sent my vehicle head first into the back of a parked car ( wich was originally parked at the back of the van before he set off from the side of the road. I will refer to the van driver as MR seddon. ( im going to attatch a street veiw picture and diagram wich will be more helpful in understanding how the accident accured ect) .  The owner of the parked car, which i will refer to as Mr simpson came out of his house. Myself, mr seddon and mr simpson exchanged details and took photos, then i left the scene as my first concern, understandably was to contact my midwife and the hospital. I live just round the corner from the scene of the accident so i slowly drove my car to my property. I contacted Go skippy the next day 16/1/21 and informed them of the accident and gave them all the details ect . by the following monday 18/1/21 i had a call from AX who said they was dealing with my claim as go skippy will not deal with it as i am third party insured. Over the next few days, i complied with their requests ( gave them a written statment of what happened, sent them pictures of the damage to my vehicle and mr seddons van ect). Then on the 19/1/21 AX contacted me again and asked if i need a curtesy vehicle, my first response was ' how much will that cost me?' Of which she replied ' nothing because your insurance covers the cost'. I agreed to the curtesy vehicle and the vehicle was delivered to me on the 20/1/21.  Over the coming weeks, AX and i had regular contact about my claim and updated me in regards to my own vehicle. At one point she said it could be deemed a 50/50 liability. an engineer had collectes my car, deemed in a total loss as the damage was more than 66% of its total value and written my car off . i had a call from a lady from AX and she said they have valued the car and i will be payed out £2200 . i asked when and she said ' we will send you a cheque out for £358 in the post, and the remaining balance will be payed out by Admirel but this may take a few weeks more' .  I didnt hear nothing for around 2 weeks so i comtacted AX again for an update, she told me that admirel are refusing liability and there now in dispute. Every time i contacted them they said the same thing ' admirel are refusing liability' i asked them why admirel consider themSelf not liable and she read from the notes ' mr seddon said he was driving along the road, the corsa ( my vehicle) was at high speed coming towards me , i beeped my horn and tried moving out of the way but i couldnt because of the ice and the snow and the corsa hit my van' . the lady at AX said the problem is that the damage to both our vehicles is consistant with both our stories and due to there being no witnesses, no cctv or dash cam footage- no one can prove who is at fault. I then questioned why i had been told i was being paid out £2200 and she said 'well we have to advice you the estimated value' of wich i replied 'no, there was no 'advice' - i was told it was a done deal i was getting paid £2200 and she told me i had a cheque arriving in the post!!!.  The lady then told me she had requested a ' none prejudice payment' from admirel and waiting for a response.   Shortly after this phone call, AX contacted me again and asked if i had the funds to repair my own vehicle or buy another one, ( im.assuming admirel refused to pay the ' none prejudice payment) I told them No i do not as i have a baby due and even if i did have the funds, why on earth would i fork out to repair my own vehicle when i wasnt at fault ?! . she said ok im going to pass this to managment and see what we can do .   I contacted AX again and asked for an update and expressed how unhappy i was with their service as i felt like they hadnt fought my corner, bowed down to admirel and then had the cheek to ask me to repair my own vehicle . again she said ' its still in dispute, admirel are not budging i have to pass this on to management. She then asked me for 3 months bank statements to 'prove' i dont have the funds to repair my vehicle myself. I thought this was ridiculous and stated that even if i had the funds, why would i repair my own vehicle when im.not at fault!? Obviously this has been on going since middle of january, pretty fed up. My brother come to this forum and you guys had mentioned the hire car rates may fall back on me. I contacted AX first thing this morning regarding this. I made it clear that they can collect the vehicle to stop the daily charges as i do not want to be in thousands of pounds worth of debt when i am a lone parent with a new born baby. and the lady told me ' we will try every avenue to recover the cost from Admirel for the hire car charges, if this means taking them to court, even if this is unsuccessful, considering you comply with your hire vehicle contract and you work with us with your claim ( which you have been doing) you will not be liable for this debt and if worst comes to worst and admirel will not pay, we will just wipe the debt off' . i made her repeat several times that i will not be liable for this debt and she said i have told you my name, and these calls are recordered and i am telling you that this debt will not be on you to pay . She then said that if i was to give AX the hire car back now, then it would jepordise everything. And she said ' we gave you that hire vehicle because we beleive your not at fault so you can keep using it as we know you need transport' I then questioned the need for bank statements again and she told me the reason they need bank statements is so if it goes to court - AX can justify why i needed the hire car for so long ( because i didnt have the funds to repair my vehicle or buy another one) and also so they can prove they have tried every root possible.    After the phonecall it got me thinking about how she said ' aslong as you comply with your hire car contract your not liable for any charges for the hire car' . will they find any fault with the contract just to try and lumber me with the debt? , as it seems pretty fishy how they would just ' wipe off' thousands of pounds if admirel refuse to pay.  And also, she said if i gave the hire car back it would jepodise the case . so when the lady rang me the other week asking if i had funds to repair or buy myself a new vehicle , if i had said yes, ill buy a car tomorrow and come collect the curtesy one. Then what? Wouldnt that ' jepodise' the case?    As you can imagaine, my heads spinning. Stressed and dont know what to do. I dont even care about a pay out , i just want to give the hire car back and be completely done with AX . but now im scared if i give the car back i will be lumbered with thousand of pounds worth of debt from the hire car charges.  Tomorow i am going to read thoroughly through the ' hire car contract' . i am going to give them another call and record them saying i am not liable for the debt. Any advice on how i can just give the hire car back to them without me being liable to pay the debt?  Thank you Gemma
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
       
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
       
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
       
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
       
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      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
       
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
       
       
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Housing Benefit fraud please help


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Any help and advice you can give me would be gratefully received, I am so worried right now!

I am a single working mum on tax credits and housing benfits. My wage fluctuates a lot due to attending training courses which my employer pays me for. In the past, these fluctuations have resulted in my housing benifit fluctuating too, which has ben picked up at periodic requsts from the council to see my wage slips. I have explained that I am not on a regular income to the council and they have told me in the past to send in 2 wage slips that are similar and they can work things out from that. Ovr the last fw months, I had to go on a lot of training and had 2 big pay cheques regardless of what I hads been told about only sending in wage slips that are similar for two consecutive months, I was worried and was relieved when I got a letter telling me that I was to recieve a home visit to chck my documents. I wanted to discuss the problem and get some advice. The lady that was due to see me fell ill and it was some considerable time until she could rearrange the appointment. By this time I had had another larger than average pay slip. I showd her thedocuments and she said that they were too high for me to get housing benefits to which I replied that they were unusually high. She said that I would need to send in two consecutive wage slips when my wage "normalised"which would sort the problem but I would receive notice that my benefit would be severely cut in th meantime. I was relaxed about this as I was confident that things would ge back to normal once my wage wentback to normal.

However,several weeks later I go a letter telling me that I would have to attend an "interview under caution" to investigate me for benefit fraud.I am so scared and don't know what to do . I rang the interviewer up and she wouldn't discuss the matter over the phone. I rang CAB but the had no available dates and told me to try again in a few days.

 

Any help and advice please?

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Hi Ness,

 

Firstly, do not panic. I had a friend in a similiar situation and it all came good in the end.

 

 

You must attend the interview, don't cancel or put it off, will only make matters worse.

 

It will seem scary. Its very formal and the interview will be taped, but remember you are not under arrest.

 

Put your case forward to the interviewer. Take as much information that you possibly can. Letters from/to the council regarding your benefit claim, payslips anything at all that will support you.

 

You have been honest and upfront with the council. They are aware that your salary fluctuates from month to month and they should be working out your benefit accordingly. Prove to them that the higher salary that you have received recently is not the norm, take old payslips to show this.

 

The council will tell you that you have been overpayed and they will want the money back. Just offer to pay back what you can, even if its £5.00 per week.

 

Your benefits will probably be screwed up for a while until the council sort it out.

 

Despite what others may tell you, there is no point fighting a council. It is public funds that pay benefits and it is the councils responsibility to protect those funds. And they protect them with vigour! Which is a good thing.

 

Councils only prosecute those that have been shown to deliberately claim benefits when they are not entitled, in other words 'fraudelent claims'

 

Get yourself together and face it head on. Be honest, upfront and apologetic if necessary.

 

Take care and keep us posted

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You must attend the interview, don't cancel or put it off, will only make matters worse.

 

Well just to be clear, it may be better to attend to sort out the misunderstanding, but there is no obligation to do so. Some advisers don't recommend attending but it does seem better to co-operate where it's a misunderstanding.

 

If they start getting at all pushy don't be afraid to leave.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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Thanks so much for the replies, I really appreciate it. The council have already asked for £800 back , which I think is too much. I am supposed to be starting a repayment schedule early Nov, I rang the repayments people to let them know that my latest wage slip shows a much lower amount - i.e my usual wage. They told me to send it in , but not before I get my next pay slip. They are still insisting on 2 pay slips showing same or similar amounts before they reassess -which is what tripped me up in the first place! They said if I am quick about it I can get the reassessment made before the repayment schedule starts. BTW the repayment schedule is £80 a month - really huge amount out of my monthly income!

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You should appeal the overpayment separately if you think it's wrong. There is a time limit, so don't wait till the interview.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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Yes, I think sending separate wage slips is the right thing to do , but I have been told by the council that thats not the way they work and to send in two that are similar so they can adjust my payments. I feel I am at fault for not sending payslips in individually, 1 at a time when I have an unusually high one, but I was following instruction from the council on this! I am quite confused really

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just had a meeting with the CAB showed them all my paperwork and explained my situation, and they are at a loss to see what i have actually done wrong.At the worst I am at fault for not supplying wage slips as soon as I got them but like i said i thought that i had to wait to suply two when my wage settled down into a regular pattern - this didnt happen, so i thought the council would average payments out when they had been to see me at my schduled home visit. I have not provided false information, nor have i hidden information. i agree that there has been an overpayment and am paying it back -so where is the fraud? i am still very worried and confused!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I had my interview today - the people who spoke to me were polite and not intimidating, although the whole thing was uncomfortable. Basically, they picked up on my basic salary increasing - it is included on my wage slips. But the year before my salary was listed as £2000 less than this year, I made around £2000 in overtime, which I viewed as regular earned income and declaired it as such. I didnt report the increase in my basic salary because I expected the take home to be the same. I am no longer working overtime but I do a fair bit of training for which I am paid but this is very variable. I expected this to be looked at and sorted all in one go, in the same way that tax credits are calculated, but what I should have done was send each wage slip in as I received them so the recalculation could be a continuous thing . Basically, it did look a bit bad on paper and I can understand why they wanted to talk to me. I hope they accepted that I did not intend to commit fraud - I have to wait now for a decision on what happens next. However, they did say that for such a relatively small amount of money , procecution would be very unlikely. So I feel much better about it all now, although I am still worried about what will happen next.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi - am getting increasingly worried now, as I haven't heard from the Council as yet - plus, am getting a bit worried about another aspect of the situation - I work for a council ( altho not the same one that I claim housing benefit from) - will I lose my job if I receive a caution/fine/procecution or any other measure which indicates I am guilty of benefit fraud?

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Ness- don't read too much into not having heard anything yet. In fact i'd be suprised if you had after 9 days.It can take a while to get a claim recalculated, and then when that's done for the file to go to someone to make a decision as to what (if any action to take against you)- and that's if nobody is away from the office. There has also been a Postal strike which could delay any letters! If you are really worried, ring the investigator that is dealing with the case and ask if there is any news- i'm sure they won't mind.

As for your job, it would depend on what it is you do. If you are only cautioned/get an Ad Pen, then check your contract of employment you may not even have to tell them. But do make sure before you don't tell them just in case you are obliged to report it.

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Have seen AD PEN

on a few posts and was wondering what is it ?

 

Ness1402 hope things work out for you

 

It's an administrative penalty. As an alternative to prosecution (and the nasty stuff that can accompany it) the council may offer a deal whereby they add a sum to the overpayment to be collected (perhaps 30%, I can't recall for sure), and in turn will not take the matter to court.

 

From a philosophical POV, I have serious problems with this sort of thing - it's kind of like those "fixed penalties" you get for dropping litter or speeding: "Admit guilt without benefit of due process or legal counsel and it will all be so much easier". It intimidates people into self-incrimination, since the possible penalties if you exercise your right to a trial tend to be much greater.

 

But of course, people in these situations don't have the luxury of time to contemplate jurisprudence and legal philosophy, nor the resources to ensure that their rights are protected. And that is very sad.

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Mikey dabodee.

Its another way for you to be punished for benefit Fraud.

 

 

 

 

Section 155A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 as amended by Section 15 of the Social Security Administration (Fraud) Act 1997 allows us to apply a penalty as an alternative to prosecution at 30 per cent of the total overpayment.

Upon accepting the penalty the claimant has 28 days to change their mind.

If a penalty is not accepted or is withdrawn the local authority must be prepared to prosecute, therefore all cases must be up to prosecution standard.

Administrative penalties will generally be considered for fraudulent overpayments of up to £2000 if it is in the public interest. In the majority of these cases we will make an offer of a 30 per cent penalty of the amount of the overpayment. The Penalty amount will be added to the overpayment, which is recoverable.

It should be noted that the offer of a Penalty will be made in a special interview. Penalties can only be offered if the case could be brought to prosecution. The offender will be told at the interview:

  • It is not an interview under caution
  • Acceptance of the Penalty is not a declaration of guilt
  • The recovery of the Penalty will occur in the same way as the recovery of the Overpayment
  • They have 28 days in which to change their mind should they accept the Penalty, in the event of nonacceptance prosecution may be instituted
  • Failure to repay the debt or default on instalments will result in them facing civil proceedings for recovery.

All Interviews Under Caution will be conducted by the Benefit Fraud Investigation Officer and any Administrative Penalty interviews will be conducted by an appropriate senior officer.

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Thans Antone, ShoeLover and ST24Mondeo :)

Well explained

 

Didnt know anything about this, thanks for explaining it

 

Do a lot of people go down this road

Seems harsh thirty percent, if somebody did decide to go to court do the council get

the costs if they win ?

If they do then its a no win situation, except if the council lose and the customer is found not guilty

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE
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Hi all -thanks so much for all help and advice, I really do appreciate it. After posting yesterday, I got home to find a letter on the mat from the council - they say they have enough evidence to procecute me, but are willing to consider issuing a formal caution and have arranged an interview date to discuss the matter. Do you think that this will involve a 30% penalty? Frankly, I am shocked that they can procecute, as I had really valid reasons why I didn't report changes in income promptly and the overpayment is £800 . Also , does anyone know if the council can report my formal caution to others? Such as current employers or future employers?

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Hi,

There is no obligation on you to accept this caution. Why admit to something you are not guilty of. You weren't out to defraud them, it was a simple error.

 

If they are so sure of their facts, let a magistrate decide.

 

I am suspicious of councils when they do things like this. Are they out to maximise their income?

 

Here is a link to a similar case to yours:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/165725-housing-benefit-admin-penalty.html

 

This lady fought all the way and eventually showed her council up for what they were.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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I know I should be brave and refuse a caution as this is an admission of guilt and I honestly don't think I am guilty. But I am really stressed about this whole thing and just want it over and done with. I have rung the chap who will be doing my next interview and he says it won't take more than 10 mins - I really feel they are going to offer me the 30% penalty, and are counting on me being too scared to risk court. But like I say, I just want it over and done with so I can sleep again!

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If it was an Ad Pen, the letter would say that and explain how much the penalty is and about the 28 day cooling off period.

If you accept a caution the information is kept by the DWP on a data base and if you were to "get into trouble" for benefits with either a Council or the DWP within five years, then it could be cited in court.

It will not be on PNC so would no show up if you had a CRB check.

It is confidential and your employer would not be routinley told.

The council must be satisfeid that you have admitted failing to report the change promptly or they could not offer a caution- cautions can only be given on admitted offences. The offence is failing to report the change- even if you do have mitigation.

Sorry if i sound harsh i am just trying to make sure i give you the facts.

In answer to Mikey's question, yes if the Council do prosecute on a refused caution/ad pen then they can aply to the court for costs- but is up to the court if they award none, part or all of the costs.

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Thanks for that - am particularly relieved about the job thing, that's my biggest fear, I've spent 5 years working hard and training to get a good career off the ground and I am in a position now where I feel it's all paying off, so to lose it all would be devistating.

The letter from the council does say that they have enough evidence to procecute, because I admitted not giving info promptly enough. To be fair, they are right on that, although I do feel I had strong reasons for not telling them asap. It was all a bit of a mix-up, no intent to fraudulently claim money, but technically yes, I didn't comply with what I am supposed to do. I really do think the best thing to do is accept the caution and in future, send EVERYTHING that relates to income to the council as soon as I am able.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, it's all over thank goodness! I have acccepted the caution, which was delivered by a very nice bloke who in fairness did his absolute best to reassure me that I wasn't guilty of fraud , but of a technical fault- not getting my info in on time regardless of the reasons why i didn't. The relief is huge and the whole process has been very stressful, but the caution is really a way of concluding the whole thing, and shouldn't have any effect on my life in the future - unless I commit a proper fraud, in which case it will be considered at court.

Anyone going through the same thing- don't worry, it will all come right in the end xx

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