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Investigation For Benefit Fraud

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Hello,

 

I am a single parent receiving housing and council tax benefits. Today I was interviewed for benefit fraud. Someone had phoned the hotline and said I had a boyfriend living with me. He doesn't live with me just stays over a few nights. He doesn't contribute to any rent or bills.

Does anyone know how often a partner can stay over without being classed as living with me?

Has anyone else been in this situation? What happens?

Any advice would be great thanks,

 

T x

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Thank You Kelcou/Rae. Just read the thread. Interesting, just have to see what happens with my investigation... its ridiculous.

 

T x

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In regard to the number of nights - this is not defined in law, and each case is decided on its own circumstances.

 

When you say you were interviewed today, was the interview taped (An interview under caution by the FIS) or was it not taped (compliance team)?


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.

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I was interviewed at the job centre by compliance team. Do you know what happens next? Im quite worried about it all.

 

T x

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Compliance are normally used for routine checks or when they receive an tip-off which has little or no substance to it. They usually will visit either at your home or ask you to go to the office (usually by letter along the lines of "a query has arisen regarding your claim to benefit"). Compliance regularly deal with mallicious reports and are used to hearing "tales" most of which relate to people being accused of living with a partner. They have a duty to investigate any report of potential fraud no matter how little they have to go on, but in general compliance cases are when they have little or no evidence at all, and just need a chat with you to clarify matters. Obviously some compliance cases will be passed to FIS as it does become clear during some compliance interviews that fraud is potentially taking place.

 

I've been investigated several times by the compliance team (but not DWP - Tax Credit), each time because they had received information that I was living with a partner. On one such investigation they discovered that I was due an increase in tax credit so it isn't always bad!

 

Fraud which has substance or apparent substance to it is handled by the Fraud Investigation Service and is radically different from compliance.

  • Haha 1

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)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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I am being investigated for having a partner stay with me and my solicitor said two or three nights

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I am being investigated for having a partner stay with me and my solicitor said two or three nights

 

Your solicitor is incorrect, I am afraid. There is no set limit for how often a person can stay overnight before being considered a partner for benefits purposes. As I said previously, a set number of nights for this purpose is not defined in law. The DWP must consider a variety of factors before making a decision that a couple are LTAHAW/LTACP.

 

There is more to view here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/ch11-23254.pdf


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)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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Do you work for dwp or are you in law,

 

I have spoke to several solicitors and they say the same

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I work for the DWP and Erika is correct. No two cases are the same there are no hard and fast rules on to how many nights a partner can stay over each week

 

Each claim is looked as seperately and a decision made on each claim.

Which is good as every persons circumstances are different ;)

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE

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Do you work for dwp or are you in law,

 

I have spoke to several solicitors and they say the same

 

I don't doubt it for a second, I've often been told "My solicitor says that three nights is the rule", and I can't work out whether they are plucking this information out of thin air, or whether people are simply misunderstanding what their solicitors are telling them. There is no law out there which states this is the case in relation to benefits. I quite often tell people to go and ask their solicitor which law they are referring to. To date, I have yet to have a solicitor name such a law. Probably because no such law exists. Does your solicitor specialise in benefit law? Is it two nights or is it three?

 

When considering the time the alledged partner spends with the claimant, the FIS have to consider how many nights they stay over, if any. Over three nights per week would point to them spending more time at the claimant's home than at their other place of residence but that is all. Other factors would also need consideration as it is not enough in itself to negate the the benefit claim as a genuine claim as a single person. It must be considered along with all the other circumstances of the case. For example, a person who is temporarily incapacitated following an operation and is unable to care for her children as normal. She has her parent (her father) staying Friday, Saturday and Sunday to assist with the care. Her father works Mon to Fri in another city and it is not feasible to commute, so the claimant's boyfriend stays over Monday through to Fri morning to get the kids to school, collect them, make them their tea etc. He does not contribute to the household expenses and buys his own food. The claimant shops on the internet with her own money buying food etc for her and her children only and has her shopping delivered by Tesco or Asda. Benefit fraud, or simply helping out during his girlfriend's temporary incapacity? The person's whole situation must be taken into consideration.

 

Your solicitor may mean that two or three nights would perhaps point towards your other half being a "partner for benefit's purposes" in your own personal situation, but there is no law whatsoever which stipulates this is a ruling applied throughout the board of benefit claims, applicable to everyone.

 

I don't work for the DWP, but I do assist people in receiving the benefits they are entitled to which requires a knowledge of the varying laws in relation to benefits and how the law is applied to benefits. Although where I work bears no relevance to what the law states, as is evident here...

 

I've already posted up the information which is set by the legal/policy department of the DWP (who together with other organisations set the bills which become law for DWP). If you wish to follow this up further and receive a response from the very people who set the laws and policies for benefits purposes, you can submit a freedom of information of request to the DWP here: Make an FOI request to 'Department for Work and Pensions' - WhatDoTheyKnow and ask them directly in which law it stipulates that 2 or 3 nights constitues LTAHAW/LTACP for benefit purposes.

 

I'm guessing that they will give you the same answer I have.

 

If it were the case that having a person stay over two or three nights constituted being that person's partner, there would be a lot higher incidences of fraud prosecutions.


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)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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