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I have just got back from work and found out from my wife that we have underdeclared her earnings by £800 for the year against her disability carers allowance.


She works for a relative who has told her that she is being investigated and is now panicking.


What do you think will be the worst case scenario?






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Hi Andy. This is only my personal opinion.

Honesty is the best policy. The amount under-declared is comparitively small. I would want to let the right departments know as soon as.

That said, of course, it's compounded a little by your wifes relative. Was your wife aware that she should have declared more? How would her relative react to you both co-operating and declaring the right amount?

It muddies the water a little but ultimately doesn't change my view.

However things go, good luck.


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I agree the amount under declared is comparitively small however Carers Allowance is subject to an earnings disregard which is currently £95.00 per week. If your wife earns more than £95.00 in any week she will not be entitled to Carers Allowance for the following week. If the £800 you under declared is split equally over the 52 weeks potentially she could have been overpaid all her Carers Allowance for those 52 weeks. I agree with Kelcou that honesty is the best policy and would definitely advise the employer/relative and your wife to co-operate.

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It's impossible to say what the worst case scenario would be as we do not know all of the details. With that in mind, the worst case scenario is prison. However if £800.00 is the only thing that hasn't been declared and your wife has no previous history of fraud (or other criminal activity) prison is highly unlikely. There are a range of penalties for benefit fraud, and in some cases no penalty is given.


She would have to pay back the benefit she wasn't entitled to - this happens in all cases where a claimant has committed fraud.


Leniency is exercised when a person comes forward of their own accord. I would suggest your wife do so without further delay.

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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