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:eek:hello everyone.

 

well i have some questions you might be able to help me with.

 

first of all.

about 12 months ago myself and partner had a HB interview and when all was said and done it worked out that we had commited an offence as we didnt declare i was living there for the previous 6 months! now i was not claming benefit or working but my partner was working part time declared to all .

so as there was no finacial gain they left it at that no payback or anything all good we believed till today.

 

a letter arrived with my name and my now wifes name asking us to attend another interview about our previous claims which must be over 2 years old now as we are both working and have been for some time ..me full time my partner part time we have not claimed any benefits for 2 years.

 

could this be linked to the previous interview?

if we was cleared then why this new one 2 years later?

can someone really just make a phone call and BANG! you get a letter like this! ..my god it's like an comunist state! imo.

 

cheers all in advance :)

 

dave.:D

 

edited to add..now we are both working and not receving any help from the dwp what can they do?

Edited by discusdave
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:eek:hello everyone.

 

well i have some questions you might be able to help me with.

 

first of all.

about 12 months ago myself and partner had a HB interview and when all was said and done it worked out that we had commited an offence as we didnt declare i was living there for the previous 6 months! now i was not claming benefit or working but my partner was working part time declared to all .

so as there was no finacial gain they left it at that no payback or anything all good we believed till today.

The regulations allow the council to treat this situation as though you were paying some rent to your partner even if you weren't. Therefore they could, if they wanted to, impose a reduction in her HB/LHA covering the period of cohabitation.

I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/127741-benefits-advice.html"]see this post[/URL] by Joa, great advice and links! I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.

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They can investigate claims to benefits for many years after they have stopped being claimed, yes. What they can do would depend upon what evidence they gather during the course of their investigation. The sanction policy for benefit fraud is here.

 

You'll notice that this is DWP policy; however most local authorities broadly follow this one in respect of housing benefit/council tax benefit fraud.

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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edited to add..now we are both working and not receving any help from the dwp what can they do?

 

No-one is suggesting that you were commiting fraud. I was responding to this part of your post, in relation to what they can do. The fraud sanction policy is the policy they follow if they decide fraud has been committed. If it hasn't, then there isn't anything to worry about.

 

can someone really just make a phone call and BANG! you get a letter like this!

 

Is this interview that's coming up an interview under caution?

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, discusdave.

 

An interview under caution would not be held merely because of a phonecall.

 

If a call was made (or any other accusation by letter/online etc), the DWP/LA recall all the file(s) relating to the claim, and check the information against the information on system, and against the nature of the allegations. If there is nothing to indicate fraud/the accusation is thought to be mallicious or there may be a small matter which needs to be cleared up, the case goes to a team known as "compliance". The compliance team will make further checks which will either corroborate fraud (in which case it goes to FIS - I'll come to them later), prove no fraud is evident, which results in the case being closed, or they cannot establish it either way. When it cannot be established either way, they will either invite the claimant to interview or go to the claimant's home to interview them to clear it up. This is not an interview under caution. Once the interview is over, the compliance officer will write a report and a decision will be made to either refer to FIS, recover a small overpayment (which is not fraudulent) or take no further action.

 

"FIS" are the Fraud Investigation Service. These are the people who do interviews under caution (IUC). Usually by the time a case is at the stage of an IUC, the invesitgation has been ongoing for some length of time FIS have strong indicators of fraud being or previously having been, committed. In some cases there is enough evidence to proceed with a prosecution by the time it gets to IUC stage. Because of this, some people don't get offered an IUC, it is referred to departmental solicitors to consider commencing prosecution proceedings.

 

At IUC stage often the evidence they have is strong enough to proceed with prosecution but there are concerns that there is a discrepancy in the evidence. An IUC can be an opportunity to clear up that discrepancy - I've seen many people falsely accused, where the evidence against them looks damning but there is a simple explanation for each piece of evidence. They attend the IUC and the discrepancy is cleared up and results in no further action. However I have seen other cases where an IUC is used to incriminate the claimant, or add further evidence to the case.

 

There is no obligation to attend an IUC - your letter should say that on it. But if you don't attend they may still proceed with prosecution if they believe that they have enough evidence, or try to recover an overpayment if they believe there is enough evidence to show that there is one. So not attending won't stop the investigation, but you are not under obligation to attend it if you don't wish to go.

 

An IUC does not mean that fraud has been committed and it does not mean that you are damned - as I said, I've seen many people attend an IUC where the allegations and evidence were thrown out of the water because there was sufficient explanation for it. But it does mean that they have reason to believe the claim may be fraudulent. A phonecall made with accusations spouted would not directly result in an IUC but it can trigger a fraud investigation.

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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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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