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Help please!! housing benefits investigation


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hi,

i claim housing and council tax benefits and recieve £18 pw housing benefit and not much council tax benefit. i recently recieved a card through my door asking me to call and investigator in hb. i called her and she said she needed to come to my house to take a 'statement' from me. when she came she advised me that they have recieved a call saying that i have a man living with me, she searched my house for a man or for mens clothes etc and found nothing, i told her about my b/f and gave his address and contact details. she asked me to attend an office interview not an iuc, and sent me a letter with a date etc. i called her and she said she was going to do some checks on my bf's address and that the interview was cancelled, 2 months later i recieved a letter asking me to provide an address for my bf which can be verified. although i thought this was sorted :S i called her and she said she had found no evidence to say he lives there, and that i had to attend an interview on the date in the letter, i said to her on the telephone that i couldnt make the appointment as i was working that day and that i would check the rota and get back to her with a definate date we could rescedule for. i later went to visit hb for a different matter and obtained a copy of my works rota, so while i was there i asked if i could speak to the advisor to arrange the interview, she was very nasty and said that i had not kept the appointment, (even though i had advised her i wouldnt be attending) i got a letter off my b/fs landlord stating how long he had lived there etc and gave his telephone number for contact. she is yet to contact him though. so the questions i have.. i spoken to her on thursday and asked for an update, and she said she doesnt need any more info from me. not a direct answer but... so do you think this means the case is closed? or does it mean im probably being watched atm? my bf has nothing at my address so they have no proof, i did see that she had accessed his fb account which states that he lives in another town. so do you think i can stop worrying?

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As far as i'm aware he could sleep in a car 4 nights a week as long as he's not staying at your place

He can only stay at yours for 3 nights a week, no more, or he will be classed as co-habiting and they

will assume he is contributing to your household expenses therefore upping your income

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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Hello there. Callum's gran, I'm sorry, from reading the forum I believe the 3 nights thing is a myth and that cohabiting is more to do with lifestyle and other proof of residence.

 

Worried, please bear with us. We do have people on the forum who will know the answers for you, but they haven't been along yet. I'm sure they will and that you'll have the advice you'll need.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Honeybee, i was going by my own experience a few years back

 

 

Worried, it might be a good idea if you contacted CAB regards what is classed as cohabiting and what is not

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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Well i would've said that was obvious, if someone is putting money into the household then that would be construed as co-habiting

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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Hello again, I hope you got some sleep. I hope Erika or one of our other experts will be along today.

 

Have you had time to read around the forum, worried? We see this a lot and I would say that from what I've seen, common sense usually prevails.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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This links to what the DWP look at when considering if a couple are living together as husband and wife. HB is not administered by DWP but the local authority who do administer it will follow much and such similar lines. Honeybee is correct in that there is no "3 day rule". I always joke that if I charged a penny for every time I heard that I'd be living it up somewhere sunny. The 3 day myth comes from guidance that was issued a number of years ago where 3 days was used purely as an example for comparison of time spent together, and was taken out of context not only by advisory bodies but also by many investigating officers so much so that the example had to be removed. It was relied upon far too often and just as many people lost out from it as those who gained from it because other factors were not given the equal weight that they ought to have. Hope this, and the link helps a little.

 

If she doesn't need any further information from you that would indicate that they have enough evidence to make a decision on the case either way. Don't be shy to write a letter and request that they inform you of the outcome in writing.

 

I'm a bit concerned when you say they searched your house. Was this with your consent? If not, and you made that clear I would encourage a complaint - though in my view you should complain about her attitude anyway, she doesn't sound very professional. Although they do have authorised offices who can search a property they must have a warrant to do this if it is not consented to. If they have no warrant (and I doubt that a lone investigator would) and the claimant does not consent to the search they have no powers to go ahead and do it against the wishes of the claimant.

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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But if they have enough evidence either way surely anything I have could only strengthen my case and therefore if her desison in not in my favour surely she should accept my information. Do you know at what point in an investigation surveilance is carried out? As I am slightly paranoid that I am being watched and I don't like the thought. Yes I did give her permission to search my house but only as she said is there a man here, I said no, to which she replied well u won't mind me checking then will you! Her attitude really is terrible and she treat me terribly. I think I will make a compliant.

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She can't refuse to accept information that you want to give to her, no. If for example they had enough information which they feel will prove their case such as enough documents tying him to your address (tenancy agreement in his name, evidence of him paying the rent, all utilities in his name, bank/employment/DVLA details registered to your address) they would more than likely say "We don't need any further information". Likewise if there is not enough evidence to go forward against you they would more than likely say "We don't need any more information". But if you choose to provide information, they must accept it and consider it if it is relevant to your case.

 

I did have one contact (no longer around) who whenever she said she needed "no further information", we knew the decision was favourable to the client, because she would always encourage further evidence no matter the strength of the evidence they already had, for two reasons: the first being that it might further incriminate the client, the second being, it might explain away the evidence that they had against the client. So anytime she said "nothing further needed" we always knew what the outcome was going to be.

 

Survellience is not always carried out as part of an investigation. It can happen at the start, middle or end of an investigation if it is going to be done at all - when depends on what evidence they already have. Surveillance can only be done by the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS). This isn't FIS by what you have described, it sounds more like compliance.

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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his car is reg at my address and also his car insurance, but i have given reasons for these things to her, i pay my rent, and all bills are in my name and paid by me, he has no bank accounts at my address, they are all at his home address and i have given her statements of these. he doesnt live here, plain and simple, but by the sounds of some of the threads on here, if they want to proove you guilty and theres no evidence, they make it up! they havent stopped my h/b or c.t/b and i havent had an i.u.c, im just petrified! i hate things like this!! ive not slept for days its awful :( i believe shes a fraud officer for the council, does this give her the right to perform surveilance?

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Hi there

I have no real advice at such other than to stand your ground, you know youve done nothing wrong and its their job to prove you have. i wouldnt think they will be putting survellance on you as its costly, they usually save that for the big cases!!

 

Just out of interest, how do you know she accessed your bf facebook? did she tell you?

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Being unreasonable or rude is sufficient cause for you to put a complaint in.

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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