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Advice needed Please...IUC when do you hear back?


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Hi

 

Sorry if this is a bit long winded but I have been reading with interest everyones experiences about IUC's and am hoping that you may be able to help me. I was called to a IUC on 28 September 2010. It was because they believed there were grounds suspecting I had committed a criminal offence in relation to benefit claim because of living with someone as husband and wife and my income. The benefit in question was income support.

 

So a little bit of background.....I was a single mother of 4 children having left my husband of 12 years due to him committing adultery and making my life a misery. I went to the job centre in May 2009 and basically asked what can I get to help me as I had nothing. I moved into a private let but the council paid my rent and I also recieved CTB. I was entitled to Income support and at that time I had to declare what maintenance payments I was also getting as part of my income. At the time my ex was being very horrible and his payments where very sporadic. One month I would get nothing the next he would give me £400. Eventually I went thro the CSA so I could make sure that his children got the money they are entitled to. Anyway I met a new partner (altho he was an old partner as we had been together many years ago!) He had his own flat which he had lived in for 6 years so therefore paid CT, a mortgage and all the usual things a homeowner pays. We started a relationship but because of my 4 children I was very wary of letting them get too close if it all went belly up! In January 2010 I discovered I was pregnant and we were all delighted. We decided that we would move in together and begin our life together as a big family but not in the rented house. He still had his flat and put that up for sale and we began house hunting. So at that time my partner was staying maybe 3/4 nights a week but not every week and also because I was very wary of the fact I was claiming IS and the fact that my ex is an extremely vindictive man and I could not trust him at all and knew he would be the first to call the fraud hotline!! So he sold his flat and he bought a new house we got the date for moving in and I put the wheels in motion to cancel all the benefits I had been receiving. I stopped all benefits i.e HB, CTB and IS on 9 September 2010 we moved into our new house on 10 September and our new baby was born on 18 September. On the 22 September I received my letter inviting me to attend the IUC. To say I was shocked was a understatement I was totally devastated. I couldnt stop crying and was so scared. I had never received benefits in my life before and thought I had done everything by the book. I was the person who was constantly calling them and asking are they sure I can get this etc!! Anyway I managed to get an appt at the CAB before I went and I attended the IUC armed with the info the CAB gave me. I took my mum along for support and endured the most horrible hour of my life. They had been watching the rented house and had my reg number of my car, my partners work van etc I felt totally gobsmaked. They made me feel awful and guilty...not at all helped by all the crazy hormones rushing thro my body as it was only 12 days since I had had my baby. When we left my mum said she did not think they believed a word that I had said. One guy was awful and really made me feel like he got a kick from making people uncomfortable. Now looking back I wish I had postponed the IUC as I dont think I was in the right place...too many sleepless nights and baby brain is not good!! They had also interviewed my neighbours which I found awful we only had 4 other houses next to us....one neighbour didnt want to answer their questions, the next said they didnt think that my partner stayed there at all, one neighbour said that he thought we were a family anyway and had been living there since Jan (which made me laugh as I only moved in in the Sept!!!) and the next door neighbours also didnt want to answer any questions but commented that I was a hard working single mum and had 4 beautiful children!! I dont know how they can go on any of that as it seems crazy. Also if they checked my partners address they would see he had his own house, plus paid for all his utility bills etc as I did for my house he paid me no money and all utility bills etc where all in my name. My bank account can account for this.

 

So what happens now? Its been 6 months and I havent heard a thing...everyday I wait to see if the postman is going to bring me a horrible letter. My partner keeps saying no news is good news but I dread it. I was only on the benefits for over a year and I can honestly say I wish I had never bothered. It has caused me so much grief it wasnt worth it.

I believe my ex has contacted them and told them we were living together (clearly without thinking of the damage this could have done to his children). My partner is mad because we thought we were doing the right thing...getting me off benefits paying our way, owning our own house etc.

Anyway any info would be good as I am not sure what to do next. Can I ask for a copy of the recording? How long do I need to wait to find out their decision?

 

Thanks for reading if you got this far

xx

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What a nightmare!

6 months is way too long. Our council let you know if the investigation is going to take longer than 2 months.

By the sounds of it no news possibly is good news though. The fact your boyfriend had his own home is a good thing. It doesn't sound like any shared post/bills.

They haven't got a lot to go on by the sounds of it do they. And the important thing isn't if they believed you, it's based on what evidence they have against you that would prove beyond reasonable doubt in the court that you commited benefit fraud. Lets face it, they're trained to not believe the sky is blue.

You can get a copy of the tape, but probably only worth doing that if they decide to prosecute.

And I agree with you, claiming benefits are more hassle than they are worth. I only claim tax credits now, & only do that because we would be out on the street if I didn't. But I wouldn't go near the DWP or my LA again.

They do vary on how long they take to get back to you. But from what I have read on here recently from others, yours doesn't sound too serious yet from what you have said.

x

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OMG!!! Now I am terrified. Please can you explain more about your case and why it took so long for them to get back in touch with you? I thought there was a time limit.

Can anybody else help me? I am in Scotland so dont know if thats different from England.

 

Thanks again

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sorry, i scared you, wasn't my intention but I think its better to be realistic. @jadey...yes but not in a oh im gonna screw them out of every penny i can kind of way...my posts are on here if u search my name i expect. @ljf 1986 I dont really know but I think it was because they were trying to pin more on me that I hadn't done. I admitted what I did and thats what they prosecuted me for. I had no feed back AT ALL in that time so you can imagine the hell i went through when the prosecution letter came through..anyway i survived and so will you :) need to talk leave me a message x

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sorry, i scared you, wasn't my intention but I think its better to be realistic. @jadey...yes but not in a oh im gonna screw them out of every penny i can kind of way...my posts are on here if u search my name i expect. @ljf 1986 I dont really know but I think it was because they were trying to pin more on me that I hadn't done. I admitted what I did and thats what they prosecuted me for. I had no feed back AT ALL in that time so you can imagine the hell i went through when the prosecution letter came through..anyway i survived and so will you :) need to talk leave me a message x

 

Oh gosh, just read your thread, how horrible :sad:

It doesn't seem all that unusual for them to take that long to get you in court by the looks of it. My brother has been waiting a year, he goes monday, not for benefit fraud, a totally different crime, but an online friend has to go for benefit fraud in june & his has been going on since 2009.

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It has been 6 weeks since my IUC. I was asked to attend a "chat" which then became an IUC. I have received no letters to tell me why my incapacity benefit was suspended or indeed that it has been suspended. What is going on at the DWP where they can suspend benefits without informing you that they intend to do so, I rang them and was passed around the country. In an effort to make the DWP more effective, the powers that be appear to have made it ineffective, all post now goes to Newcastle they are currently 4 weeks in arrears + 2 weeks in loading it onto the computers what part of effective is that? I am sure that the people who work for the DWP must be most frustrated, I know I am as I cannot get any answers.

 

Seems strange that this government can ask outside contractors to sort out their expense claims and when that contractor clamped down too hard they asked them to then lay off them not sure we could do this with ATOS eh! Sorry to rant

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It has been 6 weeks since my IUC. I was asked to attend a "chat" which then became an IUC. I have received no letters to tell me why my incapacity benefit was suspended or indeed that it has been suspended. What is going on at the DWP where they can suspend benefits without informing you that they intend to do so, I rang them and was passed around the country. In an effort to make the DWP more effective, the powers that be appear to have made it ineffective, all post now goes to Newcastle they are currently 4 weeks in arrears + 2 weeks in loading it onto the computers what part of effective is that? I am sure that the people who work for the DWP must be most frustrated, I know I am as I cannot get any answers.

 

Seems strange that this government can ask outside contractors to sort out their expense claims and when that contractor clamped down too hard they asked them to then lay off them not sure we could do this with ATOS eh! Sorry to rant

 

I was never informed my housing benefit had been stopped last june either. It was only when the housing association wrote to say I was eventually about 6 weeks in arrears! I did ring the council at the time but they wouldn't give anything away. Just said they thought I had been over paid but hadn't. So I know they dont always let you know when benefit has been stopped.

Apparently they should tell you though?

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Perhaps "someone in the know" can advise us? or at least lead us to the site where this info may be obtained, I too thought they were supposed to give a 4 week notice letter but I am not sure where I read this! Sorry!

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Perhaps "someone in the know" can advise us? or at least lead us to the site where this info may be obtained, I too thought they were supposed to give a 4 week notice letter but I am not sure where I read this! Sorry!

 

I dont understand all the jargon, but saved this before anyway!

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/991/part/III/chapter/I/made

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gatecrasher007

 

can you clarify what you mean by a 4 week notice letter for what? an IUC? a termination? a suspension?

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Hi

I thought that the DWP were supposed to advise you if they suspended your benefit? The info that Jadeybags has supplied seems to apply to JSA but would it also apply to Incapacity Benefit? I suppose it does as nothing can be found about Incap. Anyway some 3 months later and I havent received any letters at all except the one to go for an IUC which was supposed to be a "chat".

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Hi

I thought that the DWP were supposed to advise you if they suspended your benefit? The info that Jadeybags has supplied seems to apply to JSA but would it also apply to Incapacity Benefit? I suppose it does as nothing can be found about Incap. Anyway some 3 months later and I havent received any letters at all except the one to go for an IUC which was supposed to be a "chat".

 

So you were asked along for a 'chat' which turned out to be an IUC? I dont think that's legal tbh, & you could have refused to do it. They are supposed to send you information with an invite to a IUC including the PACE regs. A compliance officer shouldn't even turn up at someone's house without advance notice, let alone investigatos conduct an IUC without telling you beforehand.

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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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Sorry not to make myself clear Jadey and Erika. I telephoned around the DWP offices around the country to find out why my benefit was suspended. Eventually I was asked to ring a number which to my suprise was Fraud. They said to go in for "a chat" so I made the appointment. I received a letter the day before I was due to go in to say it was an IUC. I went on my own as I could not engage anyone quick enough. The interview only lasted 15 mins and the interviewer said it was up to a Decision Maker now so I am now waiting but have now engaged someone however I may ring on Monday to find out what is happening it has been some 6 weeks now. Sorry for the confusion. I have had no other letters other than the IUC one the day before and a letter to say I had been interviewed that has been my lot.

 

Erika the suspension 4 week notice was what I had read in the suspension guides thanks for that under Section 17 2450. And by the way I managed to get into the Fraud postings that you inserted! It was quite easy really had I followed your instructions!

Edited by gatecrasher007
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I was called in for an interview in May 2010, I didn't hear anything from them until October and that was a letter to say I wasn't entitled to IS and would have to pay it all back. I disputed this and took it to appeal where it has been since October. I finally got a response from them in March to say that my case has now been passed onto the tribunal people and my case wont be heard until August. It's a nightmare trying to get any information from them as they wont tell you anything. I got a letter last week telling me that they have decided not to prosecute me and the case has been closed so not too sure where that leaves me now.

 

The only thing I can advise is to get as much evidence together to prove you weren't living together, which is what I have done. They go through your bank statements and check everything.

 

I will explain my situation for you all. I split with my partner in 2007 and he moved out and i informed IS. I started having seizures that year and had my mum staying with me as I couldn't care for myself. My ex and I had a joint account which he still used but I had stopped using as I was in the process of setting up my own account. They saw that his wages went in and said he was still living with me. As soon as he got paid though he took his money out which is shown on the statements. He even made a statement to say the same. He has to visit me on a regular basis due to my ill health and to help out with our kids. I've provided all sorts of evidence including letters from my gp and all healthcare professionals who have been working with me. My ex made two statements confirming what i'd said but they still stopeed my money straight away. It's been a complete nightmare as I can't work due to my illness. The only thing they will offer me is crisis loans which I have to pay back. Been having to borrow money from family just to get by.

 

Good luck and I hope you get everything sorted out x

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Absolutely ridiculous, this is people's lives they are talking about. I cannot understand the government cutting back on staff, and they are front line all of them whilst people's lives are left on a string its not very nice. The DWP staff must also hate the situation as well. You are not asking for them to be up to date but at least not months and months and months. The government were quick enough to react over their expenses but of course we are only talking about people on benefits and they dont matter. Ohhhhhh I am mad.

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I had an IUC on 10 Feb 2011 and got a letter dated 1 April 2011 saying they were not bringing charges and the investigation was now closed. I guess I was lucky that it was dealt with relatively quickly, seven weeks.

 

The investigator told me there was a two-month backlog with the decision makers.

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Hi Fitz

thanks for that info, I telephoned them last Monday they said they would chase things up and phone again on Friday but didnt. I telephoned them on Friday at about 3pm they said they would phone on Monday they thought the case was somewhere between the office, the DM and Newcastle. No wonder stuff gets lost, but what goes around comes around and no doubt they will move it all back locally when they realise it doesnt work.

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2 weeks & 2 days it took them to get back to me. But I suppose it was a pretty cut n dried wages thing. And I had paid them back before the IUC due to the over payment arrising before the IUC, much to my banks joy.

To be honest, everything law wise takes a while & not just benefit related stuff. People are on bail months waiting to hear if they are going to be charged with horrendous offenses that they haven't commited. If only there was a quick way of doing things.

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Hi

 

Well I just had a call from DWP fraud investigations to apologise for not getting back in touch with me but my case has been closed with no further action required. I cannot believe it am so happy. but get this they told me that the decision had been made in october 2 weeks after I attended my IUC and for some reason they seemed to forget to inform me until now!!! 7 months later a lot of stress and heartache for nothing!!

 

Thanks to you all for your messages and hope that things work it for you all.

 

Thanks again

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After several phone calls this week to DWP Newcastle, who telephoned my local office, they have decided on no further action. They will back pay my money. What is going on? Is it these targets that they have been given to hit! Its not the sick and ill of this country that has caused the disaster its the bankers who have just received another big bonus for failing to deliver. Shame on this government.

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