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Have I committed fraud?

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Hi.

 

I'm in a panic.

I was unemployed from April to Mid July I claimed JSA and HB and CB. On the day I started work I phoned the JSA In and Out of work team to end my claim. They asked me if I was claiming anything else and I told them. I also posted a letter (non recorded :( and 2nd class) on the same day, to the council, just to tell them I had started work and I wanted my benefit to cease from x date. I didn't go into any details figuring they'd get that from the jobcentre. My JSA stopped correctly and I believed they shared the info with the council?

 

I've just fetched my bank statement from my old address and have noticed that they've paid me another full 4 week payment since I've started work and I'm stressed now. I don't qualify for the Housing Benefit run on so it can't be that.

 

I plan on writing to them tomorrow and sending it recorded asking them to confirm what this payment was for and stating what I earned in July and my new salary. I will tell them that if it is an overpayment I don't dispute it in any way but I will request that I be allowed to pay it back over a couple of months (the payment was for just over £200 and I'm going to offer £100 a month) as the money is spent from my account.

 

I'm a bit worried about what they are going to do though. I'm hoping the fact I am going to report the overpayment will go in my favour? Should I get into any trouble?

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if you do what you say, you should not be in any trouble at all


If you have found my post useful, please click on the star at the bottom of my post and add some reputation points.

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Are you not allowed to have benefit paid up to your first payday??


Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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So it might not be an overpayment? That would be a relief. Regardless I've just drafted a letter. I also assume that, while the letter might have got lost in the post, the fact I did inform the DWP of my change of circumstances for JSA and I applied for HB through JSAonline at the same time and on the same form as my JSA claim. would stand in my favour?

 

Here's the letter I have drafted to send, I tried not to sound difficult but also not too apologetic (as I don't really think I've done anything bad) so can someone let me know if it seems ok?

 

Dear Sirs,

 

I am writing to you about my Housing and Council Tax benefit. As you will be able to see I had a claim awarded to me earlier this year.

On x July I began full time work, at this time I contacted the JSA In and Out of work team to inform them I had started work and also wrote to yourselves to confirm I wished to cease my claim.

I have just checked my bank statements for August and have seen that on xx/xx/xx I received a payment of £xxx from yourselves.

I hope you can clarify the nature of this payment? It may be a benefit run on, although as far as I am aware I would not be entitled to that due to the fact I was claiming Jobseekers Allowance for under 6 months. If this is the case then can you just let me know in writing that I was entitled to this payment.

If, on the other hand, this is an overpayment then I would like to arrange to pay it back to you. To clarify I began work on xx/xx/xx and my net earnings for July were £xxxx, my ongoing monthly income will be approximately £xxxx.

As I have not noticed this payment until now I no longer have the money in my account. As I returned to work I had higher than usual outgoings as I paid back money borrowed. As such I would appreciate if you would accept an offer of £100/month beginning on xx/xx/xx so as not to put me at a financial disadvantage by taking the entire payment as a lump sum.

I trust that you will see that I have taken steps to notify you of my change of circumstances and treat my case accordingly.

If you need to contact me for anything then please call on xxxxxxxxxx or write to me at the above address.

Kind Regards

Thanks

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Depending on where you live you could just call the council and ask them when your claim stopped and what period that payment covers.

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It's actually a bit of a pain to call them as I was being honest about the first couple of months being quite tight, my mobil bill is overdue and I can't pay it until payday (Friday). I could just call them on Friday but I've got a weird paranoia that they'll end up finding out in that one intervening day and I'll get in trouble for not telling them. At least if I write to them recorded tomorrow they can see I took action on the Thursday and I have the added benefit of it all being in writing.

 

Oh + I'm rubbish on the phone if I get someone who is aggressive etc.

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Ok i understand that. I am lucky to live close enough to pop letters through the door of my council. Post it is then.

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