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mich186

benefit fraud

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hi all. my friend was taken to court by the DWP for apparent income support fraud. they accused her of living with her partner when in fact they had split up along time before the accusation. she was bringing up their young son on her own. the only thing he had at the address was a catalogue that he let her use to buy the son clothes etc. there was no police involvement at all and at court the judge threw it out and said their was no case to answer and that they should apologise for the way she'd been treated. she thought that was the end of it as that was in 2005, however she has recd a letter today from DWP stating they are chasing her for the £22k they claim she owes ! she phoned them and they said it didn't matter what the court outcome was and they could still persue. she is 6 months away from being admitted as a solicitor and is really worried this is going to effect her job as she will be required to have a crb check but nothing should show up on there as there was no police involvement. does anyone know if the DWP can still persue after 7 years and as she was found having no case to answer via the court? she doen't have anyone in her solicitors she can ask and the CAB didn't appear very knowledgeable on the subject.thank you

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I'll move your thread to the benefits forum, where the guys should know the answers about the DWP. I'll leave a short term redirect on this forum for you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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there are two separate issues here

 

criminal matter - for criminal matters, it is up to the DWP to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt

i.e. Did she commit benefit fraud? It appears from what you have stated that there was insufficient evidence to establish guilt, and therefore case was dismissed.

 

civil matter - for civil matters, there is a lower level of proof required, on the balance of probabilities

i.e. Has she been overpaid benefit? It appears from what you have stated that although the DWP were unable to establish sufficent evidence for a prosecution, they believe that there was sufficient evidence to establish an overpayment .

 

Disputes against overpayments are not dealt with by the court. If your friend disputed the overpayment, she should have appealed it to a Tribunal. Did your friend submit an appeal against the overpayment? If so, what was the outcome?

Edited by id6052

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terrible thing about trying to answer questions raised on behalf of friends is that we are reliant on you knowing everything and that cant be. What happened at the time? did they stop paying benefits? did they ask for return of alleged overpayment? Dis she appeal to a Tribunal and if so what was the outcome of that? What paperwork has been sent in the intervening years?

Lots of questions I'm afraid so more info required before help can be offered.

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Yes if there was no overpayment appeal then your friend will be liable for the overpayment. However, if she was being advised by a solicitor on the whole issue - ie she went to the solicitor and said 'I've been told I have a 22K overpayment AND have been accused of benefit fraud, then the solicitor should have advised her to make the civil appeal as well - it may be worth pursuing a case against the solicitor for misadvice.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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hi thanks for both replies. Yes i know what you mean about not having all the info to hand. Just felt so sorry for her yesterday because she was so down about it so thought i'd try find out as best as i could. spoke to her today, she was claiming benefits then started work and told them,(& the benefits stopped), it was then they started to persue the apparent fraud. she had three letters before the court case from DWP saying they thought it was a malicious call and weren't going to persue it.then some months later they turned up at her house unannounced, which she didn't mind and in fact encouraged them to 'llok around the house', they didn't bother and again said they were happy it was just someone 'strirring'. more monthes later she received the letter to say they were persuing. after the judge threw the case out of court she said she did receive another letter saying they were persuing ! she appealed and they wrote again saying no case to answer ! (do they know what they're doing) ! she also got her local mp invoved and after hearing nothing for a long time ,thought that was the end of it ! i've told her to write to them stating she is happy to fight her corner in court if that's the route they want to take.she doesn't receive benefits so can stop money from that.i've also sent off for a CRB check to put her mind at ease too (i'm also the practice manager as well as a mate). Thanks again

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hi thanks for both replies. Yes i know what you mean about not having all the info to hand. Just felt so sorry for her yesterday because she was so down about it so thought i'd try find out as best as i could. spoke to her today, she was claiming benefits then started work and told them,(& the benefits stopped), it was then they started to persue the apparent fraud. she had three letters before the court case from DWP saying they thought it was a malicious call and weren't going to persue it.then some months later they turned up at her house unannounced, which she didn't mind and in fact encouraged them to 'llok around the house', they didn't bother and again said they were happy it was just someone 'strirring'. more monthes later she received the letter to say they were persuing. after the judge threw the case out of court she said she did receive another letter saying they were persuing ! she appealed and they wrote again saying no case to answer ! (do they know what they're doing) ! she also got her local mp invoved and after hearing nothing for a long time ,thought that was the end of it ! i've told her to write to them stating she is happy to fight her corner in court if that's the route they want to take.she doesn't receive benefits so can stop money from that.i've also sent off for a CRB check to put her mind at ease too (i'm also the practice manager as well as a mate). Thanks again

 

If she's taken to court over the debt, they have no jurisdiction to decide whether she is liable for the overpayment or not - this can only be decided at a Tribunal, and she is out of time to appeal to Tribunal.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Maybe a SAR to the authority in question would provide the answers in writing if she never kept correspondence between her and the DWP.

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