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Benefit Fraud - Please help!!

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Oh dear - she's just told me this:

 

In November, he paid an additional £600 maintenance fee into her account on top of the original 6 months rent which she didn't declare, so the plot thickens somewhat doesn't it..

 

I don't know, they don't take that money into account anyway if it is declared. Did he know at that point his job was possibly ending, could he have made a payment whilst he could, knowing that in future he may not be able to do so. If she still has that money she could argue that point, claiming she's kept it earmarked for expenses, ie school uniform, school trips because she knows that at present there will be no more money due to his redundancy.

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Hi Antone,

 

This is all correct except that at the time she made the claim for the Housing Benefit, she was intending to pay back the ex in monthly installments, until he said to instead, keep the Housing Benefit money as maintenance (not sure if that's relevant)..

 

She hasn't declared the initial one-off payment as it was between her ex and the lettings agency....

 

She then received another random payment of £600 specifically for maintenance (which she didn't declare).

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Hi Hine Moa - that's exactly what the payment was for - she saw his redundancy coming....

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I'm so sorry - I have to go to bed - but please don't abandon us! I can't tell you how helpful you have all been this evening.

Many many thanks x

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Hi Antone,

 

This is all correct except that at the time she made the claim for the Housing Benefit, she was intending to pay back the ex in monthly installments, until he said to instead, keep the Housing Benefit money as maintenance (not sure if that's relevant)..

 

She hasn't declared the initial one-off payment as it was between her ex and the lettings agency....

 

She then received another random payment of £600 specifically for maintenance (which she didn't declare).

 

OK, then I'm still not seeing any fraud here. Oh, it's a good policy to declare anything one isn't sure about, and she may wish to keep this in mind in future, but well, I agree that she's overthinking this.

 

As a general rule, there are two issues at play here: 1) Has she been overpaid benefit (a civil matter)?; and 2) Does this constitute fraud (a criminal matter)?

 

It's possible to be overpaid benefit without it being fraud - indeed, most overpayments are not the result of fraud. I'm not sure how HB would treat the one-off £600 payment, but I'd imagine it would be capital, not income, and as long as it doesn't take her total capital (savings) over £6000 then it's probably not an issue. So yeah, my view is probably no overpayment and fraud is very unlikely.

 

All comments and corrections welcome.


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I'm so sorry - I have to go to bed - but please don't abandon us! I can't tell you how helpful you have all been this evening.

Many many thanks x

 

No worries, I kind of agree with the suggestions above that no fraud has been committed. It's a technicality on what needs to be declared and what doesn't really. Anyway, unless you go looking it's hard to know that you are meant to declare any maintenance,

have a read through this site http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/how-does-child-maintenance-affect-benefits, it states:

 

If you’re on benefits, it’s your responsibility to let the Social Security Agency know about your child maintenance payments (for example how much you’re receiving and how often).

 

but there is also this on the same site:

the important thing is that the final agreement is one you both agree to and provides regular and reliable financial support to help with the child’s living costs

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/parents/child-maintenance/what-is-child-maintenance.htm which is what was happening in both parents eyes at the end of the day.

 

If your friend wasn't told about the maintenance needing to be declared when applying for HB or IS how would she know?

I only know now because I had to go looking, after years of no maintenance I suddenly started getting paid a regular amount by my sons father.

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Antone

 

Based upon the information provided, I would agree with you

 

Though in my experience the one off £600 payment would simply be disregarded income, either way it appears unlikely there will have been any overpayment or fraud


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If your friend wasn't told about the maintenance needing to be declared when applying for HB or IS how would she know?

I only know now because I had to go looking, after years of no maintenance I suddenly started getting paid a regular amount by my sons father.

 

hine moa,

 

one of the questions on IS and HB claim forms is whether you receive maintenance, there is also a catch all question which usually asks "do you receive any other income you have not previously told us about?"


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hine moa,

 

one of the questions on IS and HB claim forms is whether you receive maintenance, there is also a catch all question which usually asks "do you receive any other income you have not previously told us about?"

 

I forgot that point as my maintenance started coming in well after I had made the original claims. At that time I would have declared nothing and the CSA were put on the case, he stopped paying them and agreed to pay me direct, that stopped when he lost his job. Re-payments started a week before my review and I declared them at the review.

 

That could be the problem here, it's only a few months since the 'do you receive any other payments' question was asked and nothing was declared.

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Sorry Hine Moa - I should have mentioned that it wasn't under caution initially.

She's been receiving HB for 6 months now.

 

Estellyn - it is the money from the father (he's now in a new relationship and has since been made redundant too).

 

I'm really sorry - but I don't understand:

"If it were my client, I'd advise them not to mention that it was for a specific purpose, but that it is a private child maintenance arrangement and to apologise for not declaring it."

 

The father paid the money directly to the lettings agency - so it 'was' for a specific purpose - for the rent...it didn't go into her bank account so she had nothing to declare...oh hang on - should she have declared the initial payment of 6 months rent - is that what you mean?

 

OK so what's the problem with the bank statements? Not sure what the issue is? Doesn't seem to be a problem here?


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

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OK so what's the problem with the bank statements? Not sure what the issue is? Doesn't seem to be a problem here?

 

I think I read this as a concern that the HB was not used to repay the ex-partner for his initial advance of £3000. Which I don't really think is a problem, provided that all the information we have is accurate and complete. I mean, HB is intended to pay rent, but a claimant can do whatever they like with it, normally.


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I would only worry about going to court if i something to hide.


I hate bailiffs. Let me know if you have had a problem with them. I am sure i could upset them.

I now have experience with Securitas Security Services (UK) Limited and won in court against them 01/2018

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Thanks everyone for your continued responses.

 

She assures me that there's nothing else that's been hidden (I believe her - she's actually a very honest person) - so the points that Antone kindly listed are what we have on the table as well as the undeclared £600 payment in November.

 

Antone - can I ask - you mentioned that 'HB is intended to pay rent, but a claimant can do whatever they like with it, normally.'

Is that the case? I thought HB was for rent alone?....as this is the crux of the matter - that she 'didn't' use the money for rent - she used it for maintenance - that's the point she's worried about.

 

So if what you're saying is right - that a 'claimant can do whatever they like with it' - should she point that out to the interviewer when she's stating her case?

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Basically, when HB is paid directly to the claimant, it's up to them how they pay their landlord. The only way I can think to explain it is to say that, say (for example) someone is on benefit 'X' and getting £100 a fortnight, and their rent is £50 a week. It's perfectly acceptable for them to pay their rent fortnightly out of their benefit, then use their HB for their living costs.

 

If it was me, I wouldn't point it out to the interviewer as they should already know - just stick to the facts. Others might feel differently about that, though. :)


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SO!

As my friend's been asked to attend an interview providing her bank statements, which will reveal that the Housing Benefit's not been going out of her account - she thought it might be an idea to provide them with the following covering letter to try to clarify things - please let us know what you think - whether there is anything on there that should be added or taken away?

 

Many thanks in advance - her letter reads:

 

"Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Please find attached my bank statements from the last three months - and to help you, here is a summary of the last 6 months.

 

I returned to the UK, having lived in abroad for a year and a half - and as standard - had to pay 6 month's rent in advance.

 

This was paid for by my ex partner (who still lives abroad) as a loan on the condition that once I started receiving Housing Benefit, I would transfer it into his account. Then, once the 6 month period was over - I would set up a standing order for Housing Benefit to leave my account to start paying the landlady directly on a monthly basis.

 

This aside, we had also agreed that he would pay some kind of maintenance into my account.

 

When my claim for Housing Benefit was accepted and the payments began, I informed him that I was going to start transferring the Housing Benefit into his account.

However, he pointed out that the bank would charge me to pay the money to him (converting GBP into Euro).

They would then charge him to pay maintenance into my account here (Euro into GBP), so we agreed to avoid two separate bank charges, that I keep the Housing Benefit money as maintenance for the 6 months that the rent was already paid for.

 

This is why my bank statements will show:

a) Housing Benefit paid in, but not paid out - except for last week - the 27th February - which is the first (and now continual) monthly payment directly to the landlady.

b) no maintenance payments from my ex-partner, except for a one-off payment of £600 in November as he was about to be made redundant (and is still un-employed).

 

I hope that this clarifies any discrepencies that you may come across in my statements.

 

Yours Sincerely,

xxxx xxxxx"

 

(I've hidden her name - that isn't lots of kisses!) - thanks again.

Edited by Weetabix999

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Hello there.

 

I've merged your two threads because I think it will help the people trying to advise you. Hopefully they will be able to get here soon.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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SO!

As my friend's been asked to attend an interview providing her bank statements, which will reveal that the Housing Benefit's not been going out of her account - she thought it might be an idea to provide them with the following covering letter to try to clarify things - please let us know what you think - whether there is anything on there that should be added or taken away?

 

Many thanks in advance - her letter reads:

 

"Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Please find attached my bank statements from the last three months - and to help you, here is a summary of the last 6 months.

 

I returned to the UK, having lived in abroad for a year and a half - and as standard - had to pay 6 month's rent in advance.

 

This was paid for by my ex partner (who still lives abroad) as a loan on the condition that once I started receiving Housing Benefit, I would transfer it into his account. Then, once the 6 month period was over - I would set up a standing order for Housing Benefit to leave my account to start paying the landlady directly on a monthly basis.

 

This aside, we had also agreed that he would pay some kind of maintenance into my account.

 

When my claim for Housing Benefit was accepted and the payments began, I informed him that I was going to start transferring the Housing Benefit into his account.

However, he pointed out that the bank would charge me to pay the money to him (converting GBP into Euro).

They would then charge him to pay maintenance into my account here (Euro into GBP), so we agreed to avoid two separate bank charges, that I keep the Housing Benefit money as maintenance for the 6 months that the rent was already paid for.

 

This is why my bank statements will show:

a) Housing Benefit paid in, but not paid out - except for last week - the 27th February - which is the first (and now continual) monthly payment directly to the landlady.

b) no maintenance payments from my ex-partner, except for a one-off payment of £600 in November as he was about to be made redundant (and is still un-employed).

 

I hope that this clarifies any discrepencies that you may come across in my statements.

 

Yours Sincerely,

xxxx xxxxx"

 

(I've hidden her name - that isn't lots of kisses!) - thanks again.

 

To be frank, I don't think she needs to even do this, it may well complicate things. If any questions are asked, the response should be kept simple:

 

'Ex partner paid my six month's rent upfront (child maintenance in advance) direct to landlord , as I was having difficulty securing a property. '

 

Reading the letter above would make me more suspiscious, not less!


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

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Thanks Estellyn - I'll tell her to forget the letter then if you think that's the best thing to do.

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For what it's worth, I agree with Estellyn. Given that none of us have been able to identify any fraud or anything else that your friend may have done wrong, I can't see a need to be defensive about things. She should simply be honest in answering any questions she's asked.


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Thanks so much for your help - all of you.

Now the panic's settled a little, we must apologise for any over-reacting - thank you once again - this website is a brilliant resource.

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I work so get a reduced HB amount. I use my HB for my weekly shopping and pay my rent from my monthly wages. Apologies if this is covered, I haven't read all the thread yet. My council know this, and it's acceptable because the rent IS being paid.

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To be frank, I don't think she needs to even do this, it may well complicate things. If any questions are asked, the response should be kept simple:

 

'Ex partner paid my six month's rent upfront (child maintenance in advance) direct to landlord , as I was having difficulty securing a property. '

 

Reading the letter above would make me more suspiscious, not less!

 

I agree. To be honest it's unlikely they'll be looking for rent payments from the bank account. They'll be looking to check income etc, they may ask about the lump sum which of course she should have told them about, but if she says it's 'maintenance' that'll be the end of that. They'll want to see her lease for rent information.

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I agree. To be honest it's unlikely they'll be looking for rent payments from the bank account. They'll be looking to check income etc, they may ask about the lump sum which of course she should have told them about, but if she says it's 'maintenance' that'll be the end of that. They'll want to see her lease for rent information.

 

Thanks Rachie - that information's really useful and reassuring.

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