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Potential Benefit Fraud?

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Hi, i had a visit from the good old compliance officer today to check on me. I'm staying with 2 friends and they wanted to make sure i'm not going out with any of them.

I showed him my balances in all my accounts and it added up to £6200. He said that because it was 200 over 6000 then he would have to tell the job centre and deduct money. He then because of this asked me to send bank statements from the last 4 years within 2 weeks or i will have my claim stopped.

 

I have been claiming income based job seekers for 2 months. I thought you didn't have to declare anything unless it was £16000 or over? The thing i'm worried about is that i had around £7500 about a week ago but owed £1500 to a friend cos they paid for my travelling last year, so i paid that and now have around £6000 . It wouldn't surprise me if they think it's dodgy that i paid that much to someone and will probably ask why i guess?

 

I thought i had a lot less tbh, i rarely check my accounts. When i filled out the initial app form for income based job seekers i was told i had to fill it out at the job centre, i said i didn't know how much i had and was just told to guess, i guessed at £5800.

When they look at my accounts they are obviously going to see i had more than that and think i was purposely withdrawing information from them. It wouldn't surprise me if you guys do as well tbh, but that's the way it is.

 

I'm just worried that they will charge me with fraud. How likely is this?

I'm a worrier by nature and so i 'm fearing the worst! He said he's on holiday for 3 weeks and so i would have to wait till then, so I've got 3 weeks of worrying to look forward to :s

Has anyone else gone through something similar?

I just don't want a criminal record over something so silly, it's hard enough getting a job without any kind of criminal record, never mind with one!

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Not at all likely that you would be charged with any kind of fraud under these circumstances. Don't panic about that.

 

You need to declare everything, ideally, but definitely any amount over £6000, as this affects the amount you are entitled to. In any week where your savings exceed £6000, your JSA(IB) entitlement is reduced by £1 for every extra £250. So it's possible that you've been overpaid a few pounds and might have to pay something back, but I can't see how anyone would see this as a big deal, especially as you've only been claiming for two months.

 

Also, if your friend lent you money, it is legitimate to repay them from your savings.


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Thanks for the reply, you have calmed me a bit!

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