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Hi . My background : 66 years old . Pensioner. Finished full time work due to redundency in 2010 , did not know what to do about being unemployed so rung the Job Centre . Forwarded to DWP Preston . Explained my situation advised them i had health problems Angina and Arthritus so work scope was limited . They advised that i should apply for Employment Support Allowance and that they would place me in a work group together with help from a additional allowance to Unemployment Benefit !

 

 

That continued for nearly a year in the meantime my doctor had referred me to the local Heartwise Group at the Local Gym which after i felt confident to push for a part time employment somewhere.

 

 

Through a friend at the local Hospital I was offered a part time job as a cleaner around the streets of the Hospital. But before i accepted i rung the DWP Preston and spoke to a young man who advised me that it was ok to work but no more than 16 hours per week . Also to send a letter to a name and adress at DWP Preston. (unfortunatly i have no copy or record of the letter at all). When i was interviewed for the job i advised the Manager that i was not allowed to work more than the 16 hours per week and was that a problem ?

 

The manager stated it was not because she had others that also could not work more than the 16 hours due to benefits. A few weeks ago i was advised that i was being investigated for benefit fraud and duly interviewed and cautioned . Last week i recieved a letter from the DWP advising that i had been committing fraud owing to the fact i was working whilst on benefits . I am just bewildered .I thought i had done all the right things!

 

 

I have worked since i was 15 years old , thats 51 years , paid all my taxes and deductions , now to be told i am a benefit cheat . I told the investigators what i had done and they say they have no records of the phone calls or the letter i sent which i am sure if memory serves it was to a woman and a box number but i cannot remember more than that . Any helpful advice will help i am having a job sleeping at night ! Incidentally i am still in the same job still doing the 16 hours per week and still paying taxes ?

Edited by citizenB
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Hi welcome to CAG,

 

Are you in receipt of your state pension yet??

 

Were you obliged to ''sign on'' and declare any earnings?

Do you have payslips from the hospital?

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

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Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Hi, Thanks for a prompt reply..

 

Yes i am in reciept of state pension since March 2012.

 

In signing "on" i was sent a form to fill for the Employment Allowance , if that is signing on then yes .That is the extent of my knowledge on that question, sorry, as i said i knew nothing, as i had never been unemployed for fourty years.

 

The DWP investigators had a breakdown of my wages already when interviewed .

Les...

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Hi bluesbreake I'll see if any of the benefits experts are around for you now.

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

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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But before i accepted i rung the DWP Preston and spoke to a young man who advised me that it was ok to work but no more than 16 hours per week .

 

I'm slightly confused to which benefit you were claiming, but if it was ESA then the Permitted Work rules are that it has to be LESS than 16 hours per week.

 

There are also earning limits & a 1 year limit to the work, depending on what type of Permitted Work has been agreed.

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Hi . My background : 66 years old . Pensioner. Finished full time work due to redundency in 2010 , did not know what to do about being unemployed so rung the Job Centre . Forwarded to DWP Preston . Explained my situation advised them i had health problems Angina and Arthritus so work scope was limited . They advised that i should apply for Employment Support Allowance and that they would place me in a work group together with help from a additional allowance to Unemployment Benefit !

 

 

That continued for nearly a year in the meantime my doctor had referred me to the local Heartwise Group at the Local Gym which after i felt confident to push for a part time employment somewhere.

 

 

Through a friend at the local Hospital I was offered a part time job as a cleaner around the streets of the Hospital. But before i accepted i rung the DWP Preston and spoke to a young man who advised me that it was ok to work but no more than 16 hours per week . Also to send a letter to a name and adress at DWP Preston. (unfortunatly i have no copy or record of the letter at all). When i was interviewed for the job i advised the Manager that i was not allowed to work more than the 16 hours per week and was that a problem ?

 

The manager stated it was not because she had others that also could not work more than the 16 hours due to benefits. A few weeks ago i was advised that i was being investigated for benefit fraud and duly interviewed and cautioned . Last week i recieved a letter from the DWP advising that i had been committing fraud owing to the fact i was working whilst on benefits . I am just bewildered .I thought i had done all the right things!

 

 

I have worked since i was 15 years old , thats 51 years , paid all my taxes and deductions , now to be told i am a benefit cheat . I told the investigators what i had done and they say they have no records of the phone calls or the letter i sent which i am sure if memory serves it was to a woman and a box number but i cannot remember more than that . Any helpful advice will help i am having a job sleeping at night ! Incidentally i am still in the same job still doing the 16 hours per week and still paying taxes ?

 

Reading between the lines, you finished work in 2010 and started to receive ESA (Work Group) until 2012 when you received your State Pension?

At some point between those dates you started a part time job working 16 hours a week?

 

For a start the advice given to you was wrong, it isn't 'no more than 16 hours per week' it is 'up to 16 hours a week' in other words no more than 15 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds! Additionally your earnings must not exceed £99.50 a week for those hours and that the work cannot go on for longer than 52 week - viz work less than 16 hours a week, earn up to £99.50 a week for up to 52 weeks

Break any of those rules and your ESA claim should cease immediately.

 

On top of that you are required to get the DWP agreement that you can do that work even if it is for less than 16 hours a week/earning up to £99.50. They would want to make sure that the reason you are claiming ESA for is not contradictory to the work you are doing. Permitted Work, which is what you are claiming it is, is a very very grey area. The general rule whilst claiming ESA is that you do no work whatsoever unless you have been given permission by the DWP before you start. Even suggesting that you might be fit to do Permitted Work can in some cases give rise to doubt as to whether you are eligible for ESA in the first place.

 

I would be looking at seeing someone from the CAB to help you with this as by the sound of it you have breached the regulations and could well find yourself having to repay all of the ESA you received since starting this job until when you started to get your State Pension + the possibility of a criminal record!

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