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Help!!!Being Investigated For Benefit Fraud


daisy28
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I received a letter today 9/1/14 dated 6/12/13. saying I need to attend an interview regarding benefit fraud on 16/1/14. I don't even know what I'm supposed to have done. The only benefit I claim is Carers Allowance for my dad.

I telephoned the number and asked to speak to someone regarding the letter and the man I need to speak to isn't in the office until Monday.

 

I am very worried and scared as I have read some awful things on the internet. I have a 7 year old daughter and a husband that's about to go into hospital.

 

I haven't eaten all day and have given myself a headache. My parents both ill health picked up straight away that something was wrong and I had to tell them. My mother has been in bed most of the day ill due to his letter.

 

I'm worried about the interview. Am I allowed to take my mother or husband in with me?

Do I need legal representation?

 

Please Hel

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Is this an interview under caution?

 

Yes you can take someone with you. It is recommended that you have legal representation if that is possible. #

 

Can I ask, do you work at all or have any other income apart from carers allowance? How many hours care do you provide each week?

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You can earn up to £100 per week while on Carers Allowance - over that amount and you lose entitlement. Child Benefit is not relevant to a case like this.

 

Under most circumstances, you can take a companion to your IUC but they may not speak on your behalf (unless they are a solicitor). The DWP may refuse to allow certain people to accompany you if they are potentially involved in the investigation. I would never, ever advise anyone against seeking legal advice if they are called to an IUC. You can request that the interview be delayed to allow you to arrange this.

 

One advantage of speaking to a solicitor is that they may be able to have the DWP disclose in advance what case they believe they may have against you.

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OMG what's going to happen to me???

 

Well, first off, you're going to take a deep breath and do your best to subdue the panic. That won't help you. Then get in touch with your preferred solicitor, ideally one experienced in benefit matters and, if necessary, write a short letter to the DWP asking for the IUC to be postponed while you seek legal advice - this is your right.

 

Now, we have to be careful about what we say in relation to benefit fraud cases, because we neither want to scare people unnecessarily nor give them false hope. But here are a few general points.

 

Firstly, there is a difference between an overpayment (a civil matter) and fraud (a criminal matter). Not every overpayment of benefits is fraud. An IUC is conducted for two reasons:

 

  • To determine if there is a criminal case to answer
  • To gather evidence for the prosecution should a criminal case be brought, and this is why it's a really good idea to enlist the help of a lawyer

Secondly, what could happen. Well, there are several possible outcomes from an IUC:

 

  • They may decide there's no problem and drop the matter entirely
  • They may see that there was an overpayment but no fraud case, so will pass it back to the debt guys at the DWP to recover the overpayment through civil channels
  • They may believe that there is a criminal case to answer, but offer you what's called an "Administrative Penalty", where you agree to repay the overpayment plus an additional amount in exchange for which you would not be prosecuted
  • They may prosecute.

These decisions will be made by lawyers working for the DWP's Fraud Investigation Service, and the person doing the interview will not be able to tell you at the time what the decision will be.

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

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You need to do the most difficult thing possible under the circumstances - relax. Presumably, the DWP thinks there might have been an overpayment for some reason. That's the purpose of the interview, to go through your side of the story. They will also present theirs. Obviously, seek legal advice, but in the meantime gather together any documents you feel relevant regarding the work you did / are doing, the hours, the pay etc. Go through them and compare to any official guidelines regarding the benefit you received. Benefit Fraud sounds bad, but it isn't always intentional.

Best wishes.

 

Edit: Beaten by the ever eloquent antone. :)

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Daisy, Antone is absolutely correct in what can happen in his bullet points. The majority of cases get processed as an overpayment unless they feel that fraud was commited often from the outset. My advice would be to be totally honest about how many hours you have cared for/worked and how much you have earned. They will have some evidence I suspect. Hopefully they will just add up how much the overpayment is following the interview then you can work out a repayment plan of how you will pay it back. As the others have said, do try to stay calm if possible. I realise that is easier said than done.

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I was a carer for my mum, you do as above poster says have to provide at least 35 hrs care, as you were/are working too, maybe they'll be wondering how you manage 35 hrs care, and work.

My friend works, lives and cares for her 93 yr old mum, but isn't eligible for Carers allowance because she works , although obviously she cares for her during the evenings and nights if needed.

 

Care can mean, shopping and running errands for the cared for person, so add that to the 24 hrs you said you do, any washing ironing, paperwork you do at home for the cared for person counts too.

I'm sure it's nothing to worry about, if there is anything you have slipped up on, all they'll want us their money back, be honest and hopefully they'll see you are genuine.

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Care can mean, shopping and running errands for the cared for person, so add that to the 24 hrs you said you do, any washing ironing, paperwork you do at home for the cared for person counts too.

 

Add to that list: Cooking, assistance at meal times, dressing, other household/garden chores, and finally, just "being there" to pick him up if he falls down.

 

Make a list of everything you do, even the trivial things like opening a letter - Over the course of a week or two, it can add up to considerably more than you might think.

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Add to that list: Cooking, assistance at meal times, dressing, other household/garden chores, and finally, just "being there" to pick him up if he falls down.

 

Make a list of everything you do, even the trivial things like opening a letter - Over the course of a week or two, it can add up to considerably more than you might think.

 

 

Though if the OP earns more than the income threshold, none of it will matter.

 

 

Daisy, are you earning more than £100 a week?

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

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