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Suspected benefit fraud


Concerned83
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I have received a letter asking me to attend an interview under caution in relation to a benefit fraud.

 

Alledgedly living with someone as husband and wife and fraudently claiming income support and housing benefit. I am a single mother to 5 children and do not live with anyone.

 

The childrens father does visit my home regularly, almost every day. He is here to see his children and helps me get them to bed at night because first and foremost he wants to be a good father and secondly because 2 of our 5 children have disabilities and it is incredibly hard for me to deal with, I have no family nearby to help so he is my only source of help at all.

 

He makes no financial contribution to my home apart from paying child maintainence as he was instructed to do so by the CSA.

 

The only thing that may we may be doing wrong, but I am not sure hence asking for advice, is that he pays my rent directly from his account to my landlord every month. The majority of this sum is actually he mainitainence, the remaining sum I then give to him cash so he is not paying more than he should be and my rent is covered.

 

We do this because I am not always able to get into town to deposit the money into my bank account, by him paying it direct I have one less thing to worry about and find time to do (which would ultimately result in me paying my rent late).

 

He does visit our home a lot as I have said, one of the children with a disability only sleeps a few hours at night and never sleeps before midnight. He would help me bath the children and get them into bed, he would then let me go to bed for a few hours and get some sleep. Once our child falls asleep he would wake me to tell me that he is leaving, sometimes this could be 3am.

 

I understand that to someone outside the home this may look like he lives with me but all the bills in my home are in my name and paid by me (aside from the rent which I have explained), he contributes nothing except the CSA money.

 

I would appreciate some help in telling me how the investigation is likely to go once I have given them my explanations. Thanks

Edited by honeybee13
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I have received a letter asking me to attend an interview under caution in relation to a benefit fraud.

 

Alledgedly living with someone as husband and wife and fraudently claiming income support and housing benefit. I am a single mother to 5 children and do not live with anyone.

 

The childrens father does visit my home regularly, almost every day. He is here to see his children and helps me get them to bed at night because first and foremost he wants to be a good father and secondly because 2 of our 5 children have disabilities and it is incredibly hard for me to deal with, I have no family nearby to help so he is my only source of help at all.

 

He makes no financial contribution to my home apart from paying child maintenance as he was instructed to do so by the CSA.

 

The only thing that may we may be doing wrong, but I am not sure hence asking for advice, is that he pays my rent directly from his account to my landlord every month. The majority of this sum is actually he mainitainence, the remaining sum I then give to him cash so he is not paying more than he should be and my rent is covered.

 

We do this because I am not always able to get into town to deposit the money into my bank account, by him paying it direct I have one less thing to worry about and find time to do (which would ultimately result in me paying my rent late).

 

He does visit our home a lot as I have said, one of the children with a disability only sleeps a few hours at night and never sleeps before midnight. He would help me bath the children and get them into bed, he would then let me go to bed for a few hours and get some sleep. Once our child falls asleep he would wake me to tell me that he is leaving, sometimes this could be 3am.

 

I understand that to someone outside the home this may look like he lives with me but all the bills in my home are in my name and paid by me (aside from the rent which I have explained), he contributes nothing except the CSA money.

 

I would appreciate some help in telling me how the investigation is likely to go once I have given them my explanations. Thanks

 

Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

In the end it's up to the council/DWP to prove any wrong doing !

 

Your housing and income support benefit claims are income related,plus it depend on any saving a claimant has ?

 

Have you declared the fact that the father is paying you child's maintenance to HB/DWP ?

 

The child's father is paying the rent on your behalf to your LL !

Edited by 45002

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a couple of questions they may ask...

 

does he have a main address elsewhere? e.g. does he pay rent/mortgage/council tax at another address?

are all the children his?

were any of the children born whilst you have been claiming as a single parent?

has he ever applied for credit at your address?

does he have any post come to your address?

has he used your address with his employer?

if he drives, is his licence or car registered at your address? does he park his car at your address?

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Yes he has a main address elsewhere that he pays rent, bills on. Its a shared apartment (another reason why he comes to mine so much, he can't have the kids overnight or for very long at his place because of his flat mate)

All the children are his and none of them born while I was claiming as single.

He has never applied for credit at my address to the best of my knowledge.

No post at my address at all, except one from the CSA about a year ago that was sent in error. I telephoned them straight away and it was confirmed that someone was a bit bone idle when doing their job and the letter was sent in error.

He hasn't used my address with his employer and his car or license isn't registered here.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

In the end it's up to the council/DWP to prove any wrong doing !

 

Your housing and income support benefit claims are income related,plus it depend on any saving a claimant has ?

 

Have you declared the fact that the father is paying you child's maintenance to HB/DWP ?

 

The child's father is paying the rent on your behalf to your LL !

 

BIB, is that ok though? Am I doing something wrong by doing this?

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Yes he has a main address elsewhere that he pays rent, bills on. Its a shared apartment (another reason why he comes to mine so much, he can't have the kids overnight or for very long at his place because of his flat mate)

All the children are his and none of them born while I was claiming as single.

He has never applied for credit at my address to the best of my knowledge.

No post at my address at all, except one from the CSA about a year ago that was sent in error. I telephoned them straight away and it was confirmed that someone was a bit bone idle when doing their job and the letter was sent in error.

He hasn't used my address with his employer and his car or license isn't registered here.

 

 

BIB, is that ok though? Am I doing something wrong by doing this?

 

To be honest I don't know but it does sound a bit odd how your rent is paid by child father,I mean No offense to you and I could be wrong ...

 

If you getting Housing benefit paid into your bank account,then set up a Direct debit or Standing order paid into your LL bank account !

 

May I Ask are you declaring child's maintenance payment to Housing benefit and Income support departments ?

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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No offense taken, I appreciate your help and advice.

I will do that from now on, will have this interview on Monday week and then do it, I don't want them to think I am trying to hide something if I do it beforehand if that makes sense.

I didn't know I had to declare it? The guy on the phone at CSA said any income from maintainence was not taken into consideration. Is this wrong?

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Yes, the arrangement is slightly odd. I mean, you can see how it looks to an investigator - he apparently pays her rent for her. OP, can you document this arrangement - for example with bank statements, letters from the CSA showing how much maintenance he has to pay, that sort of thing?

 

Regarding HB and IS departments, it is usually best to declare anything you're unsure of to them but at least as far as IS goes, maintenance has been fully disregarded income for a couple of years now.

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No offense taken, I appreciate your help and advice.

I will do that from now on, will have this interview on Monday week and then do it, I don't want them to think I am trying to hide something if I do it beforehand if that makes sense.

I didn't know I had to declare it? The guy on the phone at CSA said any income from maintainence was not taken into consideration. Is this wrong?

 

As antone has just posted

 

You have to declare All Income,plus any Savings to housing benefits and Income support departments when making a claim and continue doing so !

 

Keep us posted on CAG

 

Good Luck ...

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Child maintenance needs to be declared always as income to both the LA and to the DWP but is not taken in to account when working out income related benefits.

 

It is very odd that he is paying your rent for you, when it is so easy to set up a direct debit or standing order. However, hopefully when you explain what is happening any investigation will be dropped especially as you will have evidence of how much he needs to give you as ordered by the CSA and that money won't be going in to your account.

 

However to stop this sort of thing happening again I would change the arrangement so that he pays you the child maintenance and you pay all your bills yourself. If that goes in and out of your bank account each month, that is a clear 'paper' trail for future evidence.

 

While I say I hope they believe you, there is the possibility that without enough evidence, that he has been supporting you financially and they may deem there to be an overpayment. Let's hope not.

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Im sure he would get the bank statements no problem for me, I have the letter from the CSA in my 'important drawer' so can show it.

If IS is disregarded then that would just leave HB, if this is the case then I am definitely in the wrong. A genuine error (by me not knowing) it may have been but an error none the less.

I can totally understand how it looks to an outsider. It;s hard explaining all the reasons why but in a nutshell 99% of my life is taken over by the boys needs and extra care, the other children and the general running of a home (and I know everyone has to do this stuff im just trying to explain a little) that anything that can be done to make my life a tiny bit easier my ex would do it.

Thanks for your replies everyone, I appreciate you taking the time.

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Concerned, child maintenance is not taken into account for either HB or IS, nor is CTC, that money is for the child's welfare.

 

Technically H.Mills could be receiving £10,000 a month in child maintenance for her daughter B and still claim means tested benefits for herself and their housing. This is something perhaps future governments may look at but at the moment they don't.

 

You have muddied the waters by losing the evidence of what is maintenance and what isn't, so try your best to explain and see what happens and now just make things clearer for the future.

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Thanks ABC, I know now I have been incredibly stupid, I can show the CSA letter to prove the amount of it, the rest of it (that I give him to cover the rent above maintenance) will be on my bank statements as cash being lifted but thats it. Once this interview is sorted (like I say I don't want to do it until I have the interview in case they think I am trying to defraud them) I will get him to transfer the maintenance and set up a DD for the rent to be paid from my account.

Thank you again.

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