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Accused of benefit fraud....for having a BOYFRIEND!!!


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I just went in for a compliance interview baffled, and was shocked that someone has accused me simply for having a boyfriend. In this day and age they actually think if you are seeing someone then they are financially responsible for you whilst you are looking for a job!!! I am actually living with my dad but stay over with my boyfriend a few times a week which apparenhtly means I am breaking the law. I know it's my dad's ex girlfriend who has a grudge against me, she promised to ruin my life and has tried all sorts.

 

In the interview, out of the blue, the officer told me I should be spending my benfit money helping my dad more with his bills not spending it on myself. Are they allowed to tell you how you spend your JSA? The fact she said that suggests for sure it is my dads ex making the allegation as its what she would mention.

 

I was also asked if me and my boyfriend ever go on holiday, what right do they have to ask that? As it happend we haven't been since I have been looking for a job but we used to a lot, another thing my dads ex would have brought up.

 

Does anyone know......will they now follow me or `monitor' my boyfriends house to see how often I go there? Will they come and search the premises? I'm a newly qualified social worker so I desperately can't afford to get a criminal record.

 

I am adamant that I do not actually `live with' my boyfriend, the fact is, all the bills are in his name, the tenancy agreement, all my post goes to my dads and I have a dog who is not allowed at my boyfriends and is on the tenancy agreement for my dads place. My boyfriend doesn't provide for me even one penny, so as far as I am concerned I am innocent but will they see it like that? I'm worried sick.

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A compliance interview is not an interview under caution, and it's very rare for anyone to 'accuse' anyone of anything at a compliance interview. It is normally just information gathering, asking questions, gaining answers, just to ascertain facts. You may well be right that about who reported you but what they believe and what the DWP decision makers then believes may well be two different things and until that DWP decision maker has decided what if any evidence there is, no one is usually accused of anything. From what you have said it doesn't sound like you have anything at all to worry about. How much your give your Dad towards utility bills etc is up to your Dad to decide ultimately, the interviewers personal opinions are just that.

 

All the best with your job search.

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Thanks. The funny thing is I recently got a job but haven't got a start date yet as as they are awaiting my CRB check. I told the officer that and think that may help my case. If that was just info gathering, doesn't that mean I may well be getting monitored? and will they search the house etc? Will they interview my boyfriends neighbours to ask how often they see me etc? Also, the officer didn't look at my bank statements but was looking at some paperwork herself, would they have accessed my bank account already?

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They would only moniter if they felt there was some evidence, which it doesn't sound like there is and from what I have read any monitering is done before an IUC and an IUC is done where this is some evidence. Compliance interviews are different, they are just done either randomly to check things, something is flagged up somewhere or as you say someone has contacted them to make an allegation which they have to check even with no evidence. In the latter cases, they just do a compliance interview and with no evidence they tend to close the file. They would only get a warrant to search a property via the criminal system if there was significant evidence enough to convince the CPS there was a case, which given what you say is highly unlikely. You have a right to privacy so they can't go asking neighbours personal questions, but they can gain access to your bank accounts if they want to.

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https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/customer_compliance_guidance

 

Hi,

The Costumer Compliance Officer asked you about holidays to catch you out because while on JSA, you are only allowed to go on holiday in the UK and for one week only. Before you go, you have to give JCP your holiday address so that they can write to you if needed.

 

It is almost like a change of circumstances, which you have to report immediately [address].

 

If you go on holiday abroad, you have to close your claim for that period and then make a rapid reclaim when you come back. I am an EU migrant so the latter definitely applies to us.

 

Costumer Compliance interviews are about catching out people about not not reporting change of circumstances [starting work, living with a partner, savings]. It is not a fraud investigation service but one below.

 

A fraud referral form [FRF] is filled in before the CC interview if someone grasses you up. They have to interview you within 15 days of the FRF.

 

They do not do random checks but if you fall into a specific risk group, they interview you.

 

Eg 2-3 months after reporting that you separated / 2-3 months after you started claiming JSA after being self-employed.

 

It is none of the CCO's business what you spend your JSA on. You should submit evidence that you live at different addresses: recent utility bills, bank statement, tenancy agreement.

 

I went through the costumer compliance guidance last night: the link above, and found it informative and useful. It will somewhat calm your nerves.

 

A Decision Maker decides over the cases who is at a different location than the interviews. If DM contacts you for evidence, you just send photocopies to the address in the DM letter.

 

My way of understanding is if the interviewing officer CCO is happy with the answers you gave, she closes the case and it won't be sent to DM.

 

They have to write to you before home visits with 3 days notice but you do not have to let them in: they have no right of entry [CC officers]. You can request an office interview instead.

 

You have nothing to hide. you could refuse to let them in. it can be traumatic to be bullied in your own home. Donno if JCP office is any better.

 

Maybe they are nicer if you say you going to record the interview. They have to let you.

 

an MF47 form is what you have to fill in and sign or the officer fills it in for you based on the answers you give.

 

You are not financially connected, separate bank accounts. You live a ta different address even if you stay 3-4 nights a week at his. For benefit purposes a boyfriend is not the same as a partner.

 

Living together as husband and wife / civil partners is what they go for but you don't.

 

Those who make these malicious allegations get away with it and DWP is not allowed to disclose to you their identity. DWP has a duty to investigate and will close the case.

 

Why don't you give that b*tch a taste of her own medicine once you find something that can be reported? It is a lot of stress to be called in for a CCI even if you innocent and officer will try to catch you out for anything possible to sanction you or close the claim / make you repay overpayments.

 

Anyone up here who had a costumer compliance interview just after finishing the work programme, please give details and what to watch out for because it looks like we all have to do it because we fall into a risk category which is not actually named or listed in the guidance [long-term unemployed].

 

They have no legal right to photocopy your documents but they do because you let them.

 

They have no right of entry to interview you in your home but you let them in so they interview you in your home and ask to see documents which you can show at the JCP as well.

 

They definitely have no search warrant to look into your drawers and cupboards and will have to leave any point you ask them.

 

Doubt it that they do home visit for you if you show evidence that you have separate addresses, utilities. Why not write to this CCO attaching the evidence and asking it to be forwarded to the DM, saying in the letter you keep a photocopy of the whole lot and retain proof of posting [certificate of posting].

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