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housing benefit investigation


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  • 4 weeks later...

I attended my appointment with the housing benefit fraud department on 21 Feb. They pointed out that 4 years ago I had £7,000 in a savings account which at the time I gave evidence of. Because I had a 3part time job at the time I applied for housing benefit and received a small amount each month.

I had to use my savings each month to make up my rent because my part time job was only a temp one and some weeks I was not required therefore no money was coming in.

My savings gradually dwindled which I informed the housing department of.

eventually I had nothing left in my savings account and with a large overdraft on top which I could not afford to pay off I was offered a loan of £7,000 by Natwest to cover £4,000 overdraft which left £3,000 which soon dwindled away and eventually NatWest asked to foreclose my account with them and pay back the £7,000 which I could not afford to do.

With other debts mounting up I was advised by the national debt helpline to go for a debt relief order which I did and now the £7,000 is part of it.

During the interview they brought up the fact that I had £7,000 in a savings account and asked me where it went to which I explained as above.

This was 4 years ago and I found it difficult to remember the order of my financial events but thought I did well in explaining.



I had to open a cashminder account two years ago with the co-op and housing benefit department told me at the time of the interview that I should have informed them when a bank account is closed and any new accounts opened. I replied that I had no idea that this was the case.



However; today I have just received a letter from them asking me to provide all evidence from NatWest that the account was closed and the balances. I do not have a problem with this as the balances were - £7,000



Also they have asked me to provide all evidence of when I opened the co-op bank account from the beginning to up to date.



I have today telephoned the co-op and asked them to provide this information but they want £190 for back statements which I cannot afford so have opted for the opening statement for £5.

I am tomorrow popping into the NatWest bank to ask them to provide the closing balances asked for by the housing department but I am so afraid that I will be asked for a fee.

I have one calendar month to provide this information

any advice please as I am so frightened that the housing benefit department will suspend my housing benefit.

I cannot believe this is happening and have not been able to sleep properly since all this started.

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speak to the Council, explain that you cannot afford the cost of getting copy statements, and ask them to use their investigatory powers to obtain statements directly from bank(s)

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  • 1 month later...

hi all

Thank you for all your advice which I m very grateful for.

An update now

I asked NatWest to provide evidence of closing balances of my ac****s and received a reply that they could not find any information and asked for full account numbers.

I do not have my old account numbers because I shredded and destroyed all evidence last year having been 3 years previous when natwest foreclosed on me and I had to include all monies owing on my debt relief order.

I wrote to the housing department and enclosed a letter from NatWest asking for all details of my bank balances which I believe they hold on their records and took the letter and copy letter into the department by hand the day after receiving the letter from NatWest.

Having not heard anything for a week I today telephoned the housing department to find out what progress had been made. Also in my letter to them I gave full authorisation for them to find out for themselves what my closing balances were. The person dealing with my investigation was away today and I managed to get through to someone who told me that no such communication has been received by myself and the person concerned dealing with my case was away and will give me a ring on Monday.

I handed my communication at the reception desk in a large envelope marked private and confidential addressed to the person who is dealing with my investigation.

I fail to understand that this person did not receive my letter.

Added to all the above I received a letter telling me that unless I provide information required re my closing balances from 4 years ago on my NatWest accounts my housing benefit will be suspended.

I have done everything asked and cannot do any more until NatWest provide the evidence required.

I am beside myself and cannot sleep with worrying about this ordeal.

I have done nothing wrong and will possibly be made homeless which is out of my control

Any advice please

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