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accused of benefit fraud


martipello86
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I am not sure if this is the place to post this and if its not plz tell me with the right section and I will delete it and repost in that section.

 

Okay so like any good AA meeting should start, hi I'm martin and I'm accused of benefit fraud.

 

The story;

I was sent to intraining (DWP work proggrame) I realised quickly that they pigeonhole people into either care, customer service, retail, or deliveries, but I see myself as a budding graphic designer and mobile app developer I expressed this opinion and it turned out there was someone there who knew how to help me and told me the best thing I could do was to build a portfolio

 

so of course that is what I've done making logos and designs for some businesses, one my uncle and one my friends, I haven't been paid for the work nor did they request the work to be done

 

but I've yesterday received a text telling me I have a compliance interview today, no letter although they assure me it was sent and I should speak to my local post office,

 

regardless I attended this interview today and they say that somebody has anonymously told them I have been working whilst receiving benefits, so thinking it could only be related to that, I start telling them everything,

 

the investigator tells me that I have still provided a service and therefore have broken the law, at this point I terminated the interview feeling that the interviewer hadn't grasped the full situation and was more intent on pinning something on me than finding the full information,

 

so I called citizens advice (who are next to useless nowwadays) and have just called a solicitor to mount a 'benefits defence?'

 

But I saw some great advice here and I was hoping someone may be able to point me in the right direction as to how to look at my case from there eyes, what to expect and how best to represent myself,

 

any all advice appreciated many thanks

Edited by honeybee13
Paras
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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

You've posted in the right forum and I hope the guys in the know will be along over the course of the afternoon.

 

I've put some paragraphs into your post to make it easier for them to read.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi marti

 

Welcome to CAG

 

There are no contracts, you have not been paid, just samples of your creative ability given away, I'm not sure that is fraud.

 

The guys will advise as soon as they are available.

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What I understand from your post is that your WP provider advised you to make a portfolio to help with getting work in graphic design and app development. You looked around for ideas and decided to some designs for businesses of people close to you for your portfolio. You weren't employed to do the designs and haven't been paid for the designs. Have I understood that correctly?

 

My one question is, are the indicated businesses now using your designs for their businesses? Or were the businesses just used for the purpose of building your portfolio?

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

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What I understand from your post is that your WP provider advised you to make a portfolio to help with getting work in graphic design and app development. You looked around for ideas and decided to some designs for businesses of people close to you for your portfolio. You weren't employed to do the designs and haven't been paid for the designs. Have I understood that correctly?

 

My one question is, are the indicated businesses now using your designs for their businesses? Or were the businesses just used for the purpose of building your portfolio?

 

Yes that is the long and short of it no contract, I haven't been employed by anyone to do any designs, and of the designs I've done one hasn't been used at all he said he appreciated it and that was the last I heard, the other (the one for my friends business) he is overjoyed with, and has had some leaflets mocked up under my design, again no money has changed hands as in my eyes it will ultimately be for my portfolio, but he is yet to use the logo commercially he wants me to design him a website and business cards (I'm more than capable of doing this) but after this I don't know what I should do

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Well then I can't see that any fraud has been committed. If it is taken further, the first thing that would happen is your benefits would be cancelled and you would get an overpayment - if this happens request a mandatory reconsideration for each decision immediately, and appeal if the mand recon doesn't go your way.

 

If your friend does want you to do designs for him to use, make sure you agree a timescale, what payment will be and when. Agree how many hours you will be working on it a week (keep this below 16 if you're not being paid until your designs are approved). Get your friend to put it in a letter to you, which you can give to the JCP. Alternatively, if you will be working full time on the designs, look into whether you would be eligible for working tax credit or any of the start up schemes that the JCP offers - there is one that a couple of people here have applied for and been successful - it gives a weekly amount comparable to JSA I believe (can't remember what the scheme is called though).

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

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Well then I can't see that any fraud has been committed. If it is taken further, the first thing that would happen is your benefits would be cancelled and you would get an overpayment - if this happens request a mandatory reconsideration for each decision immediately, and appeal if the mand recon doesn't go your way.

 

If your friend does want you to do designs for him to use, make sure you agree a timescale, what payment will be and when. Agree how many hours you will be working on it a week (keep this below 16 if you're not being paid until your designs are approved). Get your friend to put it in a letter to you, which you can give to the JCP. Alternatively, if you will be working full time on the designs, look into whether you would be eligible for working tax credit or any of the start up schemes that the JCP offers - there is one that a couple of people here have applied for and been successful - it gives a weekly amount comparable to JSA I believe (can't remember what the scheme is called though).

 

Thank you for this, extremely helpful! However I called about the new enterprise allowance and they tell me that as I'm with the work programme there's nothing they can do which seems ridiculous

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