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    • 83SMW
    • By 83SMW 26th Jun 17, 1:44 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    83SMW
    Can DWP legally access my bank account?
    • #1
    • 26th Jun 17, 1:44 PM
    Can DWP legally access my bank account? 26th Jun 17 at 1:44 PM
    Hi,

    This is a very long and protected issue so I will keep it to the point.

    I underwent reassessment for PIP and ESA where my benefits were cut substantially. Whilst undertaking the appeals process and after over 6 months of minimum benefit from DWP, I could not afford to cover my outgoings and therefore borrowed from family in order to be able to do so (please note these funds were paid into my account around 8 months ago).

    I was today contacted by a Compliance Officer from the DWP questioned why I had payments other than my benefits. Having explained this they were satisfied but have advised they could require further proof.

    In short, are the Department of Work & Pensions allowed to access my bank account?
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 26th Jun 17, 2:13 PM
    • 4,649 Posts
    • 9,313 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 26th Jun 17, 2:13 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Jun 17, 2:13 PM
    Hi,

    This is a very long and protected issue so I will keep it to the point.

    I underwent reassessment for PIP and ESA where my benefits were cut substantially. Whilst undertaking the appeals process and after over 6 months of minimum benefit from DWP, I could not afford to cover my outgoings and therefore borrowed from family in order to be able to do so (please note these funds were paid into my account around 8 months ago).

    I was today contacted by a Compliance Officer from the DWP questioned why I had payments other than my benefits. Having explained this they were satisfied but have advised they could require further proof.

    In short, are the Department of Work & Pensions allowed to access my bank account?
    Originally posted by 83SMW
    Whilst you are claiming benefits, yes.
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Topcat1982
    • By Topcat1982 26th Jun 17, 3:03 PM
    • 343 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    Topcat1982
    • #3
    • 26th Jun 17, 3:03 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Jun 17, 3:03 PM
    Yes, don't worry you haven't done anything wrong.

    Should be easy enough to prove this came from family member's personal bank account and not a business.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 26th Jun 17, 5:25 PM
    • 3,866 Posts
    • 3,938 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #4
    • 26th Jun 17, 5:25 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Jun 17, 5:25 PM
    If they have reason to believe fraud may have been committed then they certainly can access bank records.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 26th Jun 17, 5:39 PM
    • 1,366 Posts
    • 1,485 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #5
    • 26th Jun 17, 5:39 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Jun 17, 5:39 PM
    AS Tellit01 says only if fraud is suspected.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 26th Jun 17, 6:57 PM
    • 3,866 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #6
    • 26th Jun 17, 6:57 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Jun 17, 6:57 PM
    They can also request bank statements at any time. If you fail to provide them they can/will suspend payment.
    • konark
    • By konark 27th Jun 17, 12:33 AM
    • 863 Posts
    • 665 Thanks
    konark
    • #7
    • 27th Jun 17, 12:33 AM
    • #7
    • 27th Jun 17, 12:33 AM
    DWP can access anybody's bank account, but only if they are investigating suspected fraud. I'd be asking them what grounds they had for suspecting me of fraud and why they believed a single payment 8 months ago from a non-commercial account could constitute some form of regular income.
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 27th Jun 17, 7:46 AM
    • 853 Posts
    • 1,580 Thanks
    tomtom256
    • #8
    • 27th Jun 17, 7:46 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Jun 17, 7:46 AM
    DWP can access anybody's bank account, but only if they are investigating suspected fraud. I'd be asking them what grounds they had for suspecting me of fraud and why they believed a single payment 8 months ago from a non-commercial account could constitute some form of regular income.
    Originally posted by konark
    It could be the investigation has been going on that long. It could also be that the statements were not obtained just to prove income.

    There are capital checks, LT checks, living beyond means etc to name a few reasons for obtaining bank statements.
    • Gaz1971
    • By Gaz1971 3rd Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    Gaz1971
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    Hi,

    This is a very long and protected issue so I will keep it to the point.

    I underwent reassessment for PIP and ESA where my benefits were cut substantially. Whilst undertaking the appeals process and after over 6 months of minimum benefit from DWP, I could not afford to cover my outgoings and therefore borrowed from family in order to be able to do so (please note these funds were paid into my account around 8 months ago).

    I was today contacted by a Compliance Officer from the DWP questioned why I had payments other than my benefits. Having explained this they were satisfied but have advised they could require further proof.

    In short, are the Department of Work & Pensions allowed to access my bank account?
    Originally posted by 83SMW
    Why did they suddenly look at your bank account?
    • UKTigerlily
    • By UKTigerlily 3rd Jul 17, 1:33 PM
    • 4,304 Posts
    • 5,354 Thanks
    UKTigerlily
    Maybe it was one of the random checks they do, but they usually ask you to go in & take bank statements
    2015 weight loss: 86/100Ibs
    • Gaz1971
    • By Gaz1971 5th Jul 17, 11:06 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    Gaz1971
    Yes but they haven't asked the OP for statements for the account, but have already got access to his accounts, I thought they needed a court order first?
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 5th Jul 17, 11:09 PM
    • 1,202 Posts
    • 2,552 Thanks
    IAmWales
    Yes but they haven't asked the OP for statements for the account, but have already got access to his accounts, I thought they needed a court order first?
    Originally posted by Gaz1971
    No, a DWP authorised officer can access bank account information if they believe they have sufficient grounds.
    • Gaz1971
    • By Gaz1971 5th Jul 17, 11:25 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    Gaz1971
    WHy would they suddenly think they have grounds though?
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 5th Jul 17, 11:27 PM
    • 1,710 Posts
    • 2,573 Thanks
    dippy3103
    Yes but they haven't asked the OP for statements for the account, but have already got access to his accounts, I thought they needed a court order first?
    Originally posted by Gaz1971
    Authorised officers can under the Social Security Fraud Act - only for the detection of fraud.
    • Gaz1971
    • By Gaz1971 5th Jul 17, 11:31 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    Gaz1971
    Yes but what reason do they have to suddenly check his bank account? What has he done to make them suspect him of fraud?
    • Tucker
    • By Tucker 6th Jul 17, 12:11 AM
    • 1,020 Posts
    • 513 Thanks
    Tucker
    A Compliance Officer can't access bank accounts, so I doubt that's the source of the information.

    There's no investigation via Compliance, they just act on information received. It's more probable someone has informed them you have another source of income.

    Even when there's a investigation, obtaining obtrusive financial data such as bank statements has to be reasonable and proportionate to the suspected offence. They certainly can't be obtain without significant justification and a reasonable and specific allegation and they will help prove an offence.
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 6th Jul 17, 11:19 PM
    • 1,710 Posts
    • 2,573 Thanks
    dippy3103
    Yes but what reason do they have to suddenly check his bank account? What has he done to make them suspect him of fraud?
    Originally posted by Gaz1971
    No idea. Compliance officers don't have access to SSFA powers.

    Could always phone and ask what lead to the interview- we can only speculate
    • tomtom256
    • By tomtom256 7th Jul 17, 8:06 AM
    • 853 Posts
    • 1,580 Thanks
    tomtom256
    A Compliance Officer can't access bank accounts, so I doubt that's the source of the information.

    There's no investigation via Compliance, they just act on information received. It's more probable someone has informed them you have another source of income.

    Even when there's a investigation, obtaining obtrusive financial data such as bank statements has to be reasonable and proportionate to the suspected offence. They certainly can't be obtain without significant justification and a reasonable and specific allegation and they will help prove an offence.
    Originally posted by Tucker
    A lot of compliance cases come from Local Service Investigations as there was insufficient evidence to prove an offence beyond reasonable doubt.

    This could explain how and why the Local Service Compliance had a copy of the bank statements.

    Significant justification is not required, it just has to be necessary and proportionate. i.e. customer received unknown income 8 months ago, so you would ask for statements going back 8 - 9 months instead of going back say two years.
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