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Savings and income support

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
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  • Chopper

    when you went into DWP was it an interview 'under caution'? I assume from your email it wasn't, as I think you may have mentioned this in your posts.

    If you are instructed to attend for IUC, then you should also receive written instructions (from DWP) to get a solicitor. Being represented at the interview is important, so pls do get a Solicitor, even if you believe you have nothing to hide.

    If you have already been interviewed under caution and they did not offer you guidance about a solicitor you should make an official complaint (with the help of a solicitor). Or if you simply decided not to bother with a solicitor, make this a priority now.

    So if at this stage it has been an investigative meeting, or even an IUC, then the decision makers may decide that this is an overpayment issue, ie that this was not a deliberate fraud. In this case you will be informed that you must repay any IS that has been overpaid. If on the other hand they think it is fraud, then they can decide to proceed with prosecution, or offer you a penalty of a fine to avoid going to court. As I recall the fine is the overpayment plus 3rd of the overpayment. The DWP make the decision on how to proceed on fraud cases.

    However, all is not lost. As you may be able to get a Welfare Rights Specialist, or a Solicitor to make a successful appeal/defence on your behalf. If you have already been IUC a CAB won't usually deal with this, you need a solicitor. If you get an overpayment decision a CAB can deal with this.

    In your defence you state clearly this is your son's money from the loan accounts. If these accounts have remained idle, ie never used by yourself or your partner, this could be evidence of your innocence. If you can collate further evidence such as statements from son's; any letter's that may have passed between yourself and your son's explaining the plans over their money, and anything else that supports your position. All of this information could be relevant.

    Finally, but importantly during an overpayment or fraud investigation you can make a fresh claim for IS! For example, someone is working on the side and their benefit is stopped whilst this is investigated. They pack in the job and legally they can make a fresh claim for benefit. Sometimes the claim is refused, but this too can be successfully appealed, particularly if the person no longer has the job on the side. So do take advice on this, to find out if your circumstances allow you to make a fresh claim - a WR specialist will be able to tell you this - it may involve for example returning the cash to your sons.......I am not suggesting you do this, take advice first on how to proceed.

    Easy for me to say, and very hard to do, but let's face it, no DWP bod is going be up tonight chewing over this are they? So nothing dramatic is going to happen overnight or by tomorrow morning, so do try and enjoy that drink, but don't get smashed as you will need a clear head tomorrow! Good Luck :)
  • choprachopra Forumite
    87 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thanks a lot Scouselass, although I only read it this morning, atleast I managed to smile a bit after 2days

    I was cautioned at the meeting & rather foolishly didn't take a slocitor with me although they did inform me that I can hv one.

    Also they only knew about £3000 savings in my wife's account but not knowing what they knew, I told them about the £20000 +

    About keeping records etc of their loans during 4+yrs(1999 to 2003) the thought never crossed our mind, we wud move money where ever or whoever (out of 4 of us) wud get better return, be it a ISA or bonds etc)

    Now after running around all day < I hv managed to get a apoointment on tuesday morning with a welfare rights officer & I m thinking of asking her the following. Wud appreciate if any of u can advice me as to what else to ask
    My main Questions on Tuesday will be:

    "DWP people asked me for permission to look in to my bank account, which I hd declined saying that I'll take advice first.
    (a)Now shud I send them one last statement from all the bank accounts I hv told them about
    (b) If I refuse then how likely they r to obtain that info from the banks etc under Social Security Fraud Act 2001 & can they look in to my son's accounts too?

    What if I return the monies to Student Loan company & bank's overdrafts?

    What is normally the outcome of cases of these kinds?
    (A) stopping my benefits?
    (b) claiming it back?
    (c) prosecution & with what possible outcomes

    Again wud be grateful for anyfurther comments. Scouselass, it seems that u hv some experience in this field??
    something missing
  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Chopper -

    When you see the welfare rights adviser, take all relevant paperwork with you and tell them the truth about your movement of money etc. Include all paperwork/bank slips/statements etc. that you must have had, if not get duplicates from the relevant places. If you tell them your whole situation then they can advise you exactly where you stand.

    Out of interest, who does the "Welfare Rights Officer" work for?
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • choprachopra Forumite
    87 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Fran,
    They work for Manchester Advice, run by the local athourity
    Any other questions shuld I ask? apart from the ones posted above
    something missing
  • Chopper

    I think you gave an appropriate response to the request for access to you bank accounts, as you did not have representation with you and legally you did not know what you had to agree to, or could refuse, so don't worry about this. Also do not make any rash decisions until you get your advice. It's very hard to do nothing until Tuesday, but this may be the best thing to do.

    You continue to ask for specific advice around your case, and really I can't give 'specifics', it wouldn't be helpful, but you have had some very good general guidance from moneysavers on how to proceed.

    You may want to phone and ask the Welfare Rights Specialist whether they will be handling your fraud investigation or whether they will ultimately make a referral to a Solicitor. This could short circuit the process if it ends up being a Solicitor you have to see.

    You are asking very good questions, so direct these to your adviser. Be patient, I know that's hard, but you really have done everything you can for now.

    Once again nothing you do will alter the situation between now and next Tuesday, or now and when you see a Solicitor, so take every opportunity you can to distract yourself from this problem. Always easier to say than do, but get creative finish off those DIY jobs, or sort out the shed, or knit a jumper....whatever. I really don't mean to be flippant, I really do urge you to get involved in something to keep your mind occupied on something else that will not stress you out.
  • choprachopra Forumite
    87 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Scouselass, u r not being flippant & I fully appreciate ur advice but its just that u keep on waking in the middle of the night & go over & over it again. In the end it doesnot achieve any thing but raises my BP sky high. I hv to also increase my intake of serotonin (prozac) which I hv been on for last 4-5 yrs

    Let's see what happens on Tuesday & will keep u posted. thanks again for ur help. were u used to be in this "field"?
    something missing
  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    its just that u keep on waking in the middle of the night & go over & over it again. In the end it doesnot achieve any thing but raises my BP sky high. I hv to also increase my intake of serotonin (prozac) which I hv been on for last 4-5 yrs

    Chopper -

    Make sure your adviser is fully aware of the medical condition that requires you to take the prozac and any benefits you are on because of it. (I'm thinking that if you are taking prozac for depression for example, this can be used as a mitigating circumstance for not dealing with the money side of things as perhaps you should.)

    Wouldn't taking more prozac keep you more awake and so not be very helpful at this moment? Perhaps you need to go back to the presecribed amount or ask your doctor for an alternative prescription?

    Being on prozac for 4-5 years doesn't sound like a good idea (given that it has had bad press) - what about going back to your doctor anyway? Ask your adviser about sickness and disability benefits if you are not on them already too as you may be entitled to more income.

    Have you put in a fresh claim for benefits and moved money back to your sons' accounts as suggested by someone? Again, bring this up with your adviser on Tuesday.
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
  • choprachopra Forumite
    87 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thanks Fran for ur useful advice
    more Prozac seems to numb my feelings...that's all, i m sure after tuesday I'll come bk to some normality as then I wud know the likely outcome & will hv to face it.
    Will let the advisor know about my medical history although can't see that helping as I look & behave like a normal person
    thanks again
    something missing
  • choprachopra Forumite
    87 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Nothing seems to be happenning. The advisor just told me to sit tight till they (DWP) decide & then decide the next move. Easier said than done...

    I have given them the permission to look in to my accounts & when I rang them about the progress they just said it cud take couple of months till they got the relevent info from the banks etc.

    Oh..well...it seems I can't do anything to quicken the process & my peace of mind is tottally shattered. The advisor couldnot even advice me on whether I shud return the money bk in to my sons accounts.

    Any thoughts???
    something missing
  • FranFran Forumite
    11.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    If your benefits have not been reinstated, I would get onto DWP. Did you fill in the forms again? If you don't reapply they will wonder what you are living on and that could add more to their "case". Has nothing happened at all over the past month?
    Torgwen.......... :) ...........
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