Customer Compliance Officer Visit

I had a visit today from a Social Security Agency Customer Compliance Officer. I'm unemployed and claiming Jobseekers Allowance. I also have my council rates paid. The officer said that they had discovered that I had an account with the Newcastle Building Society which I had failed to declare. I said guilty but I had a reason for not declaring it. Just over two years ago I got the chance of buying my house. At that time I was working. As I'm 58 I didn't want to have a mortgage so I basically cashed in everything I had to buy the house for cash. I was £14,000 short and thought about cashing in the Newcastle account where I had £12,000. The problem was that it was locked into a 5 year investment at 5% per year and that was really too good to give up. (Got that after a tip from MoneySavingExpert by the way.) My uncle suggested that he should lend me the £14,000 and when the Newcastle Account matures which it will towards the end of next year I could pay him back. So that's what we did. So basically next year I will be cashing in that account and paying back my uncle and I should have a bit left over, so it's not an asset as such that is any use to me other than paying off a debt. Even though all that money will be getting used to repay my debt to my uncle can they still charge me if that's the right expression with failing to declare an account and what might that mean?

They also brought up another account which didn't ring any bells with me at all. After he left I discovered that this other account is actually my mothers. She put my name on the account when it was opened to make things easier for me when she dies. That's the way she thinks! Probably due to all the trouble she had when my father died. The point is this account which I think has about £8000 in it has nothing to do with me. I have never accessed it in any way and won't until my mother dies so how can they say it has anything to do with my benefits claim?

Could really do with some advice here. I have a few medical problems including high blood pressure and this isn't helping me in the least!
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Replies

  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    these accounts are in your name and there is nothing stopping you accessing this money so you will have trouble convincing them to ignore these sums. Was there any legal documentation drawn up with your uncle?

    If you are claiming Contribution based JSA then these amounts will not make any difference, if income based and for council tax benefit, these amounts will mean you will not receive any payments and would have an overpayment
  • Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    Well I find it hard to believe your story, and I expect the Benefits Agency will also find it incredible. Your mother opened an account in your name without your knowledge? I would have thought that was impossible! Did she forge your signature?

    Sounds like you've been caught red handed defrauding the state, and you deserve what's coming to you.
  • paddedjohnpaddedjohn Forumite
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    Straight away im smelling a rat, you are skint with no pension to look forward to but you manage to buy a house for cash leaving you on the breadline, 5 more weeks of the school hols more like.
    Be Alert..........Britain needs lerts.
  • midnight_expressmidnight_express Forumite
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    You are not entitled to IB JSA or council tax benefit. You will have to repay the overpayment. You might get done for fraud.
  • Nada666Nada666 Forumite
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    So you have £26 - 28,000 indisputably yours. (Your uncle's money is yours until you pay it back). And £8,000 that you can argue is mistakenly currently in your name. You know perfectly well that you are not entitled to income-based benefits and should not have made fraudulent applications.

    If you have health conditions that are affected by distress then engaging in crime is not a sensible idea. Don't blame investigators for the consequences of your own actions.
  • Are you claiming LHA/HB as well as the other benefits?

    Even if not, you're looking at an overpayment of around £7K which, I suppose, you'll have the money available to repay.

    So it would have been worth your while getting a part time job after all.
  • notanewusernotanewuser Forumite
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    Dunroamin wrote: »
    Are you claiming LHA/HB as well as the other benefits?

    Seems unlikely given he bought the house for cash. ;)
    Trying to be a man is a waste of a woman
  • Seems unlikely given he bought the house for cash. ;)

    That'll teach me to read things more carefully!:o:)
  • MacMicksterMacMickster Forumite
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    OP.

    I take it that you will have full paperwork to back up your story re the loan from your uncle. If he had a solicitor draw up an agreement which effectively assigned that Newcastle account to him then you MIGHT get away with that one.

    Your mother's money held in your account is a different matter altogether. If your mother is claiming any means-tested benefits then you might both find yourselves in some bother.

    Time to bring your early retirement to an end I think.
    "When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
  • jacques_chiracjacques_chirac Forumite
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    As for it being better to be earning the money than depending on benefits, I don't really agree. If you are young then yes, but at my age I think why should I be working to put money in the Government's pocket when I have plenty to do about the house.

    Happy to take (fraudulently), not happy to give back. And they say it is the young people with the poor attitude to work ... :(
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