Forum Home» Benefits & Tax Credits

Claim for Universal Credit being made from property I have just purchased

New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

Claim for Universal Credit being made from property I have just purchased

20 replies 756 views
I moved into a house at the beginning of November. The house was owned by an elderly lady who had passed away and had supposidly been empty since she had died the previous Christmas. I have been recieving mail for the grandson of the lady and have passed it on to another family member who sold the house after her grandmas death. I was then told to just dispose of anything more that came for the grandson. 
Today a letter arrived which I opened as I had only looked at the back of the evelope and it said Belfast so I incorrectly assumed it was concerning my husbands disability benefit.
However it transpires that the grandson is using this address to claim Universal Credit even though I dont think he was ever registered as living here, certainly not in the last 12 months anyway.
Im trying to get through to the Universal Credit line to report this but Im concerned that my husband claiming a benefit may be affected by this other person claiming to live here. My husbands benefit is not means tested so hopefully we cant get into any trouble. 
Any advice please, is reporting it to UC the correct step or should I di anything else?
«1

Replies

  • p00hsticksp00hsticks Forumite
    8.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Personally if I were you I'd just put the letter back in the envelope, reseal it, write 'Not at this address - return to sender' and put it back in the post box
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
    1.7K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Perhaps report it here rather than calling UC:

    https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

    Reseal the envelope, mark it as not known at this address and put it in the post box.  Returned mail for a benefit recipient may result in the claim be suspended/investigated.
  • swingaloo2swingaloo2 Forumite
    132 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Thank you for thre replies, I have just got throught to UC and spoken to a lady me that there is nothing at all they can do. She said that as I was not the claimant she could not get into the account to look at it. She put me on hold to speak to someone else and came back to say that all they could advise was that I try to pass the letter on to the previous owner (That will be the one that died then).
    I told her that as far as Im aware the claimant had not lived at this address for a considerable time if ever, and that surely it amounts to a fraudulent claim but she said not to worry as it is not in my name and it may not be fraudulent, it may just be that he has not updated his address. I asked her if I should return the letter with the information regarding him not living here enclosed but she told me there was no point as unless he rings them himself they cannot access the account anyway.
    I suggested that if he was claiming help with his rent then there would be a fraud but of course I dont know if he does claim help with his rent but she was still adamant that there was no fraud.  This completely contradicts everything I have read online.
    So from what she says it appears that its ok to claim a benefit at an address you dont live at and no-one at UC has the power to look into it unless the calaimant makes the call himself.  No wonder the benefits system is a shambles.
  • swingaloo2swingaloo2 Forumite
    132 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Thank you Mojisola. I will do that. I know I shouldnt have opened the letter really but as I said I knew it was a benefits letter and assumed it was my husbands, I had ripped it open before I noticed the name as I was familiar with the envelopes.  I will certainly make sure I open anything else that comes with his name on although to date the only mail I have had for him (which I previously had passed on) are the brown benefits type envelopes.
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
    4.9K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Mojisola said:
    Personally if I were you I'd just put the letter back in the envelope, reseal it, write 'Not at this address - return to sender' and put it back in the post box
    swingaloo2 - despite what you were told on the phone, I would do this - for this letter and for any more that arrive.
    I would also keep a record of the date and time of any phone calls you make about the issue with a note about what you were told.
    Just before anyone tells you that it's against the law to open a letter with someone else's name on it - it isn't!  I would open any other mail that comes in his name in case he's using your address for anything else.

    Yes.  I think the person at UC who the OP got through to was useless.  Surely they ought to be grateful that the OP is alerting them to a possible fraud, not saying there is nothing they can do?

    I would definitely return to sender marked "Not known at this address" and I would also consider the benefit claim fraud line TheShape linked to - although there's always the remote(?) possibility it might get mixed up with the OP's husband's claim, so she might want to think twice about that!

    ... I know I shouldnt have opened the letter really but as I said I knew it was a benefits letter and assumed it was my husbands, I had ripped it open before I noticed the name as I was familiar with the envelopes. ...

    So long as you don't open it with the intention of causing detriment to the addressee and you have a reasonable justification, you aren't doing anything wrong.  Opening by mistake is a reasonable excuse I'd say.  (Only last week I opened a batch of letters the postman delivered to us without checking the addresses.  To my horror one was addressed to a neighbour and was a final demand!  Fortunately we are on very good terms and had a laugh about it.  It's easy to open what you think is your mail by mistake)


  • edited 12 January at 2:57PM
    BabybellesBabybelles Forumite
    57 posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 12 January at 2:57PM
    Like others have suggested I would post the letter into a mail box with a ‘not at this address’ on the front. I would also advise you to do this with any future mail you receive. Once it arrives back to DWP they will look into it & apply an RLS marker to the claim if needed & do further checks. I hope this helps.
  • elmerelmer Forumite
    869 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    When I get a calls like this,  due to GDPR I am not allowed to confirm anything except to the claimant, I would be giving similar non committal answers to the person that calls.
     It wouldnt mean that  no action would be taken, just that Im not able to discuss any action that may result or whether a fraud was occuring with any random person on the phone.
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
    10.2K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
     I asked her if I should return the letter with the information regarding him not living here enclosed but she told me there was no point as unless he rings them himself they cannot access the account anyway.

    Unless the rules have changes since I retired, that part of the conversation at least, is utter rubbish.  If we had letters returned the first step would be to access the account to check that the address to which it had been sent was the correct one.  I agree with previous comments that the person you spoke to would not be able to discuss anything about the validity of the claim.

  • edited 12 January at 5:18PM
    swingaloo2swingaloo2 Forumite
    132 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 12 January at 5:18PM
    Im not convinced that the woman I spoke to had a clue as to what to do. She put me on hold twice and said she had spoken to 2 different people. Didnt fill me with confidence at all but I am returning the letter with a note anyway just to be sure. To be fair, I didnt want her to discuss the validity of the claim with me as that wasnt why I rang. I just wanted some assurance that they had logged my call and that they now knew the claimant was not resident at my address.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support