Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • jaywii94
    • By jaywii94 14th Feb 18, 5:07 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 1Thanks
    jaywii94
    Unintentional benefit fraud
    • #1
    • 14th Feb 18, 5:07 PM
    Unintentional benefit fraud 14th Feb 18 at 5:07 PM
    Hi Guys, Going to make a long story very short.
    My mum is unable to work due to illness gets ESA and also has been receiving Housing benefit and Council tax reduction.
    We have just received a bill for £7000 which is for Benefit overpayment.
    After seeing someone today at the council it is clear that the reason being is she failed to send wages slips of for my brother, however she has also never provided wage slips for me.

    My mum (bless her) is not the smartest woman and genuinely had no idea she had to submit our information as she thought the claim was for her personally rather than the whole house. So she has committed fraud completely unintentionally just through lack of knowledge. The reason they found it about my brother is they randomly asked for his wages slips (she submitted straight away)but have never asked for anyone else's apart from my mums (she shows them ESA).
    I think the fact she did send wages when proves her innocence as she wouldn't provide if she was trying to hide it.

    So for 4 years she has basically only submitted that she gets ESA and never submitted wages for me or my brother( only this once when they asked) meaning shes mad a massive mistake unintentionally.

    My question is what do we do?

    My mums trembling and crying as she has no clue what to do/expect

    Surely they cant keep overpaying for years and then just ask for a massive sum at one point?

    Surely if its unintentional there is a way to sort it?

    Also the bill is so high and my mums on ESA how is she expected to repay?

    Any help would be amazing.

    Thanks James
Page 2
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 14th Feb 18, 8:08 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 2,671 Thanks
    dippy3103
    No one can say if you will or will not go to court. Your Mum may (or may not) be invited to an IUC regarding the offence of failing to report a change but that hasnít happened yet-,cross that bridge if you come to it. Certainly no one will be going to prison even if you do go to court- assuming that your Mum hasnít got any previous for fraud.

    What you do need to do is put it right. Depending on your age, the period you were on JSA (if it was income based) there may not be a deduction for you. Does your Mum get DLA or PIP? If so, which components does she get?
    • jaywii94
    • By jaywii94 14th Feb 18, 8:46 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jaywii94
    She gets Employment support allowance but shes classified disabled so not able to work (Shes in a strange group not full disability)
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 14th Feb 18, 9:41 PM
    • 1,171 Posts
    • 434 Thanks
    sevenhills
    My mum (bless her) is not the smartest woman and genuinely had no idea she had to submit our information as she thought the claim was for her personally rather than the whole house. So she has committed fraud completely unintentionally just through lack of knowledge.
    Originally posted by jaywii94
    She may not be that bright, but you and your brother should be keeping an eye on things.
    You may need to repay a very big bill, all the family together.

    • tboo
    • By tboo 14th Feb 18, 9:47 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 3,923 Thanks
    tboo
    She gets Employment support allowance but shes classified disabled so not able to work (Shes in a strange group not full disability)
    Originally posted by jaywii94
    But does she receive either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily living.

    Either of these will mean your mum doesnít pay the non-dependant deduction.

    In the meantime inform the council of your income after your JSA ended
    started on the No Clutter thread - 25/01/2018
    ďYouíre only here for a short visit. Donít hurry, don't worry and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.Ē óWalter Hagen
    I don't have a diary but I do aim to be mortgage free by the beginning of August 2018
    30/04/18 £3600 to go // 15/05/18 £2349.37 to go
    • venison
    • By venison 14th Feb 18, 10:07 PM
    • 2,072 Posts
    • 2,205 Thanks
    venison
    But does she receive either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily living.

    Either of these will mean your mum doesnít pay the non-dependant deduction.

    In the meantime inform the council of your income after your JSA ended
    Originally posted by tboo
    Its important that the OP answers this question otherwise we can't give accurate advice.
    Ex Board Guide
    • venison
    • By venison 14th Feb 18, 10:11 PM
    • 2,072 Posts
    • 2,205 Thanks
    venison
    Fraud has a high level of proof and saying you're mum will have a criminal record is "enthusiastic" and perhaps in breach of MSE's rules.

    Fraud whether admitted or not is a subjective issue, unless proven in court, and the way the DWP deals with it is to make a higher level of reduction in benefits than they would from other overpayments.

    It may be that the family have to step up to the plate, as they say, and compensate your mum for the reduction she can expect.
    Originally posted by WhenIam64
    The OP was saying they were worried about mum getting a criminal record I don't see any rules that, that breaks ?
    Ex Board Guide
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 14th Feb 18, 11:46 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 2,671 Thanks
    dippy3103
    She gets Employment support allowance but shes classified disabled so not able to work (Shes in a strange group not full disability)
    Originally posted by jaywii94
    Is she in WRAG (Work related activity group)?
    Last edited by dippy3103; 14-02-2018 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Punctuation missing
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 14th Feb 18, 11:54 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 2,671 Thanks
    dippy3103
    The OP was saying they were worried about mum getting a criminal record I don't see any rules that, that breaks ?
    Originally posted by venison
    Failing to report a change in circumstances is an offence and every single letter sent reminds the customer of this. There will have been a breakdown of how the benefit is calculated. So in short, yes a law has been broken (section 112 (1A) of the Social Security Adminstration Act 1992). She may well not be prosecuted but the fact remains is she has committed an offence and is liable to repay the money.

    Moral of this tale is read your award letters..
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 15th Feb 18, 12:10 AM
    • 1,715 Posts
    • 2,296 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Failing to report a change in circumstances is an offence and every single letter sent reminds the customer of this. There will have been a breakdown of how the benefit is calculated. So in short, yes a law has been broken (section 112 (1A) of the Social Security Adminstration Act 1992). She may well not be prosecuted but the fact remains is she has committed an offence and is liable to repay the money.

    Moral of this tale is read your award letters..
    Originally posted by dippy3103
    Agree.

    Although, I think venison may have been referring to the suggestion that MSEís rules had been broken - not the law of the land.

    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 15th Feb 18, 1:33 AM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 2,671 Thanks
    dippy3103
    Agree.

    Although, I think venison may have been referring to the suggestion that MSEís rules had been broken - not the law of the land.

    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Ahhhh.

    I do think itís harsh to tell someone that they are facing a conviction when they have not even been interviewed about any alleged offence.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 15th Feb 18, 10:04 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    Fraud has a high level of proof and saying you're mum will have a criminal record is "enthusiastic" and perhaps in breach of MSE's rules.

    Fraud whether admitted or not is a subjective issue, unless proven in court, and the way the DWP deals with it is to make a higher level of reduction in benefits than they would from other overpayments.

    It may be that the family have to step up to the plate, as they say, and compensate your mum for the reduction she can expect.
    Originally posted by WhenIam64
    Just to be clear, it's not against the rules.


    here's a little life tip:


    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.


    There's absolutely no benefit in shielding the OP from something that might actually happen!


    Forewarned is forearmed and all that!
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 15th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    Ahhhh.

    I do think itís harsh to tell someone that they are facing a conviction when they have not even been interviewed about any alleged offence.
    Originally posted by dippy3103


    Why is that harsh?


    Is it better to tell them it's all ok and not to worry, then out of the blue they get a letter inviting them for an interview in 7 days time?


    Why not prepare people for the possibility and let them make the necessary arrangements?
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 15th Feb 18, 10:30 AM
    • 11,500 Posts
    • 13,384 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    It would be useful to know the ages of the two brothers and their work history.

    £7000 for one brother means that the overpayment seems to be for a number of years.

    It may be worth the mother getting the amount checked by CAB especially since the younger brother was in full time non advanced education at some point and the OP was on JSA at some point.

    If the £7000 is for one brother then we are not talking about a few months.

    I find this an unusual situation as I thought the LA wrote letters about other people in the household and whether they were working. They also get real time info from HMRC. Presumably that is why they knew younger brother was working.

    Of course the mother could have had letters and ignored them and it doesn't excuse not reporting a change of circumstances.

    Just a little intrigued by this.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 15th Feb 18, 11:21 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    here's a little life tip:


    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
    All these decades ... and I knew I'd missed something ;-)

    You may be getting your "frauds" mixed up. There is civil where restitution is the remedy and criminal where there is a conviction. Each requires a different level of proof.

    The phrase unintentional suggests the OP is looking at restitution as there is no intent to deprive the state of any money to which the beneficiary was not entitled. So far the OP is handling this well and is preparing to get the best outcome for themselves (as they may be dragged into it too)

    As regards informing OP's of options, there is missing information so would not want to make predictions but there is enough information to indicate civil rather than criminal.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 15th Feb 18, 11:35 AM
    • 2,970 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Comms69
    All these decades ... and I knew I'd missed something ;-)

    You may be getting your "frauds" mixed up. There is civil where restitution is the remedy and criminal where there is a conviction. Each requires a different level of proof.

    The phrase unintentional suggests the OP is looking at restitution as there is no intent to deprive the state of any money to which the beneficiary was not entitled. So far the OP is handling this well and is preparing to get the best outcome for themselves (as they may be dragged into it too)

    As regards informing OP's of options, there is missing information so would not want to make predictions but there is enough information to indicate civil rather than criminal.
    Originally posted by WhenIam64
    I'm really not.


    The Op doesn't get to decide which course of action the state deems appropriate.


    'unintentional' is only the opinion of a close family member. An investigator may decide it was deliberate.


    I would counter it and say the lots of people who wouldn't be liable for prosecution, for example due to lack of evidence, talk themselves into it when IUC.
    • dippy3103
    • By dippy3103 15th Feb 18, 3:51 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 2,671 Thanks
    dippy3103
    Why is that harsh?


    Is it better to tell them it's all ok and not to worry, then out of the blue they get a letter inviting them for an interview in 7 days time?


    Why not prepare people for the possibility and let them make the necessary arrangements?
    Originally posted by Comms69
    Oh tell them the worst case scenario by all means, but not as a definite outcome.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 15th Feb 18, 4:04 PM
    • 5,639 Posts
    • 11,867 Thanks
    marliepanda
    Oh tell them the worst case scenario by all means, but not as a definite outcome.
    Originally posted by dippy3103
    It says 'expect' not that it is a certainty.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

122Posts Today

1,691Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin