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  • FIRST POST
    • ElleEffe124
    • By ElleEffe124 17th May 18, 1:23 PM
    • 3Posts
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    ElleEffe124
    Accused of benefit fraud
    • #1
    • 17th May 18, 1:23 PM
    Accused of benefit fraud 17th May 18 at 1:23 PM
    Hey, I am new here but need a little advice or reassurance. I have been accused of housing benefit fraud which is due to me not telling them my daughter went into a full time job after her apprenticeship - she is 20. I know I have made a mistake and I should have told them but if I am honest (which makes me feel so stupid) it didn't even occur to me at the time as I presumed they knew what she contributed to the house because I told them - her contributions hadn't increased and I still saw her as a dependent (naive of me).

    It all started in Dec 2017 when they claimed they didn't received notification of her child benefit stopping and took a year to chase me for this as they asked before she turned 19 in Jan 2017). I did send it but they say they never received it. Then there is a long story of them not receiving documents, me chasing and them not responding and 6 months down the line it's still not sorted and I am still trying to get copies of documents they 'didn't receive'... and now I have received a letter for an interview under caution with the fraud investigation team.

    I am a little worried what will happen, I know I made a mistake and will need to pay back anything I owe. But will they prosecute me for this? I didn't intentionally commit a crime or claim it fraudulently on purpose, I just made a mistake which I didn't realise I had made.

    Ironically my daughter has now moved out with friends, and I know I won't be able to claim housing benefit so I am struggling to make ends meet as it is (I have been working hard to reduce my outgoings) so I am not even sure I can pay the overpayment back quickly. Such a stressful mess for one small mistake.

    Any advice would be appreciated.
Page 1
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 17th May 18, 1:32 PM
    • 1,946 Posts
    • 2,621 Thanks
    NeilCr
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 1:32 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 18, 1:32 PM
    Some information here

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/benefits-introduction/problems-with-benefits-and-tax-credits/if-youve-been-invited-to-an-interview-under-caution-for-benefit-fraud/

    Can you get in touch with your local CAB as suggested in the link
    Last edited by NeilCr; 17-05-2018 at 1:49 PM.
    • ElleEffe124
    • By ElleEffe124 17th May 18, 1:45 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    ElleEffe124
    • #3
    • 17th May 18, 1:45 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 18, 1:45 PM
    I will speak to them, not sure how much they can help as I don't have any money for a solicitor, I am literally not eating so my son can eat
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 17th May 18, 1:51 PM
    • 1,946 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #4
    • 17th May 18, 1:51 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 18, 1:51 PM
    I will speak to them, not sure how much they can help as I don't have any money for a solicitor, I am literally not eating so my son can eat
    Originally posted by ElleEffe124
    Some branches (not ours unfortunately - we are quite small) have access to solcitors

    Given what you say about food they may, also, be able to help you with other benefits/referrals to food banks.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 17th May 18, 1:59 PM
    • 6,109 Posts
    • 13,013 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 1:59 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 1:59 PM
    I'm not really sure the CAB or a solicitor is needed.

    How much is the overpayment. Unless it is HUGE or they have reason to believe you did it on purpose (ie fraud) then you are highly unlikely to be prosecuted and will just have to pay it back. You may get a fine for non disclosure.

    They will look at your outgoings to work out what you can afford to pay back per week/month
    • midnight express
    • By midnight express 17th May 18, 6:33 PM
    • 1,160 Posts
    • 3,268 Thanks
    midnight express
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 6:33 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 6:33 PM
    How much is the over payment ? It's usually only large over paymentcases that get prosecuted.
    • ElleEffe124
    • By ElleEffe124 18th May 18, 2:16 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    ElleEffe124
    • #7
    • 18th May 18, 2:16 PM
    • #7
    • 18th May 18, 2:16 PM
    The over payment is about 1000 from the date I didn't disclose the information, if they stick to the full year its about 3000.

    I have just worked out my budgets and other debts, and contacted a Debt Management Company so I can have this added on when I know what it is. I am going to look for an extra job too so I can earn more.

    Thanks for the replies
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 18th May 18, 2:29 PM
    • 1,946 Posts
    • 2,621 Thanks
    NeilCr
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 2:29 PM
    • #8
    • 18th May 18, 2:29 PM
    When you say a debt management company do you mean one you have to make payments to?

    There are debt charities like Stepchange/ National Debt Line etc who will not charge you at all.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 18th May 18, 2:56 PM
    • 2,281 Posts
    • 2,657 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 2:56 PM
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 2:56 PM
    and contacted a Debt Management Company so I can have this added on when I know what it is.
    Originally posted by ElleEffe124
    Please, please, please be very careful with this.
    Get proper debt advice from one of the charities NeilCr has mentioned.
    Commercial Debt Management Companies exist to make a profit for themselves.
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jun/25/debt-management-firms-slammed-by-fca

    Read this:
    Debt counselling: Get free one-on-one help
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
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