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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70526
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter is a single mother on Income Support and Housing

Resolved Question:

My daughter is a single mother on Income Support and Housing Benefit, she has 2 sons of 5 & 3. She has sometimes being staying over at her boyfriend's overnight quite regularly. She has been asked to attend a Customer Compliance Interview on Tuesday 6th May at 9.15pm. How would you advise she handles this meeting and what are the rules on staying over. Rachel
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

did she declare the fact that she stayed there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No she didn't.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
How often does she stay and how long has this been going on for?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't know where to rate your answer...I am quite satisfied so far.


 


It's been going on quite a few months, she says she is going to say 2 or 3 times per week.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, you won't be able to unless I answer.

Can I just check, you mean the boyfriend stays with her rather than that she stays with the boyfriend?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She stays with the boyfriend. Her house is a small semi...the boys have to share a small bedroom, she has her own.


 


Her boyfriend's is a 3-bed detached, she thought it healthier for the boys.


The relationship is now going through some difficulties and looks likely to finish soon.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Their concern will be that she is either sharing expenses with him or that she is living there.

You don't have to tell the DWP every time you stay away from home if you are on a means tested benefit but if you are staying away regularly then you do need to declare that. The question really is whether this is sufficiently regularly.

Staying away 2-3 nights a week would not amount to sufficient to completely disallow benefits but had it been declared then it might have reduced them.

The allegation will probably come from an anonymous report so the information they have will not be the best. If its only been going on for a few months then its not all that likely that they have been doing any surveillance upon her.

In terms of the interview, unless there is a positive defence there is really no point in going. They don't have powers of arrest so unless you attend voluntarily there is nothing they can do except summons you to court.

This is a dangerous situation though. I would normally suggest a no comment interview or a refusal to attend. It depends upon whether or not this is what they are investigating or whether their information is entirely wrong.

You need to arrange a solicitor to attend with her. You do sometimes get legal aid for a DWP interview.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that good information, scary though it is. Facts are better than dreams.


 


It may have been going on six, max seven months. Would that alter your advice?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Well, only in that they are more likely to have gathered evidence the longer its been going on.

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