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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70010
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been asked to attend an interview under caution bby

Customer Question

I have been asked to attend an interview under caution bby the department of work and pensions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My husband and I have been seperated for almost 2 years, he is Dominican and I returned to the UK with our 3 children in Sept 2013.

I have been sent a letter by the DWP to attend an interview under caution. When i called to confirm my presence I asked what it was relating to and was told they have reason to believe my husband and I are not seperated and should be claiming as a couple. I have a new partner and so does he.

approx 6 months ago I was interviewed regarding finances as again it had been alleged i was receiving an income from my husbands business, I denied the allegations as this was untrue and any money I had received which was very little at that time was child maintenence.

In the last 6 months or so I have received more from him on a slightly more regular basis, but I have been told that child maintenence does not effect my benefits, so as far as I am aware I have done nothing wrong. However I am extremley nervous and worried.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Did you declare the money you received from him?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No because I didnt know I had to and amounts and frequency vary.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That is not good news I'm afraid.
Which benefits are you getting?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Tax credits, Income support, child benefit, housing and council tax.

How could they have proof about the money and the amounts? My estranged husband deposits into my old Dominican bank account and I withdraw it in cash here, I dont understand how this is a bad thing.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The reason that it is a bad thing is that they are saying that you are sharing expenses and indeed you are.
Had this been child maintenance through the CSA then that would still need to have been declared but would not normally have affected means tested benefits.
He is just simply paying for the upkeep of the family and that is something that they need to know about.
They have probably had an anonymous tipoff and that has led them to check your Dominican bank account records. There are lots of checks that they can make when they receive a tipoff.
Some of your benefits are more likely to be affected than others like income support. Housing benefit and Council tax relief may well have been available anyway and of course child benefit is not yet means tested.
I wouldn't necessarily admit to anything because it might be that they don't have evidence of this and if so you should be making no comments interview.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The money he sends me is for our 3 children and purely child maintenece, it is no different to an english ex partner giving me money through a personal agreement surely.

On the GO.UK website it says that child maintenece does not effect any benefits I already receive.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Had this been child maintenance through the CSA then that would still need to have been declared but would not normally have affected means tested benefits.
He is just simply paying for the upkeep of the family and that is something that they need to know about.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't understand how it is classed as upkeep for the family, when he is simply sending money for the upkeep of his children. On the government website it says you do not and in our case can not go through the CSA and we can and have a private agreement.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. You have left a negative rating. I will be happy to carry on with this if the negative rating was a mistake. I know thats easy to do as I’ve done it myself in other categories.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70010
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I think probably that they are saying that they don't believe that it is not for the upkeep of family because it was through the CSA and because you are using an old foreign bank accounts.
That is always supposing that this is the basis of the interview and not something entirely different.

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