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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I've been contacted by the Benefit fraud agency. At the time

Customer Question

Hello.
I've been contacted by the Benefit fraud agency. At the time when I applied for income support I had £9k savings in the bank and I didn't tell about this money.
What can happen to me?
I'm single mother of 3 children.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I've been claiming benefits from 2010 and up to now I have left from my savings about £3 k.
This money was spent over the years on living for me and children. I don't have any property or other possessions.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Should I give permission to the fraud agency to check my bank account and come forward to tell them that I had money? At the moment I didn't sign the permission papers. Instead I send requests form to ask for personal information that they have on me . Which is should take them up to 40 days to send me back.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Why didn't you tell them?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
This many belong to my husband. We separated in 2010 . I've put money in the bank and didn't touch them. Because husband was giving support for kids and I claim benefits.Then in 2012 I had my 3 boy and after that our marriage totally broke down and husband stopped to give us any money for kids .At that time I decide to keep money so it will help me to get by .
Its proven to be right decision because my husband didn't help us anymore and in 2014 I applied for divorce.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That was the reason I didn't tell them. Because I did wanted to give my ex his money back.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Well that is a problem I'm afraid.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

It might well be your former partner that reported it to get revenge but I'm afraid that was fairly inevitable. He was never going to take something like that without responding.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Come what may, this is benefit fraud. It is the aggravated version too as they will say it's a false claim from the start.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

They are unlikely to let you repay for that reason although it does depend on the amount you have claimed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

They would usually be looking to prosecute. What sentence you would get depends on the sum of the claim but unless it's very high it would not,ally be a community order and costs.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what is your advice what should I do? Come forward and talk to them?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I need to know what is my next step should be ?
And as much as I know I should be allowed to have some savings and claim benefits,but I don't know how much I was allowed to have.?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Yes, there isn't really any other option. If you don't they will only summons you and then you will lose your opportunity to present any mitigation.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
at time the moment they want me to sign permission for them to check my account where I had many. That was 2 weeks ago I didn't sign yet.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Well, if you don't they will be able to get the police to do so there is not really anything to be gained by refusing.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
On the paper is saying that prior me given them permission I can ask for "request for personal information "
Which can take them up to 40 days to respond.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

I'm not sure what you mean?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Before me give them consent to get financial information I can ask benefits office to provide me with information that they have for me on their records
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Will it help me in any way?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Not really. Whatever you ascertain won't change the fact that they have it or don't.

They do disclosure before you are interviewed anyway.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what is your advice ? What should I do ? Should I get some solicitor before I give them permission for further investigation?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

No, you may as well give them permission. You achieve nothing by refusing.

All you are agreeing to is that they can access things like bank accounts and they can get the police to do that anywyay

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