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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70516
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have recently been investigated for Benefit Fraud for

Resolved Question:

I have recently been investigated for Benefit Fraud for housing benefit and it has been ruled that I have incurred an overpayment due to having capital over the 16k threshold. I received an overpayment letter saying I owed £15,750.00 but this amount is calculated from the first to the last date I claimed and doesn't take into account that I didn't hit the 6k threshold for 7 months and the 16k threshold approx a year after claiming. They haven't included anyou underlying entitlement to benefit in their calculations (my own calucluations bring the overpayment to roughly 11k). Should I ask them to recalculate the overpayment amount? I am scared that this will make court proceedings more inevitable or shall I pay the incorrect amount? Again if taken to court though this amount would see me receiving a higher punishment.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How did you come to fail to declare this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had no savings at the beginning of my claim until I received a student loan 7 moths later. I gave my mother money to put aside for daughter from this money not knowing that it was agaist the rules. I attended an interview under caution and when this was all explained I pleaded guilty.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. There is a risk either way. That is the truth of the matter.

They may prosecute you even if you don't ask for recalculation. I can see why you would want them to recalculate as this is just plain wrong.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

They shouldn't summons just because you ask them to correct an error but we all know the reality of human nature.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I fully intend to pay back all of the money immediately and will make it clear that I am not contesting that I am at fault for causing the overpayment just that I think it may be less as from their calculations my claim was fraudulent from the outset which it was not. Do you advise that I ask for a recalculation?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I would in your position. The saving is likely to be worth it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If that annoys them and they start considering a summons then that is a risk. People are like that.

But it would be worth it here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I do pay the incorrect amount and they did take me to court could that mean I get a harsher punishment as it is quite a bit higher? I am just trying to weigh up the possibilities
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No but it is the conviction that you want to avoid.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in your opinion should I appeal the amount or overpay and hope that means I avoid a summons?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

In your position I would ask them to recalculate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No problem.

All the best.

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