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Ask Michael Holly Your Own Question
Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6904
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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I am on Carers Allowance and a few years ago I earned extra

Customer Question

I am on Carers Allowance and a few years ago I earned extra income on several occasions without informing the benefits office. This was because the money I earned was in one off payments and I understood that this would be spread across 52 weeks....i.e. it equated to less that £100 per week. I did this work on a computer at home and it did not prevent me from carrying out my caring role. I now know that I misunderstood the rules having had an interview last week at the Benefits Office. At first I didn't understand what this interview was about but when I came home and started to look up the info I found to my horror that I have been in breach of the rules. i am extremely concerned and am waiting for another letter. I was told after my original interview that my case would 'go before a panel' and that I would hear in a few months what the decision would be. The compliance officer suggested that I would have to pay back the money which I am more than ready to do but I think I will also get a fine. What scares me most however is getting accused of fraud and having to go to court. I'm a 61 yr old woman looking after my disabled husband. I'm not coping and the thought of going through this until I next hear from them is causing me so much panic that I am becoming quite ill. Is there any way I can speed this up to relieve my suffering? Please advise!
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Notts
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes the details of my income
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 3 months ago.

Hi

How much is involved in total, how many occasions did you earn the extra money and over what period of time did it occur?

Michael

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for your reply Michael, unfortunately things have got even worse since I wrote, I have only just realised that I should have told the tax office that I have been in receipt of CA and I have not done this since first receiving it 6 yrs ago!! I'm in trouble so I have just contacted a specialist solicitor, I'm extremely worried that I am guilty of such a huge oversight. Not sure I'm going to cope with this or even physically survive it, this has all been done in complete innocence or ignorance! Thanks anyway.
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 3 months ago.

Try not to worry too much, given you are your husband's carer it would be unfair on him to deprive him of care through something he is not involved in so my feeling is that you can expect to repay the amount with a fine on top but you will be able to continue helping your husband.

Good luck

Michael

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks Michael, will I be charged with a criminal offence do you know, will I have to go to court given also that my earnings went undisclosed?
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 3 months ago.

They have the power to charge you and if it reaches interview stage then they know they have a strong case so I suspect they will and you will have to go to court.

If a guilty plea is entered by you your solicitor will have the opportunity to put what is called a plea in mitigation to the court which are the reasons why this happened and the effects of this on you and your husband.

Michael

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks Michael
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 3 months ago.

My pleasure

Michael