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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 69994
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My partner and I claimed housing benefit and council tax

Customer Question

Hi, my partner and I claimed housing benefit and council tax reduction for the last 8 months recently we have had to fill in a revirw form but unintentionally he forget to mention he owned a property with mortgage I miscarried at the same so we were both upset, however he realised this time during the review he hasnt declared it and is declaring it without them asking what can happen? Im currently pregnant and have 3 children
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

How much are you receiving a month?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
322 in housing benefit and 40 pounds towards council tax reduction
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any previous ?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No none
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

OK.

Obviously this is a relevant non disclosure. There is no way around it. If you disclose before they find it then they will probably just let you repay. It is an amount just under £3k which is usually their cut off point.

There are no guarantees. They could prosecute for a much smaller sum. They do sometimes. In fairness, this was a false declaration from the outset rather than a change in circumstances and you can't hide from that.

But you usually win a lot of brownie points if you do disclose.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would I also be held liable even though my partner didnt declare it and will they taken into account i suffered a miscarriage last year when we first claimed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also the fact I'm pregnant and have three children
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

The miscarriage is a non issue. They wouldn't really consider the children either in this specific circumstance.

If you completed the forms as well then you are liable.

There is an offence they can use for people who are living with those who are falsely claiming anyway although it is not common.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What's the worst case scenario?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could either of us be imprisoned?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

A prosecution.

Yes, it does carry custody but that won't happen here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Whats most likely to happen?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If you disclose before they find it then they will probably just let you repay. It is an amount just under £3k which is usually their cut off point.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ive been really stressed out as I am 8 weeks pregnant and keep thinking i will lose my children n go to prison
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

it does carry custody but that won't happen here

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If we are prosecuted what can happen?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I would expect a fine or a conditional discharge and repayment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay so you think there isnt a great need to be stressed over it? Ive not been sleeping properly
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, they could prosecute. That is undesirable.

It is not going to lead to custody.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and I hope your right as this has made me feel better
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No problem and all the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jomo1972’.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Excellent solicitor and great advice
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

All the best

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you x
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Welcome