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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
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: 8 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

How much are you receiving a month?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
322 in housing benefit and 40 pounds towards council tax reduction
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

Do you have any previous ?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No none
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months ago.
Also the fact I'm pregnant and have three children
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months 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 8 months ago.
What's the worst case scenario?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Could either of us be imprisoned?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

A prosecution.

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

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Whats most likely to happen?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months ago.

it does carry custody but that won't happen here

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If we are prosecuted what can happen?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

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

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Okay so you think there isnt a great need to be stressed over it? Ive not been sleeping properly
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

Well, they could prosecute. That is undesirable.

It is not going to lead to custody.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you and I hope your right as this has made me feel better
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months 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 8 months ago.
Excellent solicitor and great advice
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

All the best

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you x
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.

Welcome

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