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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I recently received a text to my phone from the DWP

Customer Question

I recently received a text to my phone from the DWP requesting a compliance interview. I am in reciept of Carers Allowance for a number of years and started work back in 2014 December. Because my wage was set at a certain rate for a few months and then would go up I wrote to the carers allowance and supplied my wage slip. I then received in April a new letter stating my carers element pay, i assuemed my wage hadnt hit the threshold ( my wage is around 400 per week) I had read the letter stating that it would be effected after earning 116 but didnt know how much by .. I didnt think anything more of it. Unitl last night when i received a text. Knowing that i only claimed for carers allowance, I phoned them this mronign to check on my details, for piece of mind. To my surprise they had no knowledge of my working, and have sent me out a change of circumstances. Now I accept that if i was not entitled to anything i have to pay it back. But i have two questions.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: 1) I did send the letter in back in January 2015 explaining i have a certain wage and included the wageslip but it would be going up from 19000 to 27000 2) Because i was the one that checked on this and picked up on this error would it be seen as deliberate fraud
JA: What action has been taken so far? What's your ideal outcome?
Customer: the text was meant for my wife as a random check up btw they wasnt even asking to see me UK
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thats it thankyou
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
there has been no action, the person i spoke to on the phone just said they would send out a change of circumstances and put a pause on sending me any payment. I accept that if i have had over payment I need to pay it back. But as i genuinely sent out the letter in 2015 knowing that i had to inform, but thought that my wage had not effect the amount I was receiving i thought that was it.i am now worried it will seem like fraud but I was the person that picked up on it ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

How can I help with this please?

I am offline for a while as I'm going underground but will pick up soon.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How long is soon sorry ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Probably about an hour?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
ok
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Hi. I am here. Need the information I asked for?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what information ?im based in the UK
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Sorry, I need to know what you want to know about this?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I want to know1) if this will be seen as fraud, if i reported it myself whilst not being investigated, I was the one that picked up the error and made immediate steps to correct ( i didnt think the letter i received in april 2015 was just generic) . That had sent a letter in Jan 2015 (i have no proof) and under my own steam, will offer to make payments.2) Ive looked at law guides and it seems as my benefit claim wasn't fraud from the outset if they did accuse me it would be medium culpability and band 5 ( 2500-1000)3) Im worried that now ive updated an error (through missing paperwork) they will blame me and its not fair if i picked up a genuine error.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Thanks

1 Yes, you could be. It is possible. The fact that you reported is very helpful from your point of view but it doesn't preclude a prosecution.

2 Yes, there are other considerations but basically that is right.

3 Well, that is possible. There wasn't really another alternative than to tell them though. If they had found it then things would be far worse.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
What advice would you give fro my next steps, im waiting to fill out a change of circumstances.what should i do now, is there somewhere i can read up about making an update really lateMy last thought is if i just had ended the carers allowance by saying i no longer needed it that would have shown i have tried to cover it up.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

I don't think you have any option but to disclose. If you don't they will ultimately find it and then it will look suspicious.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what steps should i do now to help my situation ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Well, as I have said really, you don't have any other option but to disclose to them.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have done so when i had phoned and told them the information was inaccurate. I am asking if there is anything else i can do other than inform them and fill out the change of circumstances form.It doesnt say on the annual letter all carers allowance will stop if i earn above 116 just that it will be effected i didnt know to what level.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 months ago.

Not really.

Disclosing was the right thing to do. They would have found it in the end.

It might well be that it doesn't stop.