If you have acted dishonestly or deliberately to claim benefits to which you’re not entitled and this comes to the attention of the office paying your benefit, they may try to investigate you for benefit fraud.
Benefit fraud is a criminal offence and is treated differently to benefit overpayments. This is because benefit overpayments can happen for other reasons.
Examples of benefit fraud include:
- Deliberately failing to tell the benefit office about your true financial circumstances when you claimed the benefit. For example, you were working while claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or you did not declare all your savings because you knew that it would affect your entitlement to the benefit
- Deliberately failing to tell the benefit office about your true household circumstances. For example, you were living with someone but claiming benefits as a lone parent
- Using a false identity or using false documents to claim benefits. For example, you used a false birth certificate so that you could claim Child Benefit
- Deliberately not telling the benefit office about a change of circumstances because you knew that it would affect your entitlement to the benefit
Challenging an overpayment
You may have been contacted by the benefit office because you have been overpaid benefit. This is not necessarily fraud but can run parallel to a fraud investigation.
Cartwright King have recourse to experts and fraud solicitors who can assist with the civil overpayment and advise on appealing the alleged overpayment.
Often we find overpayments are incorrectly calculated by the investigating authority. By reducing the overpayment amount can have a drastic affect on whether the person is prosecuted and the amounts that can be considered in confiscation proceedings. The DWP and local authorities are pursuing defendants in proceeds of crime act hearings an area that Cartwright king specialises in.
If the fraud investigators already think you have committed a benefit offence they are more likely to interview you under caution. If you are asked to attend an interview under caution, this means that anything you say in the interview could be used as evidence in court. You should be told this before the interview starts. Interviews can be demanding and stressful. We are here to assist you with that interview and strategise with you as to the best course to take.
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, our team of Fraud solicitors are adopting Skype video calling to continue providing excellent legal services to you.
How to make contact
Cartwright King also promotes remote working, so we can provide you with the same excellent service outside of our office locations.