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Why do the benefits people want to visit my house?

(37 Posts)
17leftfeet Thu 28-Aug-14 11:30:04

I'm on JSA at the moment

I've had a letter stating that the compliance team are coming to my home to check my benefits as my circumstances may have changed (they haven't)

I have to provide all my bank statements and details of all my accounts etc

Do I need to worry about this?

Please don't turn this into a benefits bashing thread -I feel bad enough as it is after working for 18 years then getting made redundant

CoolCat2014 Thu 28-Aug-14 11:34:18

No idea, though I think providing bank statements is pretty common. Are you claiming housing benefits? If so it's prob to make sure you don't have lodgers or something.

FrootLoopy Thu 28-Aug-14 11:36:44

To check if you're living with someone? How many children are in the house? Whether you're 'working' from home?

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Thu 28-Aug-14 11:41:09

Nice.

hmm

As if it's not bad enough that you have to go down there and be spoken to like shit they now want to intrude in your personal/private space.

I detest these people.

It's to make sure you're not claiming fraudulently. Have a husband/lodger/etc.

Have the stuff ready.

They'll ask to look round. A poster once said she heard them going through her bathroom cabinets and wardrobe. Luckily you can say no.

17leftfeet Thu 28-Aug-14 11:48:29

Well I'm sure they will love looking at my teenage daughter's bedroom!

It's the day the children go back to school and its a staggered morning so how I'm supposed to wait in from 8am is beyond me

redexpat Thu 28-Aug-14 11:51:47

Id get someone to be with you when it happens. 2 pairs of ears and eyes are better than 1.

I had one last year, the standard letter is awful and makes you feel guilty even when you are not. The man who came to my house just asked a few questions about who lived there and what other money I had coming in. He queried a very small payment I receive each year from an annuity which I should have declared when my benefit changed to income based. I had been receiving it for years and quite genuinely didn't realise it made a difference but it was easily rectified and he said he was happy it was an innocent mistake and not an attempt to defraud . He also said that he had spent the previous few weeks interviewing many people in a similar situation (nice to see the government chasing up the little people while ignoring the big tax evaders!).
He certainly didn't look round the house or anything like that, which is more than can be said for the HB people who did following a tip off I had a man living there (one of many such tip off from my ex!). They actually picked a pair of boxer shorts off the radiator and asked who they belonged to..they were my teenage sons!

gingercat2 Thu 28-Aug-14 11:56:27

That sounds awful, so intrusive sad

DoAndroidsDream Thu 28-Aug-14 12:08:09

Phone them, tell them it's the first day of school and ask to reschedule or make a definite time for that day.

They shouldn't ask to look around your home.

If you've recently started claiming, they will want to check that you are living at that address and not claiming fraudulently.

Did you provide all the documents when you claimed?

usualnamechanger Thu 28-Aug-14 12:09:06

This sounds awful. Sorry, I don't have any words. Good luck OP.

17leftfeet Thu 28-Aug-14 12:11:02

Yes I provided everything

My worry is it was my birthday this month and my dad transferred me money direct into my account so I could take the girls out -will that count against me?

GinAndSonic Thu 28-Aug-14 12:14:56

Sorry, no advice, just wanted to say im sorry that you are being made to feel so bad about claiming something you need to survive and are entitled to. It boils my piss that benefits claiments are automatically treat with suspicion and contempt when the number of fraudulent claims in actually pretty low. Why more time and money isnt put into chasing large companies or individuals who fudge their taxes, or even absent parents who refuse to pay child maintenence is beyond me. I suppose its easier to demonise low income and unemployed people. Bastards.

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Thu 28-Aug-14 12:15:30

You'll need written confirmation from your dad that the money was in lieu of a birthday present.

DoAndroidsDream Thu 28-Aug-14 12:17:21

No, gifts from family aren't taken into account. Presumably it's a one off transfer and they have your DoB so you just need to explain it.

Clarabum Thu 28-Aug-14 12:17:29

I had this once when my kids were really small. The man came in and was really nice and just went over some questions about my circumstances and then left. It was fine. I thought for a minute I was going to get a grilling.
Please don't worry. It might just be routine.

ItsANameChanger Thu 28-Aug-14 12:17:47

I am so glad I'm not on benefits anymore.

I would hate this invasion of privacy!

Fairenuff Thu 28-Aug-14 12:18:42

I don't know if this is standard, I've never heard of it before. Have you had someone staying recently that a neighbour or family member could have reported or something?

They seem to be under the impression that your circumstances have changed and you say they haven't, so they maybe got that information from someone else?

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Thu 28-Aug-14 12:21:57

I am so glad I'm not on benefits anymore.

Me too. The anxiety about what might happen next is overwhelming.

Chopstheduck Thu 28-Aug-14 12:25:20

It is standard. I think they just randomly get thrown up on the system and there are specific staff that do all these checks. I think I've had about 3 in the 10 years we've been in this house, for a very tiny amount of housing benefit we get. Once was 2 years running!

They just wanted to go over statements and the claim form, etc. All very standard and nothing to worry about. They might ask about the figure, but one off small figures really are not a concern. They've never rooted around the house or anything, just checked the facts I gave them verbally.

It is a horrible invasion of privacy sad

thornrose Thu 28-Aug-14 12:29:26

I had a tax credits compliance team visit some years ago. Apparently it was randomly generated, name out of a hat type thing.

They were nice but very thorough and two of them versus one of me. In hindsight I would've had someone with me.

I think it sounds as though they believe you have had a change in circumstance to be honest! Is there anything you can think of that could've triggered it?

TranmereRover Thu 28-Aug-14 12:30:05

It'll be pure spot checking. No different to a random tax return being picked up / security checked, as mine has just been. Pick up the paper today and see the story about the people who took the benefits agencies for a £4.5m ride, and you'll be satisfied that they need to do this sort of thing once in a while.
Looking at it as being "treated with suspicion and contempt" is ridiculously simplistic and without understanding of the process. They're not treating YOU with suspicion or contempt, they're putting a system of checks and balances in place and it'll be purely random.

purpleapples Thu 28-Aug-14 12:50:25

Awful this is happening to you. Something similar happened to SIL, they take note of family photos, men's shavers in the bathrooms and so forth. She was a single parents and they were seeing if she had a DP.

If it were me, I'd invite ALL my friends over that day. Fill every seat and sofa on your house, then tell everyone to sit silently and just stare at the benefit gestapoas they route through your stuff. Make them feel as awkward and uncomfortable as possible!

KittenOverlord Thu 28-Aug-14 13:00:00

I had this when I was on benefits, it was horrible. The man was reasonably nice, but he basically had no reason to be there. I had a boyfriend (now dh) but he never stayed over at that point, I only saw him about once a week! He was satisfied that all was well and I wasn't living the high life on ill gotten gains.

17leftfeet Thu 28-Aug-14 13:12:41

Definitely no boyfriend

Although I do have some men's shoes on my shoe rack due to the fact I have huge feet and they are comfy

misstiredbuthappy Thu 28-Aug-14 13:14:55

They want to know the ins an outs of a cats arse hmm

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