to not believe that the DSS would investigate a benefits claimant for anything other than someone reporting them?

(76 Posts)
MoodyDidIt Thu 10-Jan-13 10:38:18

my BF is is a single parent and has had a letter today saying she has got to visit the jobcentre, as there is some sort of "query" with her benefits. they have been suspended until after her visit and she is very worried and upset.

she has nothing to worry about because as far as she is concerned she hasn't done anything wrong (ie no cash in hand working or dp living with her) but obviously it will affect her financially while its being investigated.

she doesn't believe anyone would report her, but i think she's being a bit naive and i think someone probably has, and if i was her i would be very concerned that i probably couldn't trust someone in my life. hmm i have been in a similar situation a few years ago when i was a single mum, and there was no way that it could have come from anything other than someone maliciously reporting me. (i should add i had done nothing wrong either, and nothing came of my investigation)

but surely they would not just randomly pick people out of their records to investigate for no reason? i wouldn't think they have the time or the resources to do this?

KatyPeril Thu 10-Jan-13 10:41:25

I think somebody must have reported. I doubt they'd pick random names out of a hat.

cozietoesie Thu 10-Jan-13 10:42:45

They certainly could investigate them for other reasons. A fair bit of 'data matching' goes on nowadays. Doesn't mean that she's done anything wrong and presumably she'll come out of it OK. Maybe just an inconsistency that has to be resolved.

overthemill Thu 10-Jan-13 10:44:10

probably someone has reported them but they DO investigate randomly (via computer generated stuff). she should seek advice from cab

There could be any number of things, someone may have used her national insurance number, she may have missed a back to work interview, they may have cross referenced with another agency and there is a wrong DOB or name spelling somewhere. She will more than likely find out when she attends but it doesn't mean she has been reported.

IneedAgoldenNickname Thu 10-Jan-13 11:17:48

I've been investigated, the job centre said I was picked at random. I have a couple if friends who have had the same thing, so I assume it was random. However none of us had our benefits stopped as a result.

MoodyDidIt Thu 10-Jan-13 11:18:52

data matching?? confused whats that?

i doubt they would stop her benefits though for any other reason than someone filing a report

bet they don't pay her any money back, i don't think they did when it happened to me.

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 11:19:49

I think before you make her paranoid, you should let her get the appointment out of the way and find out exactly what the problem is.

It could be a clerical error that's flagged something up for example.

gobbledegook1 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:24:53

If someone has reported you they actually tell you on arrival that you are there because someone has done so and what the person has claimed. What they won't tell you is the name of the person that reported you or whether that person is male or female.

Tell her not to worry, if she's not ding anything wrong they'll lift the suspension pretty quickly. It might be an inconsistency with some info given, or a data error. They stop the benefits as a precaution in case she's a no-show at the interview.

I was recently told that my benefits were stopping as I had no child.....when I quite clearly do and have the scars and stitches to prove it! They get things wrong a lot.

They would. They stopped my tax credits because they did a random check with the child benefits people and there was an inconsistancy with one of my dcs dob.

Why are you so convinced she has been reported, is she doing anything wrong? Does she have a boyfriend stay over a lot or something?

If they don't find anything wrong they have to pay her the money back.

cozietoesie Thu 10-Jan-13 11:32:59

MoodyDidIt

Right hand has a bunch of (usually computer) information, left hand has a bunch of information, they put the two together and compare them.

What cozietoesie said....

One system said I had a child, the other one didn't....so it confused the hell out of them.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 10-Jan-13 11:38:52

A relative was called into the Jobcentre a few weeks ago because they (the Jobcentre that is) had paid a couple of weeks' JSA late and my relative hadn't noticed. Obviously this must mean that he didn't really need the money, ergo he must be working on the side hmm As soon as he explained the situation they were fine about it.

I'm sure they do occasional spot checks anyway, as indeed they should.

coppertop Thu 10-Jan-13 11:41:39

I had a letter from a tax credits compliance officer to say that they were investigating my claim. They wanted proof that I received DLA for my DSes. They were happy to wait for the extra few days it took to get copies of the relevant paperwork.

I don't talk about finances IRL so I would be very surprised if the investigation was triggered by someone reporting me. I think they do sometimes randomly pick names.

picketywick Thu 10-Jan-13 11:45:55

I suspect most of the reports to the DSS are done by people who do not know the complex system.

If you ever try to read the DSS laws in the library; you need a barristers brain to understand it all Simple it is not.

AmberLeaf Thu 10-Jan-13 11:59:34

Not necessarily a report.

I was sent a letter and asked to call/come in due to a query.

They wanted proof I was me and I had to take bills and things proving I lived at the address on my claim.

Turned out that someone was using my details to claim in another part of London.

They sent a letter also making a big point that they had no reason to believe it was from info gained from within the system.

In short what it seemed it was was a fraudulent claim made by someone who worked for DWP using my details.

It was cleared up when I showed all my paperwork inc kids school letters, letters about my sons outpatients at local hospital etc.

TandB Thu 10-Jan-13 12:20:47

It's not necessarily a report. I have just come back from court where I was representing someone up for benefit fraud. That came to light due to cross referencing between agencies. They were claiming something that should have meant they also claimed something else which they didn't.

It won't be a random check if her benefits have been stopped. There will be something actively being investigates but it could be a mistake or something minor.

MoodyDidIt Thu 10-Jan-13 14:40:39

wow amberleaf thats shocking. makes you wonder if a lot of it goes on, i suppose if employees know the system well, they also know how to cheat it. or attempt to. glad it got sorted.

and thats what i thought kungfu - if it was just a random check then why would they stop someone's money. if it was me i would be sure someone had tried to report me. but then maybe i am paranoid and untrusting grin

JeezyOrangePips Thu 10-Jan-13 14:47:50

There is a lot of inter agency communication. For example, if someone had registered for council tax and the officials had mistakenly put them in the wrong house (crescent rather than street, or wrong house number) that can cause problems with benefits.

MammaTJ Thu 10-Jan-13 16:04:35

If someone applies for a loan using her address, that would be enough to get her investigated.

A car belonging to someone other than her registered at her address would also do it.

MoodyDidIt Thu 10-Jan-13 17:50:18

hmmm i can see why that would get someone investigated mamatj grin

LineRunner Thu 10-Jan-13 18:14:34

My understanding of 'data matching' is where the DWP or the Council has a look at your credit files to see of anyone else is connected with your address, for example, if you are claiming as a single parent.

thecook Thu 10-Jan-13 18:36:52

If someone has reported her she will be told during the interview. This happened to me but I wasn't told until about an hour into the interview when I shouted at the staff and asked why they had brought me in.

The allegations were totally unfounded and I had my JSA stopped for months as a result. I got a solicitor in the end (legal aid). They sifted through every detail of my financial affairs. They had my bank statements on the table when I entered the interview room. The solicitor sorted it all out for me in the end. He had to keep reapplying for legal aid for me though. He must have earnt a bit out of it!

Although I am now working I have submitted a couple of FOI and data protection forms. I know I won't find out who did this to me but it will keep them busy.

TandB Thu 10-Jan-13 18:40:44

thecook - pretty irrelevant, but if your solicitor kept telling you he was having to reapply for legal aid for the investigative stage of your case, then he was telling you porkie-pies! You automatically qualify for free representation for interviews and if there is any other work to do it is a simple form and you either qualify for free help or you don't. No application necessary, let alone multiple ones!

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