CEA abuse thoughts

(37 Posts)
PaddlingMadly Tue 16-Apr-13 09:49:30

Thoughts please? Living in SFA and several of us quietly seething due to a quarter nearby being used by family claiming CEA, but blatantly not living there. We don't know the details (nobody there to ask) so yes the busybodies could be wrong, but if suspicions are correct the worry is that every case like this give more ammunition for getting rid of CEA altogether, and some of us really need it. But if we do say something it'll disrupt innocent kids' education. Stay out of it?

goinggetstough Tue 16-Apr-13 10:25:33

The anonymous fraud helpline is 0800 161 3665.
Please report your suspicions, don't seethe in silence. You need to know the name/rank of the person (that is vital). They will ask for the school names, where the person works etc. Just give them what information you have and they can find out the rest if you don't know it.
CEA would not be withdrawn until the case is proven.
I have PMed you too.

PaddlingMadly Tue 16-Apr-13 10:31:40

Thanks goinggetstough, didn't know about this. It's a hard one.

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Apr-13 10:32:13

How do you know that the family is claiming CEA?

Is one of the 'busybodies' RAO staff?

PaddlingMadly Tue 16-Apr-13 10:59:20

Next door came round as they moved in to say hi, subject of children boarding came out then but you're right, don't know if they're paying themselves or claiming CEA. No, no RAO staff involved far as I know.

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Apr-13 14:09:09

So a complete non issue and nothing like your original post "due to a quarter nearby being used by family claiming CEA"

...and THAT is why Military wives have got such a bad reputation. Yeah, thanks for that.

goinggetstough Tue 16-Apr-13 14:48:10

LTEve I read it as family "moved in" and then have never been seen again. So therefore spouse not accompanying military person living in the quarter and with DCs at boarding school. So the OP has good reason to be suspicious. The family though may have a good reason for being apart/have been given permission and still be entitled to CEA but maybe not and that would then be fraud. The final alternative would be that they are paying all the boarding school fees themselves, possible, but rather unlikely on military pay.

I know of a family a few years ago who "pretended' to move in to a quarter and then the wife moved back to their own house for her job and to be near the DC's boarding school. They were caught and had to pay back the CEA. So it does happen. If this is similiar to the OP's situation then it is not a non issue IMO.

OP could you clarify.

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Apr-13 16:39:05

So the OP has good reason to be suspicious

I don't agree. OP doesn't KNOW if the family is claiming CSA - and lots don't.

OP is assuming and gossiping. People are "seething" about this family and talking about them behind their backs - When they don't even know the FACTS.

(Oh, and I'm on a military wage and could easily pay for my DD to board, not all Boarding School fees are astronomical)

PaddlingMadly Tue 16-Apr-13 16:51:44

goingetstough has explained it clearly and if you re-read you'll see we don't know which is why we're wondering... LtEve, have you something to hide??

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Apr-13 17:06:46

No, and that is EXACTLY what I am talking about. Bitchiness and passive aggressive bollocks like that. It makes me sick.

Having had to deal with 2 marriage break-ups over Easter where both wives had left their soldier husbands because of the nastiness of the patch, and the back stabbing and gossip of women with nothing better to do with their time, you should be ashamed of yourself. It's patches like yours that give the rest the bad name and stop successful military marriages in their tracks.

You say you are worried about disrupting innocent kids education? Well those innocent kids will suffer more if their parents split up because you are gossiping.

Wondering is fine, but seething and gossiping with your friends when you don't even know if the family is claiming or not? Not fine.

PaddlingMadly Tue 16-Apr-13 17:15:11

Lt Eve, I'm sorry you've had to deal with marriage break ups but I can assure you there has never been a single bitchy incident here.

Please bear in mind that wondering on an open forum whether it's ok for military personnel to defraud tax payers out of tens of thousands of pounds doesn't mean I'm splitting up marriages.

Clearly you're upset and this has touched a nerve; I'm sorry about that. I hope people you're dealing with are getting over it and the nastiness on your patch calms down soon. Best wishes for the future.

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Apr-13 17:46:14

Please bear in mind that wondering on an open forum whether it's ok for military personnel to defraud tax payers out of tens of thousands of pounds doesn't mean I'm splitting up marriages

No you weren't, you were assuming your new neighbours, people you have only met when they 'popped in when the moved in' were defrauding the MOD (we are all tax payers, so you don't need to quantify that to justify yourself) and gossiping about it with your mates. To the point that you are 'seething' about it when you don't actually know if it is even happening.

It's not just 'my' patch, it's patches across the forces where the women form cliques and outsiders are gossiped about. Check out the Forces Sweethearts board here on MN and see how many military wives refuse to live on the patch because of their reputation. It's bad for morale and bad for the Services.

Gossipmonster Wed 17-Apr-13 15:04:12

This is the "Forces Sweethearts" board confused

loubielou31 Wed 24-Apr-13 23:34:00

So how does one find out if there are legitimate reasons for the SFA to be unoccupied whilst in receipt of CEA?

Are you suggesting that this suspected fraud should just be ignored for fear of being accused of bitching? Would you be giving the same advice if it was a different crime being suspected?

It's a shame LtEveDallas that you have such a low opinion of wives and patches because in my experience when one of us is in need there is nothing like the support, help and kindness offered by military wives.

loubielou31 Wed 24-Apr-13 23:43:39

In fact it's much more likely that you making a song and dance about the bitchiness of married patches is what gives them such a bad reputation.

Paddling I can completely understand why other wives would be annoyed about a quarter being taken and then not occupied. Aside from the CEA issue it's a quarter that is being taken needlessly. Round here there simply isn't enough housing and families face a lot of uncertainty about when or even if they will be allocated somewhere to live. The idea that one is "going to waste" would madden me beyond belief.

LtEveDallas Thu 25-Apr-13 05:28:59

^So how does one find out if there are legitimate reasons for the SFA to be unoccupied whilst in receipt of CEA?

OP admitted she didn't actually know if CEA was being claimed or not - which is what made it nothing more than gossip.

There is a shortage of SFA everywhere, that's why local landlords do a rip roaring trade in SSFA. A quarter will always be found, there is no 'if' about it.

loubielou31 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:29:10

^ You didn't answer my question! How do you find out if there is a legitimate reason for the house not being lived in?

I would think it likely that the family is claiming CEA why else would a family pay rent on a married quarter that they then don't use? (I have to admit I am looking forward to your list of reasons why a family might do this)

What do you actually suggest the op does bearing in mind her suspicion that fraud is being committed?

And yes you will eventually be allocated somewhere to live but if you are also trying to find school places in an area where they too are in very limited supply any delay adds extra stress and worry. I repeat that I would be annoyed by this.

LtEveDallas Thu 25-Apr-13 13:45:57

That isn't the question you or the OP asked LoubieLou - you said unoccupied whilst in receipt of CEA and the OP said being used by family claiming CEA

The OP doesn't know if CEA is being claimed - she doesn't know the householder and none of the gossipers work within the RAO - although if they did and were gossiping I would be even more disgusted with them.

On my patch alone I have 3 Officers and 2 Warrant Officers who are essentially single householders. In all cases they are granted SFA by virtue of their appointment. 2 of the officers and one of the WOs are married, but their wives have not joined them in station. One of the officers lives opposite me, he is never home before 2100, and is at his desk by 0700. he also goes 'home' every weekend. His SFA looks completely unoccupied.

I also have a soldier who is a single father and entitled to SFA. He recently deployed and was able to get his son into Boarding School (that he paid for himself) whilst he was deployed, rather than his son go and live with family for the period. he was allowed to keep his SFA during the period as it had been adapted for his sons special needs. That SFA was completely empty for over 6 months.

However, none of this is your business, and the bitchy, PA comments provided by both you and the OP rather prove my point about the patch.

Callofthefishwife Thu 25-Apr-13 21:38:33

There is a whole list of legitimate reasons why the SFA may be "vacant".

It may be a temporary arrangement due to a whole host of possible circumstances.

However, if you believe otherwise you can report it. Investigations will discover whats what but you wont be informed, no matter what the outcome.

loubielou31 Thu 25-Apr-13 22:34:23

Thank you Callofthefishwife that is I think the answer the OP needed.

LtEveDallas you just sound as if you have an axe to grind and assume that all wives are nasty harridans. It must be a very unhappy world that you live in because I can genuinely say that the vast majority of wives on the patches I've known have been lovely. Just like the vast majority of soldiers I've known have not been arseholes.

LtEveDallas Thu 25-Apr-13 22:45:56

No axe LoubiLou, and not really sure what you are hinting at there? What 'axe' could i possibly have here? Just don't like assumptions being made, wives 'seething' without knowing the truth of a matter, gossiping and talking behind others backs. It is bad for unit cohesiveness and bad for morale. It impacts on the Service Person and their family.

Why wouldn't the OP simply ask the person she is talking about. How hard would that be? Why not be upfront?

I haven't called anyone a 'nasty harridan', please don't put words in my mouth. It is uncalled for.

loubielou31 Thu 25-Apr-13 23:07:44

She would have to see the person to ask them...I think you jumped very quickly to think the worst about the OP and then from that jumped to

"and THAT is why Military wives have got such a bad reputation. Yeah, thanks for that."

I think you must have met a completely different cross section of military wives to me... or that you are very quick to think badly of people and emphasise the negative points. Which really only upsets you.

Gossip is part of all human life and especially when you live in such small and closed communities, you just have to deal with it. Complaining about the bitchiness does not make it go away it just reinforces a negative image. We had a little phrase it was "Wivesnet, least secure, most accurate!"

landofsoapandglory Thu 25-Apr-13 23:18:50

I don't think LtEve sounds like she has an axe to grind at all. IMO she has a very accurate view of certain areas of MQ patches. Some wives will see things that they think are there, jump to conclusions and start tittle-tattling about it, and the (usually totally unfounded and untrue) gossip spreads like wildfire and causes a lot of hurt to those involved. Believe me, I know because I have been on the end of it.

The OP should poke her nose out unless she has complete factual evidence to back up her claims!

hf128219 Thu 25-Apr-13 23:51:32

It's going to be great when they start metering the water and electric to back up the occupancy of quarters. That will really catch a lot of people out.

LtEveDallas Fri 26-Apr-13 09:11:32

Believe me, I know because I have been on the end of it

That's rotten Land, I'm sorry about that. I get it to a point, because I am the SP and DH is the spouse, so of course I am shagging all their husbands...but thankfully most of the people I work with are decent and sensible. DH is glad that doesn't have to have anything to do with them.

I hate the reputation of the patch, and certainly don't agree that 'gossip is part of all human life'. Unless I've just got very strange friends, we don't see the need to gossip!

hf, anything that stops fraud AND gossip is a good thing in my eyes! grin

1980chick Mon 06-May-13 08:59:23

If anyone genuinely does suspect CEA abuse, just report it. Peer regulation discourages the cheating thieves. If you are fully entitled, you have nothing to fear!

1980chick Mon 06-May-13 08:59:52

If anyone genuinely does suspect CEA abuse, just report it. Peer regulation discourages the cheating thieves. If you are fully entitled, you have nothing to fear!

SarahJessicaFarter Sun 12-May-13 21:20:58

Electric? when was the last time you lived on the patch HF? I pay about 150 a month to heat my draughty quarter.

I agree with LtEve, voicing your doubts with out back up of fact is dodgy ground. We have a bad enough reputation for bitching and gossiping as it is without jumping in with accusations and anecdotal (at best) evidence.
I work full time, my DH is away. Children are out all day at school and afterschool clubs, if anyone were to look at my house it would appear that no one lives here. Gossip is not a part of normal human life, it is damaging and generally intended to be hurtful.

hf128219 Mon 13-May-13 13:13:13

But you obviously create mess in the evenings and weekends I would assume SJF? And there are signs you are around. Car. Rubbish bin etc.

loopydoo Wed 15-May-13 22:42:26

If the wife is the major bread winner or if they have loads of savings/rental properties/family money etc they could quite easily afford to pay their own school fees.

SarahJessicaFarter Wed 15-May-13 23:39:26

HF very true, I create a lot of mess and noise in the evenings, shouting at kids, sorting recycling wink. And there are two cars outside, one unused (OOA). loopydoo, kind of see where you're coming from, but let's assume that partner who is the major bread winner is following the flag and may give up their well paid job to move. I still think that while they continue to move us around CEA is valid. And I do agree that those who abuse the system should be taken to task, but unfounded gossip is never helpful.

hf128219 Thu 16-May-13 06:45:15

Agreed. But there are still a lot of people who take the system for a ride. I work FT, we live in our own house, bla bla. When I talked to someone about the future they said oh, just rent your house out for 6 months and move into a MQ, then you can get CEA. If I wished dd to go to boarding school we would pay ourselves.

AuntieStella Thu 16-May-13 06:53:41

Has anyone seen the current "urban myth" thread?

I think examples of abuse of CEA - as they appear on line - fall into this category.

It's wrong, of course it's wrong. And it does happen. But people get caught and fined etc. And in RL, everyone knows that reports of are welcomed and quickly resolved.

What doesn't happen is a flagrant abuse on the patch going on unchecked for months.

It's been a month since the anonymous tip-off hotline number was posted. So there is no need for, is OP puts it, the "busybodies" to be "seething". Especially as all the info on what to do if you expect abuse is readily available.

And your previous pattern of living is taken into account. Anyone who thinks you can 'just SFA for 6 months and get the allowance' is either deluded or pig ignorant.

hf128219 Thu 16-May-13 07:03:02

I certainly know people who do it I am afraid. You move into MQ for 6 months, you fit the criteria etc etc. you keep paying for the MQ for that posting but move out. No one needs to know. Seriously believe me.

If I was a cheating kind of person we could do it.

AuntieStella Thu 16-May-13 07:09:42

Then you also need to ring the hotline.

That is against the rules and needs to be dealt with, especially given the number of claims turned down these days because the family pattern of mobility is no longer acceptable since the revisions to the scheme.

Every single one of the "several people I know" needs to be reported. Moving out of SFA should trigger review, as would a quarter standing empty.

The review of entitlement will be prompt and discreet. And you'll no longer be complicit in fraud (assuming it isn't just empty talk).

hf128219 Thu 16-May-13 07:12:15

I agree with that. But people keep the MQs furnished etc etc. Pop back, DH or dw or everyone stays there sometimes.

SoggySummer Sat 18-May-13 01:11:47

You should still report it if as you say you KNOW people are doing this and it seems you know HOW they are tricking the system.

People defrauding the system should be dealt with promptly.

Around here the MOD police know if you have not been home. Our local MOD policeman asked us if all was OK as he had noticed our house "empty" and we had not reported it would be (thanks to DD having an unexpected and long stay in hospital). DH being the other side of the world and DD1 being at BS. Welfare were chasing me as were the police. After reading this I am wondering if maybe someone reported us????

The MOD police often enquire about other houses close by to me as well. Here we are expected to let them know if we are away. They seem to notice everything around here. It was the police that alerted one of my neighbours to the fact her garden table and chairs were not in her garden. She had not noticed.

I have no doubt that some people are conning the system and they should be reported as soon as you genuinely suspect this is the case.

However, there are genuine reasons why SFA may be empty despite claiming CEA - 1 case I know of off the top of my head is rehabilatation (with family temporarily accommodated at/near the rehab ctr whilst keeping their SFA). This happend last year/2 years ago to one of DDs boarding school friends. She didnt see her new house for about 8 months after moving.

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