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Customer Compliance Officer(73 Posts)
Hi all, I am new to the site and was wondering if anyone had any experience's with a compliance officer? I am a young lone parent and recently received a letter from the Jobcentre saying that they need to come for a home visit due to allegations that have been made against me. I'm not really bothered about it as I have nothing to hide, but it just gets to me that someone (I think I know who) has gone all out to report me.
Although I do have a boyfriend who is also the father to my 5 year old daughter, he does not live with me and ever since moving into my flat about 3 years ago I have had nothing but problems with certain people in my block of flats all because one of them had a fight many years a go with my boyfriends mum and clearly has held a grudge over him and his family ever since.
I know it sounds silly but that is the only reason I can think of, for someone to report me as I feel I'm not doing anything wrong.
My boyfriend does work and stays at mine on his days off which is about 2-3 times a week, but does not contribute to any household bills, cooking, cleaning etc. And the only clothing he has at mine is a spare pair of socks and boxers, and maybe a can of deoderant but that's it.
Is this really classed as benefit fraud? I have spoken to family and friends about this and they all say that I am doing nothing wrong, so I thought I would write a thread and find out from someone who has had experience with a compliance officer.
It may well seem odd to a compliance officer that you are in a long term relationship with this fella who is the father of your child and he stays over with you almost half the week yet doesn't contribute or help you financially at all. Does he pay maintainence for your child ? HMRC are really investigating single parent claims and scrutinising any financial links.
It will most likely be that someone has reported you for claiming as a single parent when they see your working partner visiting your home 2-3 days a week. It will be up to you to prove otherwise.
you are in a relationship with the father of your child - therefore you are not a single parent. You may choice not to live together, which is fine but you are not a single mother - how can you be?
If you want to be in a relationship and then have a child and live apart fine - but don't claim benefits as a single person with a child - that is not what you are.
Oh dear, this isn't good. You are in a relationship.
Why don't you live together? What's the reason?
What does your partner spend his wage on whilst the state supports you ? Does he pay you maintainence for your child? Compliance officer will want to know if he helps you out financially, surely he does not keep his whole wage to himself whilst you struggle on benefits ?
I doubt op will come back
the compliance officer will check bathroom, any tv subscriptions and will have built a case around the op claiming, they will have made checks with the csa and other bodies.
OP I don't want to worry you but like another poster said, DWP and HMRC are really investigating single parent claims now. I know a girl who was claiming as a single mum when she had a working partner, and she got called in twice to speak to customer compliance officers who were just 'checking ' on her relationship status each time. She came off benefits after that as far as I know and is living with her partner now. Her dp is also dad to her kids too. You technically aren't a single parent because in some way, whether its a pint of milk here or there or money for the kids, your dp is still contributing to your household. If I were you I'd get him to move in and whatever you can't afford, you may get HA or child tax credits to top your household income up. This is a common situation IMHO
Presumably op you have been with this fella for possibly 6 years. Has he really not contributed to the upkeep of his child for that length of time? Do your family and friends really not see any problem with this - are any of them taxpayers?
Thank you for all the replies, there is a reason as to why my boyfriend does not live with me and that's because we used to live together about 4 years ago but it didn't work out due to him bringing trouble to my door all the time and I got told by social services, police and my landlord that if there was anymore trouble then I would be at risk of being evicted and losing my daughter. So I decided that he wasn't going to live with me anymore because I wasn't prepared to lose my daughter or my home because of him.
He does not pay child maintenance at the moment, but we have spoke about him paying child maintenance but we don't know how to go about it?!
So when I start getting it off him would I need to inform the benefits people that he gives me i.e £20 a week?
I am only young and do not understand how it all works.
Surely if you have evidence i.e a council tax bill that he lives at a different address then you can prove that he doesn't live with you?
I think you will be ok if you can prove he lives elsewhere. it would be best to set up a maintainence payment though - it seems unfair that he gets away with paying nothing even when he has a job - I guess he know you and your child are being provided for so he will get away with it if he can - like he ahs for the past however number of years . He doesn't sound a great catch to be honest if he pays nothing towards you or your daughter, not even when he is at your house.
I think you're likely to be in trouble, OP.
Have a read of the Tax Credits compliance manual
The DWP will operate similarly.
You have a boyfriend who is the father of your child and stays at your house 3 days per week. Do you socialise together? Do you eat together?
I have a similar setup, although he is not father to my children, hes simply my bf. There are no clear cut rules- i used to beleive he was only allowed to stay 2 nights, which i then found was a myth. Basically as long as he doesnt reside at yours permanantly and isnt financially linked you should be ok- so he will need to be on the electrol roll at HIS address, bills from his address, letters sent to his address etc
I cant see how youre doing anything wrong when the person does not live with you, presumably like my bf yours has rent/c/tax, food etc etc to pay for at his address??
Not sure about the whole aspect of it being your childrens father though, can you agree a maintainance set up? he should be contributing to his child.
You can set up a private arrangement for him to pay maintainence or you can go through the CSA. It will not affect your benefits.
I think the compliance officer may query why he has never been pursued for maintainence and may assume he has been financially assisting you in other ways. If you can prove he hasn't then you may be ok .
Thank you all for the replies, spoke to my boyfriend and we've arranged that he is going to start paying me £20 a week as from his next pay day as he's just had to give his mum his rent money. So where do I go from here? Do I need to tell the compliance officer that I've not received any money from him, but have recently made a private agreement with him that he is to start paying child maintenance? And would it need to be done through direct debit, or can he just give me the money?
The DWP aren't interested about maintenance - it's not taken into account for benefit calculations.
What they are interested in, is that you have a boyfriend who is the father of your child and stays in your home 3 nights per week, yet you are claiming that you are single.
I think you will just need to be very honest with them, because they may well have been watching your partner coming and going at your home and may have been gathering evidence against you. I know that is not a nice thought but this is how they operate. Someone will have reported you either maliciously or because they think you are wrongly claiming benefits as a single parent. I think they will find it hard to believe that for the 2/3 days a week that he is there, that you pay for his food etc and get nothing from him when he works. Does he pay council tax, rent etc where he lives - does he have bills to prove it ?
I still think that you need to stop thinking of this as 'they've got it all wrong'. The fact is you are living with your boyfriend for half the week.
Op, I think you will get away with this though .There was a married couple lived down my road, they split up and she started claiming as a single parent . He visited every single day from 4pm til he started his nightshift at 8pm. He stayed over from fri morning when he finished his last nightshift to sun pm. They continued to sleep together , eat together etc.They were reported but still no action was taken because he had another address. They got away with this for 2 years or more despite . She was questioned by a compliance officer but no action was taken.
Thank you for the replies. Oh yes I am going to be honest with them because I really don't have anything to hide. That sounds exactly like me and my boyfriend, he works night shifts and only comes up a few hours before he goes to work. So hopefully it will all go well with the compliance officer. I don't know about the council tax, but he lives with his parents so pays his mum and dad £120 a month and he doesn't have bills to pay there, his mum splits the rent money she gets off him and puts towards bills, shopping etc.
I think there is a rule that you can have a boyfriend/girlfriend stay over up to a maximum number of nights per week and it not affect a claim as a single parent? You might be OK, OP.
I would book an appointment with the Citizens Advice Bureaux as soon as possible and go and find out exactly what the rules are and how your situation lies with them. I'd advise doing that so that you know exactly what the crack is before you have your meeting with the benefits officer as some can be a bit inconsistent when applying the rules.
Either that or there might be a benefits advice service in your area that might be able to advise you.
Then have a good think about the maintenance side of things.
It's not easy sorting these things out when you're young, so it may help to get clued up on the facts of the situation.
Tue 26-Feb-13 20:50:44
"My boyfriend does work and stays at mine on his days off which is about 2-3 times a week"
Fri 01-Mar-13 19:01:13
"That sounds exactly like me and my boyfriend, he works night shifts and only comes up a few hours before he goes to work."
Yes, that story sounds consistent
lougle, I do not have to explain my whole situation through a site, I originally came on here to get a bit of advice as I was told this was a good site to come to, obviously not. I now know that I should never have started a thread. Yes I said my boyfriend works and stays at mine 2-3 times a week, but that is on his days off. He comes up every day to help me with our daughter as I am only 22 and sometimes find it a struggle coping with my daughter who has problems. I love it how people constantly look down their noses at young mums on benefits. Do you think I wanted to be in the position I am in today? I never wanted to be on benefits and can't wait to go out and get a job and earn my own money.
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