Home visit from a compliance officer, what's that about?

(38 Posts)
ehidontgetit Sat 23-May-09 10:34:35

Hello
I got a letter today saying I'm getting a home visit from the Income Support Compliance Officer, I need proof of my id, passport etc?

What's this about? I am really worried!

I don't understand as IS have all my info?

ehidontgetit Sat 23-May-09 14:05:37

bump

GypsyMoth Sat 23-May-09 14:08:32

sounds like someones reported you for benefit fraud!

google it....thats what i've seen on these boards for this. or have you missed your work focused interview at jobcentre?

me23 Sat 23-May-09 14:22:37

Have you recently had a baby, when I was on benefits a man from income support came round when dd was 4 months I think to make sure i was telling truth about claim.

RambleOn Sat 23-May-09 14:47:12

My friends visit was to check that there wasn't anyone living with her as a couple.

She could hear him rummaging in the bathroom cabinet shock

This does sound similar to when my ex made up a charming story about my new bf (who did not exist but according to him, was living with me!). But I did not have a home visit, I was called into the offices. If you have nothing to hide their is no need to worry.

stripeypineapple Sat 23-May-09 15:12:48

It's very standard.

When I was on benefits I had two of these visits.

They will just go through a few details with you and check that your situation hasn't changed.

You have not been reported for anything, if you had you'd be called into their offices for an interview, they wouldn't do you the favour of coming round.

The first time the woman came round and we she went through a new form with me the 2nd time the next woman didn't even do that, she just asked me if anything had changed, it hadn't so that was it.

You'll need to show her your bank account statements you get your IS paid into so she can see it's your bank account. Your passport or other ID so you are who you say you are and you'll need to sign a declaration to say your situation is the same as it was since the last time you claimed and you aren't being fraudulent.

ok smile

ehidontgetit Sat 23-May-09 18:21:59

Thanks, I'm just worrying excessively!

x-h is around alot to see DD, he only stays and sleeps on the couch if he's babysitting or visiting and I'm away.

He has been around a lot recently but only stayed once in the last month and before that once the month before.

I'm just panicking because he has occasionally brought me stuff, but that's not regular.

I'm freaking out, but he's got his own place where he rents a room, we are not together.

He does use my car sometimes for the car seat and ease, if it's his weekend with her, if I'm not using it.

ARGGGHGHGHGHGHHGHGHGH.

I'm getting paranoid now as I feel like I've done something really terrible! And I'm imagining that I'm being watched all the time. Its horrible.. I hate being on benefits.

jamestkirk Mon 25-May-09 00:08:14

hi

i had a couple of visits from the customer compliance officer when claiming IS as a single parent.

each time it was trying to prove fraud as they'd been informed i was allegedly working and not declaring it to the dss.

i looked up the customer compliance team on the net as i'd never heard of it. at the time it had just been set up to persue fraudulent benefit claims. you may want to google them.

GreenGables Mon 25-May-09 00:27:02

Hi, I just found this on MoneySavingExpert:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=6690272

ehidontgetit Mon 25-May-09 09:07:40

THat's got me worried now - although I've nothing to hide, it just makes me worry!

Did you find out who had made up the allegations against you, did they tell you who it was?

I'm wondering whether its a little bit of retaliation, as I've had to complain to the council about the downstairs neighbours, and the council asked me if I knew anything about the neighbours and their living arrangements (i.e. because it had been alleged they were doing things they shouldn't have been regarding housing benefit)....

I know ex-h is here alot but he's only stayed overnight a handful of times, if that, and normally when he comes over, I go out, or into the garden, or am busy doing my own thing, and for goodness sake, he rents his own room in a flat, where all his belongings are!!!!! Ridiculous! I feel like I'm being watched by the neighbours now, and it's awful!

I'm going to call them tomorrow and ask what its about, will they be able to say?

shelleylou Mon 25-May-09 09:13:32

Hi,
They wont tell you who made the allegation against you. Although the officer i had in feb told me the details that they were given which did make it a lot clearer who it was (vindictive ex). If you phone them they will tell you, i did that as i didnt want to sit worrying for a week about what it was.

shelleylou Mon 25-May-09 09:14:14

If someone has reported you they do still come to your house. Its to clear up information as there isnt enought to just investigate apparently

When I called them before I had the meeting they said it was just to check details, then I got there and they said "actually...". But DON'T worry, as you said, you are doing nothing wrong.

Although they don't say who has reported, with me it was obvious, ex was paranoid about me having a new bf (as if it was his business if I did!), and when I called him after to yell at him the fuckwit said "Well, I told you I would get you out of the house one way or another!" (That was 2 years ago and I am still here!).

expatinscotland Mon 25-May-09 09:21:05

That's nice how the government can pay people to rummage around in peoples' bathroom cupboards when tehy're claiming the pittance/week that is IS, but MPs were free to cream off tens of thousands in tax-free taxpayer monies every year in complete privacy until recently.

hmm

and they had the nerve to label people on benefits scroungers who should be forced to work no matter what (to pay for their moats and tennis courts and horse manure).

oopsagain Mon 25-May-09 09:25:09

Yo, expat. Too true.
I have been saying "moat" alot recenlty in a shocked, but mot so shocked manner.
And OP, just be truthful- and good luck!

ehidontgetit Mon 25-May-09 09:37:16

Thanks guys.

I'm going to call them tomorrow to find out, so I will let you know. I do not want to waste a week worrying (and I do worry alot) about it.

I hate being on benefits in the first place, I hate getting tarred with the "benefits" brush, but the reason I'm on benefits for the hopefully short term is because I need assistance - I worked up until I had DD and was a SAHM. Until my h left (he worked and supported us) the only assistance we got were tax credits. So because he's left and I'm now on benefits raising my DD, I feel like, well it's hard to explain, but I feel like I can't have a life. I can't wait to start earning and get off benefits!

I hope it is just a routine check. The indignity of someone searching through your home! I understand why they do it, but please, I do have some sense of pride and do at some point want to start providing for myself and my DD. Stupid XH leaving! I blame him

Or of course, it could be a routine visit and I'm getting worked up!

ehidontgetit Mon 25-May-09 09:40:40

Also, by the "benefits brush" i mean that some people assume all who are on benefits are scroungers. And that annoys me.

shelleylou Mon 25-May-09 09:51:16

I think them searching depends on the officer and what info they have been given/if they believe you. As i was told about them haivng a look round. Even said to the officer he could have a lok and he declined.

MrsBonJovi Mon 25-May-09 09:54:45

Standand reasons compliance visit approx 3-4 months after claim processed when claim is because of seperation.

Nothing to worry about as if he is maintaining a seperate household you will be fine.

Also reasons for them to visit is new baby born, esp with a different surname yet lone parent claims no contact/maintenance.

Living on less than personal allowance due to benefit sanctions.

All pretty standard stuff and no one should rummage through anyones cabinets, in fact most officers dont even like to accept cups of tea/use toilets whilst visting. If officers are being nosey/rummaging they should be challenged and reported cos it aint on.

ehidontgetit Mon 25-May-09 10:10:48

That's put my mind at rest, it would be about 3 months since my claim was processed, so that would make sense.

Maybe, just maybe, they should look at the wording of their letters......

I'm guessing Mrs that you work for the jobcentre or similar...
Thank you for putting mind a little at ease...

Although there is still that element of what if!

MrsBonJovi Mon 25-May-09 12:36:31

Sounds like it is just a standard visit then if you made claim that recently. They will just make sure you havent reconciled and not notified. they will also notify you of Maintenance and part time earnings rules.

Sounds like the contact you and your ex have is just amicable and friendly for the children which is much better than all out war.

I wouldnt even volunteer the info re overnights stays unless asked. buying a few bits of shopping is fine also but to be honest I would try and get a regular maintenance arrangement set up. You can receive £20 per week without it affecting Income Support (although you should still report it)

If they have serious allegations to put to you they would have called you in to do an interview under caution and not be calling round to yours like stripey said.

Put it out of your mind and dont worry.

mumsygem Fri 13-Aug-10 19:58:17

Hi,

Im in the same situation huni. I have a 2 yr old and a baby on the way to the same guy (im due next month) we had tried to sort things out at x-mas but it didnt work so was left pregnant. The kids dad has all his post at his mams but is living in wales. He comes to visit 1 or 2 weekends a month depending on work. When he visits he stays with us as with it being a regular thing for the kids it to much to folk out on hotels all the time. my son has a great relationship with his dad and iom not about to ruin that for them. anyways i have a compliance officer coming round on tuesday. I asked him why and he told me he had info my sons dad was living with us.I told him that it would be hard as he lives over 400 miles away in south wales. An i can get an address and give him my ex phone number to confirm. he said it wolud help me if i could do that. im worrying, not because i have anything to hide but the fact that someone is trying to get me in trouble and i dont know who or why??? i keep myself to myself and i am always nice to ppl living next to me. the compliance officer seemed nice on the phone and told me not to worry. i have not eaten propa or slept cos of this. so anyways can anyone tell me if i am doing anything wrong by having a civalised relationship with my son's dad and for letting him stay 1 or 2 weekends a month and that only for couple of nights. when he is here we do things together with our son as we dont want our split to affect our babies, is that against the law am i being fraudalint?

jamestkirk Fri 13-Aug-10 20:10:25

hi - just explain it all as you have here.

tho you do now have to prove your innocence.

the law was changed very quietly a few years ago under labour. the old 'innocent until proven guilty' set down in the magna carta was scrapped - they just didnt bother to tell us lol hmm

and it does mean youve been grassed up - not a good feeling i know - one of my neighbours did it to me twice - tho fortunately before the law changed.

jamestkirk Fri 13-Aug-10 21:55:37

oh - and just so i dont show any political affiliations - the new cons/lib alliance are introducing new measures to tackle benefit fraud.

credit reference agencies will investigate benefit claimants to check if theyre spending more than their benefits. this was already done by the benefit fraud people - they just weren't very good at it. agencies will be on commission ( or is it a mission?)

so if anyone gets cash handouts from ex's/family etc be sure to spend it on invisible items - nothing that will show on statements as they will be used aagainst you.

gillybean2 Sat 14-Aug-10 12:01:48

James if anyone gets cash handouts they should be declaring it.
If they don't want it to be an issue then the family member should buy them a gift, like toys or clothes for the children...

jamestkirk Sat 14-Aug-10 23:17:14

of course yes, thats what i meant.

listenandlearn Sun 15-Aug-10 00:05:34

this has happened twice to me basically nasty ex wife of my on/of partner reported me saying he was living with me,WAS NOT but they had to follow up

basically if they visit its because of a tip off,if u get a letter asking you in to the ofices under caution they really DO have very good evidence on you and are looking at prosecution

looked into this myself but yours sounds like a bog standard malicious complaint that they have to look at,dont worry they have nothing on you but they have to follow up these alligations

to many of these are made on inoccent people,time and resources are wasted when in my opinion could be better spent

dont worry just routine to them,as i said they are bound to chase these up

SupermumB Sun 15-Aug-10 16:15:12

I just had one show up at my door unannounaced. I have a 2 yr old and am 37 wks pregnant. I know why he showed up, I finally got fed up (after two years of non/mis payments of an informal CM agreement) and made an application to the CSA. He wrote me a letter and sent threatening txts saying that if I didn't callthem off he would call the benefits office on me. I've done nothing wrong so have nothing to worry about (not claiming anything I shouldn't, wouldn't dream of commiting benefit fraud) so ignored him. Anyway he went and contacted them anyway. Nice guy hey????

I had to show the guy everything. Even went through my daughters savings account book and was here for well over a hour. Think its disgusting that Ex's can use them as a form of intimidation against lone mums just trying to raise the children that they don't want to support.

Oh, and the reason why I know that he reported me is beaccuse I recently had a work focused interview at my job centre and was told that they wouldn't need to see me again until Dec 2010.

worriedmom03 Sat 18-Sep-10 14:45:52

please help

I have recently recieved a letter stating i have to go to an interview under caution i am on income support i have 3 children an i'm currently in an on/off relationship with my youngests father he does come round to see his son and has stayed on occasions but the most worryin is that due to him having no fixed aboad and staying at different peoples homes he has used my address on occasions as a point of contact. I am very stressed about this interview as i feel if it was just to clarify a few things they would of done this through a home visit can anyone help please?

frikadela Wed 22-Sep-10 19:18:31

I have a friend who works in the benefits offfice. Compliance officers can visit your house for a number of reasons, most are just to clarify things but obviously they do look into benefit fraud too.

To OP do not worry about your ex stopping the odd night. You are legally allowed to have someone stay over 3 nights a week so the occasional weekend wont make much of a difference.

shellbelle36 Sun 03-Oct-10 10:19:59

I have been on income support for 2 months, this month (Oct) being my third month. I received a letter from a compliance officer saying they are coming to my home on the 11th October and i need to show a number of things for proof of identity etc.... I am very worried. I phoned the woman up and she said she's got information and i need to sign a statment. What exactly could that mean?? Advice please!!!

Jessie2010 Sat 16-Oct-10 16:58:14

I today received a letter from income support saying they want to come visit me on Wednesday.
But it came on the same day I got a letter saying I have a been accepted for a job after an interview.
So would be phoning on Monday to cancel income support anyway as I am starting work the following week.
Should I let them come out anyway??

Jessie2010 Sat 16-Oct-10 17:00:53

It seems to be implied that someone has reported you for being on income support from the above posts.
I've only been on income support for 4 months - I've not told anyone I am on it.
My rent and bills are still being paid by ex instead of him paying child maintainance he stays over at weekends occasionally to be with the children. But not very often last time was about month and half ago.
He knows I am on income support and my parents and sister but no one else and I've checked with him and he has not told anyone.
Is it always because you've been reported or could it just be a matter of course. I didn't get the letter till today and office not open till Monday so I can't phone but now I've read all the above posts I'm very worried and anxious about it.

StrangeThings Fri 27-Jul-12 23:45:02

I got a visit from a Compliance Officer. We are just friends but we live together, I just moved in a couple of months ago because I could not get on housing. I wasnt getting enough money to get by every two weeks to be on my own.

They asked all sorts of questions like, who does the cooking? Who pays the rent? Do other people view you as a couple? Do you know anyone who thinks that you are a couple? Where do you keep your food, in separate places or together? Who does the housework?

It was pretty ridiculous, really. Then they tried to convince us that we should claim as a couple. So I am supposed to claim that I am part of a couple when all we are is friends?

I am in the middle of getting a divorce right now, and I talked to my Solicitor today about it, and just told her a little about this. She seemed in disbelief about it, sort of surprised. Then she said, "They are actually asking you to LIE, to claim you are a couple, when it isnt true".

Now is that true, or what? Yes it is! The Government is actually asking us to do what they consider as would be illegal if we ourselves did it, which is LIE. The only difference, is THEY are asking us to lie, so that they can claim OUR benefits, and keep us, the rightful owners of the benefits, from getting what is ours. I thought its US (the people who are on benefits) who are always accused of trying to defraud the Government and not the other way around?

I am just afraid of going out on my own, as I have never lived on my own before and am only getting £124 every 2 weeks. I dont think that I will be able to afford it, and if they decide to pull my money from me, I have a disability, and cannot work even though they claim I can. Its just a total nightmare!

So now they are trying to force me to become dependent upon some guy that I really barely even know, but had to go and live with because of what the Government did to me. Its horrible. This is jujst a way for the Government to be able to rob people of what is rightfully theirs. As soon as I got here, my friend and I applied for a two bedroom place. Good grief, I have been sleeping on the couch all this time for 2 months now. We are in NO WAY a "couple" but the Government just wants not to have to give us as much money, and that is all there is to it. Oh if you just knew the entire story, it would make you sick, honestly. I was in an abusive marriage and it was social services who forced me to be removed from my home. And I have a disability and am just basically left homeless, for all intents and purposes. Its just wicked.

PiratesMolMabel Sat 28-Jul-12 12:31:12

have recently recieved a letter stating i have to go to an interview under caution...I am very stressed about this interview as i feel if it was just to clarify a few things they would of done this through a home visit can anyone help please?

An interview under caution (IUC) is entirely difference to a compliance interview. A compliance interview is mainly to check the facts - some new(ish) claims are selected at random for a compliance interview & also they take place when there is a suspicion that somethings not right. eg' OP is probably having a compliance visit because her ex has been seen coming & going & there is a suspicion that they are maintaining a common household.

I'm sorry, I don't want to worry you, but an IUC is the beginning of a fraud investigation. The interview will be taped and anything that you say may be used in a prosecution case & used in evidence against you. You are entitled to have a legal representative or a support worker with you. I suggest that you go to the CAB & ask them for advice and support. From what you describe (ex staying overnight, using your address etc) they have evidence that you are maintaining a common household. DWP Fraud Officers have similar powers to the Police & are able to get hold of bank statements, letters from employers etc as evidence that your ex is living with you.

As I say, you need legal advice & support in the same way as if the Police were interviewing you. <hugs>

Before anyone asks, no I don't work for DWP, I'm a Social Worker - that's how I know about the benefits system wink

PiratesMolMabel Sat 28-Jul-12 12:38:01

are just friends but we live together, I just moved in a couple of months ago because I could not get on housing. I wasnt getting enough money to get by every two weeks to be on my own.

Hello Strangethings

The DWP isn't interested in people's sleeping arrangements or really the nature of their relationship - what they're looking at is whether you & your friend are maintaining a common household. This is why they asked questions about who does the shopping/cooking etc & how you spend your leisure time.

As you have a disability, it sounds like you're not getting all the benefits that you may be entitled to. Have you claimined Disability Living Allowance (DLA)? I suggest that you contact your local CAB or Welfare Rights organisation & ask them to check that you are getting all that you should be.

Good luck <hug>

Socknickingpixie Sat 28-Jul-12 21:51:57

strangethings

actually its not about if you maintain a common household its if you are living togather as tho you are husband and wife.the nature of your relationship is very important its actually the only thing that is important.

if you are not you do not have to claim as a couple and if you do you are breaking the law the dwp staff member who told you that is wrong.
the reason for the questions they asked you are to work out if you do things as if you are a couple or not.
if you each pay for your own food/bills and are inderpendant of each other with stuff like future plans socializing and housework/meals ect then you are not living as a couple.
the reason why you wernt asked about your sleeping arangements is because they are not legally allowed to ask you this they are also no longer able to snoop around your house with out your consent.
if you go ahead and claim as a couple they are legally entitled to assume you have been part of a couple for as long as you have been there and can claw back payments made during this time,they can actually use a change to your claim (from single to couple) as evidence of fraud.

if you dont belive me go check out the dwp claiment compliance rules on their own website (they have to publish them now as part of foi regs) if you cant find them on that website go to taxcredits as both are now legally obliged to use the same rules.
do not change your claim unless you are actually living as a couple,you are perfectly entitled to claim as single people if you are single.

if you have problems with sorting this out give comunity legal advice a call on 0845 345 4345 mon-fri 9am to 8pm or sat till lunchtime they are actual solisiters they have a welfare benefits specialist team who will not only confirm what i have said but advocate on your behalf and they are funded by legal aid so to you its free,they can also check you are getting everything you should be.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now