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Friend 'working the system'

(94 Posts)
leannarose5 Tue 25-Nov-14 23:37:46

I have a friend who was in a very sticky spot this time last year. She had gotten pregnant from the result of a one night stand and he didn't want to know. I really felt for her. Obviously, she had to claim some benefits as her wages weren't enough, and rightfully so.

Fast forward a year, she is in a new relationship, they are living together, he treats her child like his own and she helps to run his familys business. She has just found out she is expecting.

She also recently told me that her boyfriends family pay her cash in hand, and she does not declare her wages. She hasn't declared that her boyfriend is living with her despite the fact he is working full time and owns a property which he rents out. She hasn't declared that her daughter's father pays her maintenance. She has now decided to tell me that she can't believe how rich she is going to be once she has her second baby, so she is not planning on declaring it then either.

I know it's none of my business, and I know reporting her wouldn't make me any better off financially (I don't plan to report her) but I can't help but be furious. To the point where I am really struggling to be around her. I am a believer that the welfare system is a safety net for people who really need it, just like she did originally, and people who abuse that are the people who make everyone so anti-welfare and it's really unfair on people who truly need it.

So my question is, would I be unreasonable to avoid her, although she hasn't done anything to me personally, because I disagree with the way she lives her life? I know I sound a bit stuck up and pretentious, but I'm just really not sure how to deal with this.

SoonToBeSix Tue 25-Nov-14 23:40:28

Maybe you should have put friend in quotation marks. Oh and maintenance doesn't affect benefits.

MrsMarcJacobs Tue 25-Nov-14 23:41:54

Why not talk to her about it the next time she mentions it? She's a benefit cheat - So wrong as it keeps honest people who really need it from getting it.

mummymeister Tue 25-Nov-14 23:43:26

so whats the point then? this is something that makes you furious apparently yet you don't want to actively do anything about it. this is fraud. this is why people who really need more money cant have it because others who don't need it are taking it illegally. I just don't get these threads. I must be thick, tired or both. if you aren't sure how to deal with this then let me advise you. ring the fraud line. tell them what you know. let them do the rest. job done.

Clobbered Tue 25-Nov-14 23:44:33

So just don't be around her, and if she calls you on it, be honest and say you're uncomfortable with the way she is 'playing the system'. You're right that it's really none of your business. Don't let it get to you. Life's too short.

x2boys Tue 25-Nov-14 23:45:42

I would avoid but you will.get flamed here for even daring to suggest anybody might be a benefits cheat I.m afraid!

PurpleSwift Wed 26-Nov-14 00:10:17

Cut ties with her.

gobbynorthernbird Wed 26-Nov-14 00:10:45

this is why people who really need more money cant have it because others who don't need it are taking it illegally

Really? So when the unemployment figures go down, those signing on get an increase? Obviously, I don't agree with benefit fraud, but to suggest that if it were eradicated then benefits would increase is laughable.

Tammy1212 Wed 26-Nov-14 00:15:09

9/10 I would say mind your business but she seems comfortable already and is looking to get rich off this whilst working people cannot even afford to buy a property of their own.
Sorry I would report but before u do tell her how Fuked up it is she's greedy and greed ruins

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 26-Nov-14 00:16:05

So report her.

If you saw he committing any other crime or she confessed to any other serious crime you would. So do it

GratefulHead Wed 26-Nov-14 00:17:14

Do you know for a fact that she is still claiming benefits? She might not be if he is living with her now and they have all the extra cash coming in.

GratefulHead Wed 26-Nov-14 00:21:57

I don't flame you btw OP, she might indeed be still claiming...and shame on her if she is. It just seems that she is in a good position financially from what you say and might not need to claim. Has she openly said she is still claiming?

Maintainance doesn't count in benefits because it is so often irregular for the resident parent, hence it is discounted and in many cases it isn't much.

People can and do cheat the system but not all do and I am still hoping the majority would do the decent thing and sign off.

BastardGoDarkly Wed 26-Nov-14 00:28:42

Ywnbu to not want to be around her anymore, it's up to you who you're friends with.

JoanHickson Wed 26-Nov-14 00:52:40

Yes give her a wide berth op. Btw, maintenance is disregarded for benefits.

ArsenicSoup Wed 26-Nov-14 01:02:12

Do you think she might be winding you up or testing to see if you're 'leaky'?

As PP said, maintainence isn't deducted from benefits so doesn't need to be reported. Odd that she would tell you that she's 'not declaring it, therefore hmm

Unless you are the one who is muddled about the truth?

RichTeas Wed 26-Nov-14 01:07:45

In all probability she will be found out in the end and then face prosecution. You could let her get on with it, but just plant some seeds of doubt by saying "it's easy but you'll end up in jail if they get wind if it" and let her decide what kind of risks she wants to take.

daisychain01 Wed 26-Nov-14 03:35:48

At least if her benefits are stopped she will have a means of support while they investigate. That tends to be the concern when reporting someone (not that I ever have!)

Preciousbane Wed 26-Nov-14 06:43:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrendStopper Wed 26-Nov-14 06:52:51

I would be telling her what she is doing is fraud. I couldn't be around someone like that. If she carried on claiming I would report her.

revealall Wed 26-Nov-14 07:04:03

I get that it will piss you off.However the bigger picture is that her financial situation is actually shit long term.

She's got a second baby coming with a man she hasn't been with long. How much work can she do for his family business with one under 3 and a newborn? If it's cash in hand there's no maternity or holiday pay and she has no rights. Long term it won't be a realistic option.
As everyone says maintenance isn't counted because so few women get regular payments. It's likely to change especially when the first father gets a new family of his own.
Added to which she could get busted at anytime if she is claiming what she shouldn't. He won't face any consequences as it don't be his claim. She'll have to pay it all back and get a record.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 26-Nov-14 07:05:35

Do what you want

Rebecca2014 Wed 26-Nov-14 07:09:30

If she is stupid enough to tell people what she is doing then I am sure someone else will eventually report her.

McSqueezy Wed 26-Nov-14 07:10:07

Arsenic - I think that is probably close to the truth. A thread exaggerated for effect so we can all chime in about how awful OP's friend is...

Babycham1979 Wed 26-Nov-14 07:21:44

I'm always bemused by he attitudes on MN regarding benefit fraud; for some reason it's broadly tolerated and even encouraged.

What she's doing is theft. Both main parties have promised an overall benefits cap. There is increasingly a finite pot of cash available, and the more thieves like her defraud the system, the less resources are available for people in real need.

Would she still be a friend if she was a professional shoplifter or thief? You should think long and hard about whether you tolerate this and to what degree.

cruikshank Wed 26-Nov-14 07:32:03

Agree that she's not in a particularly stable-sounding situation - no employment rights or protection so presumably no maternity pay. I certainly wouldn't want to be in her situation with a baby on the way. Depending on how much her boyfriend is earning, she could well be better off declaring her wage and claiming tax credits as a couple - if the subject comes up again, you could suggest that to her? Although presumably the boyf's family are quite happy not to have her on the books, so that might well be why she's doing what she is - she could even be under pressure from them to keep schtum about it.

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