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I dont THINK im commiting benefit fraud... even if i am, is this ethical?

(28 Posts)
Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 00:55:07

Inspired by benefit fraud thread last night. I live with my mother, but claim tax credits as a single parent. I don't work at all (he's 8 months old, I don't feel it's fair on him to go in a nursery yet. I plan on returning in a couple of months though). Whilst pregnant I was on 1k/month minimum wage. I'm friendly with the father and see him often (pretty much every day), I often have dinner round his house, but I wouldn't call myself his partner. We don't have sex or are romantic with each other - we broke up whilst i was pregnant and have gradually become friends again. He sees his son every evening but has actively been with other women (though is single at the moment). He puts £200 into an account every month intended for the baby but I have legal rights to it if I want/need it. Otherwise he doesn't give me any money. He has offered to move me in with him because he's so in love with the baby but doesnt like the extra daily car trip, and knows I don't love living with my mum, although he'd want to decrease the payments as he'd have a large rent increase to pay for another bedroom. We even consider getting a mortgage together sometimes (when I'm working again) so when the baby is older he will get to live with both parents.

You might think "that sounds weird". I get that, it sounds really weird typing it out. But we're friends and it works and we'd both be comfortable telling each other if we thought otherwise. We're hippies, when we has a relationship it was polygamous and our dream is to live off grid with solar panels and stuff.

Anyway, would you consider it unfair of me to claim tax credits as a single person? I pay for my own utilities and council tax and buy my own food living with my mum, although it is cheaper than it would be on my own. Also I'm not sure if I count as being partners with him, it's like were best friends but he happens to be my baby's dad.

Two questions: am I being unethical? I didn't really think about it when claiming, and do you think the council would have grounds to fine me if they found out?

I've been so worried since the thread yesterday. I don't claim income support, but have a lot in tax credits because I'm on low income. ???

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 00:57:54

(*polyamorous, we weren't married obv)

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 17-May-17 01:00:13

That's 100% not fraud.

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 01:02:37

Okay, thanks

I would normally phone up and ask, but I'm scared they'll say yes.

PeachyPip Wed 17-May-17 01:13:23

Even if you are not partners if he sees you every day, gives you money and cooks for you etc then I'd be worried about other people reporting you. IYSWIM

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 17-May-17 01:17:53

Their definition of partners is "living together as if you were married" and given that you have a child together you would have a hard time persuading them that you are not together.

Living together, sharing a child and a mortgage and not having sex pretty much describes my marriage......

caroldecker Wed 17-May-17 01:18:02

If it worries you phone and ask. You are either entitled or not. if you would not steal the money from a neighbour, be honest and claim if entitled.

Topas0117 Wed 17-May-17 01:19:59

Are you asking if it's fraud if you claim tax credits for living with your mum and meeting with your child's father regularly or if it's fraud if you get a mortgage and move in with him?
First scenario - Not fraud
Second - FRAUD

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 17-May-17 01:24:33

Actually it wouldnt be Topas as long as they are not a couple and he isnt supporting her in anyway, such as paying all the bills and mortgage etc as you would expect in a partnership. If they each buy their own food, clothes etc and she mainly supports the DD, with child support from him, then its perfectly legal.

However.....she will find it almost impossible to prove that they are not together and not committing fraud given that he is her childs father.

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 01:27:51

topas I understand that getting a mortgage with him, even as friends, would mean I'm not entitled to benefits. But this would be when I'm working again anyway.

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 01:29:40

pyongyang thanks as well

I realise I would be in a very grey area even if they did believe me.

Topas0117 Wed 17-May-17 01:33:45

How would you go about getting a mortgage anyway? I highly doubt anyone would be willing to give two EX's a mortgage, unless of course you're planning on commiting fraud there and say that you are together?

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 17-May-17 01:42:25

Two friends of mine bought a house together and they each took out a seperate mortgage for their half of the house, so that would probably be a better option for the OP.

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 01:50:05

topas do friends not get mortgages together blush

I didn't know that could be a problem. The idea of two separate ones could work, oh gosh

I guess telling the bank we're together is better than if we were lying to the government sad but I guess they'd investigate my previous tax credits anyway and report us.

Just to clarify, I wouldn't get a mortgage if I was so poor that I needed tax credits, whether I wanted to or not. He would not pay my half for me. So that one isn't an issue.

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 01:51:39

Pyongyang thank you. I will look into this option for later smile

TheMaddHugger Wed 17-May-17 01:54:54

I have no idea, I am in Oz. But I just want to say how lovely it is that the two parents get along this well.

Love it ((((Hugs)))

Stickmangate Wed 17-May-17 01:59:40

You ask if the council will fine you. Are you claiming any benefits from the council like housing benefit or council tax support? If you are they need to know that your mum also lives in the property.
And you can't claim the 25% council tax discount if there is another adult in the property that would be fraud.
I only ask as if you are only claiming tax credits then the council would not be involved as tax credits are administered by Hmrc so they would be the ones to investigate you if they thought there was something wrong

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 17-May-17 02:04:35

You're not committing fraud so why would any mortgage company report you?

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 10:21:46

We pay full council tax, but thanks

I was just worried because in the last thread where a couple lived apart people said they would get fined, since we spend a lot of time together I didn't know whether we were legally a couple, even though I certainly don't see us as boyfriend/girlfriend. Thanks everyone

ImperialBlether Wed 17-May-17 10:24:59

I think you have to make sure that you have none of his possessions in your house.

I wonder why you save that £200 per month - good for you if you can afford to but he is supposed to pay maintenance towards the child and that money should be in a bank account that only you can access.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 17-May-17 10:28:08

I think you will find it very difficult to prove that you aren't a couple tbh.

Dumbo412 Wed 17-May-17 10:44:13

I wouldn't say it's fraud, the second scenario would cause a lot of hassle though if wtc/ctc got wind. It would take a lot of explaining and stress to get the situation through to them.

I think it's amazing you have such a great relationship, please keep that at the forefront of your mind, with a supportive co-parenting relationship like that you can work around losing the £(70)?? A week.
You'd figure it out together I'm sure.

Good luck.

sparechange Wed 17-May-17 10:57:42

How would you go about getting a mortgage anyway? I highly doubt anyone would be willing to give two EX's a mortgage, unless of course you're planning on commiting fraud there and say that you are together

You don't have to be a couple to get a joint mortgage!
2 of my brothers bought somewhere together with a joint mortgage, and my best friend and I nearly bought somewhere together, had the mortgage approved etc and then the sale fell through...

Joffmognum Wed 17-May-17 11:42:15

imperial the £200 is his maintainance. It goes to an account that only I can access. That's also worrying me because we haven't gone through the official channels. He offered to just pay it up, I didn't want to offend him by insisting we go through child maintainance services when he was happy to pay me directly. I really didn't think it mattered until recently

hesterton Wed 17-May-17 11:47:15

As an aside, have you ever seen this site?

www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk/

It would really appeal to me in your situation!

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