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Someone stopped my parents benefits... need benefit and legal advice

(3 Posts)
confuddledDOTcom Mon 06-Jul-15 23:03:38

Mum went to the bank because they froze her account due to going way too far into her overdraft. The bank went through her account and told her she hasn't received benefit for two months. My brother, who lives there, has his benefits paid into her account and as she hadn't been checking she just assumed there was money.

So she went home and got onto the benefits people and they said it's because she's no longer entitled to claim. She asked why because as far as she's concerned nothing has changed. They said "because you're no longer UK resident"! They explained that she'd called them two months ago and said she had moved abroad. For confidentiality reasons they can't tell her where she's moved to.

They've put her to priority to get benefits reinstated but various answers between them all of 5 days and a month to 6 weeks. They're also only going to repay her 30 days from when she told them she's still in the UK.

The benefits are for my parents, sister and four children with three lots of disability and carer. Yes it's a full house as my brother also has a disabled child there.

She's been told to call the police by the agency and I've told her to but she says what's the point there's no crime.

My brother has recently split up with his wife and it got messy with my mum (trying not to go into more identifying details than I am probably already doing) and the ex said she would get her own back. Whoever pretended to be Mum had to know enough details to pass security which she would have and the threat came at the same time as the call. I know it's circumstantial until investigated but it does point to her doing it.

So legal question: has a crime been committed? should she report?

benefits question: can they really only back pay a month?

prh47bridge Tue 07-Jul-15 08:22:27

Yes a crime has been committed. Impersonating someone else in order to cause them a loss is fraud under the Fraud Act 2006. It does not matter that the person committing the fraud has not made any material gain from their actions. Your mother should report this to the police.

The rules on backdating vary depending on the benefit being claimed. For some benefits a new claim can only be backdated one month, for others a longer period applies. It seems that they are treating this as a new claim rather than looking at it as a situation where benefits have been wrongly withdrawn. This is outside my expertise so I cannot advise further on this aspect. It may be worth talking to CAB.

confuddledDOTcom Mon 13-Jul-15 15:04:27

So sorry, I've had a busy few days and not been online.

After being passed around a bit I've called a number in London who are going to call me back this week.

Mum is still without money. She managed to get a small amount, a food bank voucher and some nappies out of social services.

It's the eldest's birthday this week and it's going to be tight sad

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