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Customer Compliance Officer

(73 Posts)
AbbieJayne1990 Tue 26-Feb-13 20:50:44

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.

AbbieJayne1990 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:57:22

I never said that I didn't want my boyfriend to look at our daughter. He works night shifts so has to sleep most of the day due to health problems he has. And I don't like the idea of some stranger looking after my daughter, but that's not the problem because if neither me or boyfriend are around to care for her, then I have the support of family who live close by who have offered to look after her for a few hours after school if I'm working.

difficultpickle Mon 04-Mar-13 22:37:13

What I don't understand is why you don't want your bf to look after his child at all? Surely if you are having a relationship with him you would want him to care for your dd? That would give you a lot more flexibility to be available for work rather than having to get a job to fit around school hours. Also if he is paying you maintenance you could use that for childcare costs when neither you nor your bf are around to look after your dc. It is pretty normal for parents to work full time and working school hours is the minority.

AbbieJayne1990 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:30:18

Yes I did tell the her that he is the father of my child and that we'd only just set up a payment plan and she was fine with it. We can not live together yet as I am not ready to take that step because of what happened between us in the past and at the moment all that matters is that my daughter see's us both happy and not arguing all the time, because when we are happy then so is she, and I told the compliance officer that. But once I have a full time job that works around my daughters school hours, then we may possibly live together.
And babyroobs, my friends and family did think if was wrong him not paying me anything, they just didn't think that my boyfriend coming up every day was a problem. Just so glad it's all sorted out.

littlemisssarcastic Mon 04-Mar-13 22:25:25

I hope you get the maintenance sorted too OP.

When 2 people have a child, those 2 people are supposed to support that child in whatever way necessary, including financially. When that is not possible, we have the benefits system for the financial support.
Unfortunately, your posts seem to suggest that you believe that the benefits system is there to support your daughter, and your boyfriend, your daughter's father is not responsible. confused

Babyroobs Mon 04-Mar-13 22:19:42

I thought you would get away with it. I hope you do pursue the maintainence issue though as it is wrong that your long term boyfriend gets away with paying nothing. I can't believe your family and friends all see nothing wrong with the way he carries on.

difficultpickle Mon 04-Mar-13 21:46:01

Sorry, ignore that. Did you tell her that you have only just set up a private arrangement and not received any payments as yet? Hopefully you will find a job soon and be able to stop claiming benefits. Surely the best solution would be for your bf to live with you, contribute to household expenses and the care of his child. You could then go out to work when your dc is at school and your bf could look after his child when he isn't at work.

difficultpickle Mon 04-Mar-13 21:44:01

Did you tell her that your bf is the father of your dc?

AbbieJayne1990 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:36:07

Had the Compliance Officer visit me today, she was a very lovely lady. She asked me a few questions, I told her about the whole situation and she was more then happy with the statement I gave her. All she said was that if my boyfriend does not live with me then he should only really come up for just a few hours before he goes to work and limit him to stay for a maximum of 2 days, which I am going to do. But other then that she said that because he has his own address with his parents, his post doesn't come to mine and he is down as living with his parents on his work records, then I have nothing to worry about.

As for the child maintenance, she didn't really say a lot about it, just asked me a few questions as to how long he has been working, then I told her that we have recently made a private agreement that he is to give me money for our daughter, and she was fine with it. So if I stick to what's been said about my boyfriend coming round less then the case will be closed.

difficultpickle Sun 03-Mar-13 12:56:22

I'm a single parent. I've worked full time before ds was born and went back to work four days a week when he was 10 months despite him being prem, constantly ill (thank heavens for having a brilliant CM who still had him when he was ill and administered his medication) and developmentally delayed. It didn't occur to me to sit at home and claim benefits. After a year I had to go back to full time working as I couldn't afford to continue part time. What a mug I am.

I suppose I am lucky that I went to the CSA and they contacted ds's father and he pays £20 a week. Why haven't you done that? The CSA will assess your dp's income and that way you will have some money to support your dd.

If you have nothing to hide then the compliance officer won't have any concerns. All you need to be is open and honest with your living arrangements. The fact that your dp stays with you for half the week, works and give money to his parents but nothing to you despite eating at yours, using your heating, hot water etc. I assume there is a limit as to how many times someone who is your partner can stay with you before benefits authority class it as living together.

Frankly it seems very odd to me and rather sad that your dp is your dd's father and is your boyfriend but you are happy that he doesn't have an active part in your dd's life, assuming that he is not violent and social services didn't say you could lose your dd if he was in your life (which you did post earlier).

littlemisssarcastic Sun 03-Mar-13 11:26:08

Apologies for referring to him as your XP, my mind was somewhere else at the time. blush

My last post was based on your boyfriend giving you £20 a week btw.

ivykaty44 Sun 03-Mar-13 11:22:15

Why would anyone look down their nose at you? You came here asking a question about your living arrangements and you got answers, those answers are not what you appear to want to hear.

No one here needs to judge you but you seem to be judging yourself.

A few posters have asked why the father of your child is as tight as a ducks arse and refuses to pay any money towards your child - him I do judge for being so mean to his own flesh and blood and not providing for his child

littlemisssarcastic Sun 03-Mar-13 11:21:48

Abbie I am in no way looking down my nose at you, and in fact, have tried to help you by giving you some idea of what to expect the compliance officer to be asking.

I admit that your idea of parenting is somewhat confusing to me, but only because you appear to have this idea that as a mother, you are solely responsible for your DD, at least in a financial sense.

As a previous poster has already said, child maintenance payments would not affect your entitlement to benefit at all. That has been the case for a number of years now.
The only thing that may change is that if you receive maintenance payments, your local council may class those maintenance payments as income, and as such, would charge you marginally more for your council tax from April 2013, so actually you have nothing to lose by receiving child maintenance and potentially a lot to gain.

I am actually quite sad that you feel you should be the sole provider for your daughter. That must be incredibly difficult. Benefits is not a huge amount of money and it appears it is only you and your DD who are suffering if your XP doesn't pay maintenance.

I hope your XP is only taking home £134 a week, otherwise you are being royally ripped off, and more to the point, so is your DD.

HeySoulSister Sun 03-Mar-13 11:11:32

You do, you have a partner to hide.... One that should be providing!!

AbbieJayne1990 Sun 03-Mar-13 09:43:07

He helps carry a couple of bags back from shopping because neither of us drive, and this only happens every now again as I have family who come and help me because they drive. There is no crime in that and it isn't classed as us living together. It's my life and I will do what I feel is best for my daughter, and if that is me providing for her then I will do that whether on benefits or not. I am currently looking for work and the first opportunity I get, I am going to apply and get off these benefits. All I done was ask for a bit of advice and I am getting nothing but people looking down there nose at me and judging me. You don't know my situations so who are you to judge. I'm not stupid, I know the benefits I get isn't my money, but it's money to provide for my daughter, right? Obviously until I get a job. Like i have said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I'm just saying that this is my opinion on providing for my daughter. And yes I am going to be completely honest because I have nothing to hide.

wedwose Sun 03-Mar-13 08:08:09

You bf is working, gives you no money and no maintenance for
his child and only pays his parents £120 per month for room and food as you say you don't have meals together. Whatever else, he has a duty to provide for his child and on the face of it it looks like he can afford to do so. It also looks like enough is going on for you not to be treated as living together but the CO will decide based on her investigations. I would do exactly as others have suggested ie be completely open and frank with the CO.

lougle Sun 03-Mar-13 07:35:56

This gets better and better!

Maintenance is not taken into account for benefits.

Now you are saying that your boyfriend also helps you with shopping.

You say that you feel 'you'should provide for her, conveniently forgetting that it's not your money.

I hope the officer puts you right, because your lack of insight to your relationship us staggering.

AbbieJayne1990 Sun 03-Mar-13 01:13:27

No he doesn't drive, he carries the shopping back to mine because I live 5 minute walk from my local supermarket and I can't hold my daughters hand and carry the shopping especially if I get too much. And he hardly ever helps me with the shopping, my nan or my mum drive so they help nearly all the time. Well I thought as me being her main parent (I mean the parent that does everything for my daughter), then I should provide and when I get a job once she is doing full days at school then again I can provide for her but be off benefits. I'm just trying to be the best parent I can be and give my daughter what she needs. No I don't agree that the government are responsible for providing for my daughter, that's why I am really looking forward to going out there and getting myself a job and paying my way through life. I've already got my eye on a few jobs in my area and intend on applying for them as soon as my daughter is at school full-time. But obviously a lot of people don't agree with my situations and are entitled to their opinion, but I feel strongly about me providing for my daughter and not her dad as if he does pay and then he starts messing up the payments, well I'm going to be worse off because I would have told the jobcentre that he has started paying, they would deduct the amount from my benefits and then I would be left short of money and I really don't want to put myself and my daughter through that. But I am going to do what I need to do and that's why me and my boyfriend have made a private agreement for him to start paying for his daughter.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 03-Mar-13 00:48:46

Perhaps I should have worded that a little differently.

It is worrying that you appear to think that the govt is solely responsible for providing for your DD instead of your partner providing for her

littlemisssarcastic Sun 03-Mar-13 00:46:28

Ok, so he takes you shopping, because he drives and you don't. How often does he take you shopping?

although he is her dad, I felt I never had to ask him because the money I get from benefits is money to provide for my daughter. Didn't think it was much of an issue

^ This is worrying, that you think the govt is responsible for providing for your DD and not your partner. Does your partner agree?

AbbieJayne1990 Sun 03-Mar-13 00:40:40

He literally gives me no money, I sometimes borrow it if there is something I really need i.e gas, electric, food. But I always pay him back when I get my benefits through because although he is her dad, I felt I never had to ask him because the money I get from benefits is money to provide for my daughter. Didn't think it was much of an issue, but seeing as it has become an issue, me and my boyfriend agreed that he would start paying. The only reason we have only just made this agreement is because I got advised to make a private agreement with him and then let the compliance officer know when she comes round on monday. Oh no the 'young mum who is struggling' isn't an excuse, it is genuinely the truth. Anyway my mum is coming round on monday too, to support me, so hopefully things will go well.

AbbieJayne1990 Sun 03-Mar-13 00:29:31

Thank you littlemisssarcastic for the advice, I do intend to tell the compliance officer exactly what you stated for me to say, but that's because what you've said is the truth of the situation. He helps carry my bags back from shopping as I don't drive and I hold our daughter's hand whilst out and about, no I don't do any of his washing, maybe the odd pair of socks and boxers every now and again. All he brings to mine is his ps3, a couple of games and a spare pair of socks and boxers so he just leaves what he doesn't use in a draw string bag. And we have the occasional meal together because he eats at his mum's before hand. I don't see anything wrong in that.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 03-Mar-13 00:20:44

Oh and if I was a compliance officer, the maintenance arrangement would not convince me that you were a single the contrary.

I would think your partner has not been paying you maintenance because he has probably been contributing to your living expenses, food, petrol, clothes, things he can pay in cash.
It would seem rather odd to a compliance officer that you have suddenly made maintenance arrangements after you received a letter to alert you to the fact that the DWP want to arrange a home visit.

I may be too cynical, but I have been to compliance interviews before. Having said that, I wouldn't think they had been staking your house out, or had masses of solid evidence against you, so it mostly depends on what you say to them at this point. Obviously I am not suggesting you are not honest with them, but to use the young mum who is struggling wont wash I'm afraid.
That will just look like you are admitting he lives there, but are defending your reasons why. That's my opinion anyway.

AbbieJayne1990 Sun 03-Mar-13 00:18:27

No I don't have my boyfriend living with me, he lives literally a 20 minute walk away. So really there is no need for him to live with me as he's only down the road, it may have been a different story if we lived further away from each other, but still if we did end up living together then I would declare him as living with me. I'd never have claimed as a single parent if I thought my situation was looked at as fraud.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 03-Mar-13 00:14:13

You need to look at this from the compliance officers point of view OP.

You may have been reported by a neighbour. The neighbour may have said that you are co-habiting and declaring yourself as a single parent.

Compliance officer looks into these claims and realises you are claiming as a single parent, and arranges a home visit with you.

At this home visit, you tell the compliance officer that you;

Have been in a relationship for 6 years.
Your partner is the father of your child.
You have previously lived together but it didn't work out, and he moved out to live with his mother, where he spends 4/5 nights a week and uses his mothers house as a base for sleeping/eating, before coming straight round to your house.
Your partner spends time every day at your home.
He spends 2/3 nights every week at your home.
He has not paid you regular maintenance, but upon receiving the letter arranging the compliance home visit, he is going to begin paying you regular maintenance of £20 a week.
You are in a relationship with him and socialise with him.

If I was a compliance officer, I'd be asking if your partner did things like take you shopping, do you do any of his washing, where does he store his things when he visits you at the weekend, do you eat dinner together?

lougle Sun 03-Mar-13 00:10:36

"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."

That's probably where she got the idea from, right there...

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