I received a letter today saying that I need to attend an interview at the job centre as 'a query has arisen with my claim.' The letter was dated the day after my solicitor informed my ex that I was stopping contact with our daughter due to numerous welfare concerns, so I suspect he may have reported me for benefit fraud. I receive housing benefit and income support but I am also a part-time student at University. I have kept them fully informed about my course and so I cannot see that there is a problem with that aspect of my claim. I am guessing (as he has made inferences about it before) that he has told the DWP that I am actually living with my partner but keeping my house on to claim benefits. This is not the case at all but now I am worried that they won't believe me. My partner and I live about half a mile apart but cannot move in together because of various issues, primarily because if we lived together and I worked my wages would cover childcare only and he wouldn't be able to afford to support my daughter and I, I'd have to give up Uni, he has to live within 2 mins of work which my house isn't, his house is part of his work contract and can be revoked at any time so isn't stable for my daughter and I etc. My daughter and I spend 2/3 nights per week there at most, and do our washing there because we don't have a washing machine, but we certainly do not live together. How do I prove it if this is what the 'query' is about?
You don't have to prove you are not co-habiting - the benefits office has to prove you are.
Staying over isn't considered co-habiting. If you and your partner have separate addresses and are listed at those separate addresses on the electoral roll, utility bills etc I don't think there's a problem.
But of course that might not be what the query is.
I'm not an expert but I don't think benefit fraud is quite so simple as not actually living together. The information you are providing suggests to me you are simply avoiding living together because there is financial advantage in doing so and I suspect you might be on dodgy ground.
As I say, I'm no expert. Seek some specialised advice prior to attending the interview to be sure.
I received an identical letter last week calling me in for an interview. I know for a fact I have done nothing wrong but still couldn't help being nervous about it
Turns out someone along the line has decided I am receiving income from my share of ex's pension, (only have another 25 years to wait for that ) and hadn't disclosed this "income" to them. The woman who interviewed me was very nice about everything and it is all being easily resolved.
If you've kept them informed of everything and have done nothing wrong, then try not to worry about it too much.
Thanks for your replies. Nell - we don't have anything joint or at each others respective addresses so hopefully that part will be okay. Mumtoboys - We are avoiding living together because he can't move into my house as it is too far from his work, and I can't move in to his as it is part of his work contract and could be revoked at any day, leaving the three of us homeless. Wyspecial - I only received the letter yesterday but the date on it was the day after contact stopped. It doesn't say under caution, but it does say they will stop payments if I fail to attend. Twizzler - thank you for that, will try not to worry