ON BEING REQUESTED TO ATTEND A BENEFIT FRAUD INTERVIEW
On the basis of being suspected of having committed a criminal offence in relation to your benefits, you may indeed receive a letter requesting you to attend an interview. The letter may also state quite clearly that failure to keep an appointment provided, may not prevent criminal proceedings taken against you !!. The letter will as of course be signed by a variety of council investigators, with titles such as ` Benefits Enquiry Officer, Audit Officer or Senior Fraud Investigator`.
The letter will inform you that the interview will need to be in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This means that dependant on what is told to the officer during the interview, proceedings may be taken against you.
ON RECEIVING A LETTER ABOUT AN INTERVIEW UNDER CAUTION DO NOT TALK TO THE BENEFIT AUTHORITIES, WITHOUT OBTAINING ADVICE FROM A SOLICITOR. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO USE THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OF A SOLICITOR SPECIALISING IN CRIMINAL DEFENCE.
The interview is conducted under caution, generally by two officers being present. You are not obliged to attend the interview under caution, but if you do not, in basic terms, it may indeed prove to make it very difficult to explain the facts and defend yourself if there is a prosecution.
A Solicitor may ask for PRIOR DISCLOSURE, and on such basis the Solicitor would advise whether or not to answer questions or to hand in a written statement explaining clearly events from your perspective. Importantly, if evidence is introduced during the interview, the Solicitor would ask that the interview be stopped, in order for the evidence to be considered with you in private outside the interview room, or with the officer`s leaving the interview room.
IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU DO NOT ATTEND AN INTERVIEW UNDER CAUTION ON YOUR OWN OR WITHOUT A PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVISER, BEING A SOLICITOR or an accredited legal representative. IN THE EVENT THAT YOU ATTEND AN INTERVIEW WITH A FRIEND OR A RELATIVE, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMMENT OR HELP YOU IN THE INTERVIEW. EVEN IF AN APPROPRIATE ADULT IS PRESENT BY WAY OF REQUIREMENT, YOU STILL NEED PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE.
PENMAN Sedgwick SHOULD BE CONSULTED TO REPRESENT YOU.
HOUSING BENEFIT AND COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT
CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES
When you make a claim for housing benefit or indeed council tax benefit, or perhaps both, it is requested that a declaration be signed that you agree to let the Authority know in writing should there be any change in circumstanced for either yourself of indeed, any other person that is living with you that could affect the claim being made.
It is important to note that the critical wording is ANY CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES, and if there are, it is essential that the Authority be made aware immediately to protect yourself IN WRITING BY RECORDED DELIVERY POSTAL SERVICE and ALL EVIDENCE RETAINED. Further if you advise a clerk verbally, TAKE DETAILS OF THE CLERK'S NAME, POSSIBLY DESCRIPTION, DATE AND TIME AND A NOTE OF WHAT WAS SAID, AND ANY WITNESS TO THE NOTIFICATION.
THE LAW STATES THAT ANY CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES MUST BE ADVISED IMMEDIATELY, AND THE WORD IMMEDIATELY IS SELF EXPLANATORY.
If you need advice on a legal matter please contact us;, and we will respond as soon as possible, or call us on 01923 225212 .