DWP "Customer Compliance" interview

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by andysays, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    so the investigator is fulfilling the requirements by doing no more than calling the supposed 'employer' to confirm nothing has changed? good. and it really does sound like they are thoroughly fucked off with the complainant. nice to know that there are people in that job who are that aware that most of what they do is a waste of everybody's time

    and yes, wasting investigative time, or making false statements, or harassment. but with the climate of claimant blaming, no one is going to want to break that by suggesting it's wrong to harass claimants.
  2. Rich15

    Rich15 New Member

    Following on from my earlier post, I've had my interview with the compliance officer. Seems the allegations were made anonymously, that's a surprise, not!

    The officer told me what the allegations were and I answered them. One was that I was working for a social housing organisation, which is true but as a tenant representative, and that its voluntary and that the local DWP office knew this. He was surprised at this, but it seems that different departments do not work together. Another was that I was co-habiting, it seems that's the classic allegation, totally unfounded as Iive on my own, but have a girlfriend who lives some distance away.

    I also told him about the harassment issues I've been having over the last year and he made a note of that.

    Anyway hopefully it's all sorted and ok now. However he did add that once allegations have been made, more may come...
  3. XxNazJxX

    XxNazJxX New Member

    Is this thread still open?? I've had a letter today stating that I have to appear at a local service compliance office interview im just wondering what this is for I'm
    In receipt of ESA (joint) my customer is also my carer and I'm on high rate disability on both... I had a child 6 months ago and I'm also in reciept of child benefit and child tax... However I never realised that I had to declare to dwp that I had a child... Could this be why I recieved this letter? And what will happen...

    Many Thanks x
  4. andysays

    andysays Defiantly non-premium member

    Yes, the thread is still open. I didn't think when I started it that so many people would find it useful.

    Going from the overall experience of everyone who's contributed, there might be a specific and more-or-less sensible reason why they've called you in, or it could be simply a random check or the result of malicious allegations. It's very unlikely they will tell you why before you attend, but you might be able to make a guess based on what they've asked you to bring to the interview.

    I would guess that you should have told the DWP that you'd had a child, though it seems so obvious that they'd pick upon it immediately, especially if you're claiming child benefit and child tax. Maybe someone else will know more about the specifics of this.

    Some other things worth remembering - you're entitled to take someone else with you to the interview, both as moral support and to act as a witness/note taker if you want. Depending on why you're claiming ESA, you might be able to arrange for them to come to you, or to provide necessary support at the interview, if you think that's necessary.

    It seems that most people who have had these interviews have managed to sort things out without too much trouble, but if it does turn out to be more serious/complicated, there are various people posting on this site who will be able (and happy) to give you further advice.

    And welcome to Urban75 :)
    equationgirl and Greebo like this.
  5. Nao

    Nao New Member

    I attended a compliance interview today on behalf of my 87 yr old mother, as I am her official Appointee for D W P. She has suffered from dementia for several years and went into a care home about 18 months ago. This is when I became appointee. When her mail was forwarded to me, it came to light that she had a small works pension ( just under £95 per month) which she has never disclosed, and which I was never aware of , as it was paid into an account which I didn't know existed. My mother gets pension credit which would be affected by this extra income. After advice from CAB, I immediately wrote to DWP by recorded delivery to advise them. That was in November 2014 and the only response I got was a letter in Jan 2015 confirming the amount of her pension credit , which was unchanged, and stating that she was in an Assessed Income period. I then got the compliance interview letter 10 days ago.
    The interviewer stated they had been made aware of a private pension - I said yes that's right I wrote to you about it last year. He was totally unaware of this and could find no notes on system ! I gave him a copy of the letter along with my mums pension info. This is now being sent to Pensions Office for them to decide if any action is necessary. In the meantime I have been asked to get my mum to sign a form giving them authority to contact her pension provider for more details should it be required. The interviewer asked if she could sign her name. I am not at all happy about asking my Mum to sign something which she no longer has the capacity to understand.
    I am sorry this is so long but would really appreciate any advice/ comments.
  6. DrRingDing

    DrRingDing 'anti-human wanker'

    Do they need to know about your savings?

    Could they go elsewhere?
    Greebo likes this.
  7. Celyn

    Celyn Well-Known Member

    Nao, I'm really only replying with no reply, I'm afraid. It seems to me that you have certainly done everything all ever so correctly so far, and it's a bit cheeky of the DWP to say they "have been made aware" in a way that implies it was not you who told them. :)

    I do see that it is a bit nonsensical and unethical of them to want a signature from your mother who now has not the capacity to make a meaningful agreement or instruction. I suppose this is to do with the "appointee" thing being different from "Power of Attorney".

    However, I am aware that bad advice is worse than no advice and, as I am not qualified to offer proper good legal advice, my main reason for replying is to say hello and welcome, and that you must not worry if you don't get many responses very quickly, because it's Friday evening and people might be busy doing Friday things or early Hallowe'en things. Do not feel ignored, is what I mean. :) It's a horror dealing with a parent with dementia and it's a horror dealing with the DWP, so you have all my sympathy and I wish I could help.
    Aruna, MrSki, tufty79 and 2 others like this.
  8. Nao

    Nao New Member

    Hi Celyn, Thanks so much for your lovely reply - it was very kind of you to welcome me and you have indeed helped just by doing that ! As you say, I think I have done everything I could have done so it is really just a waiting game now . I really appreciate that forum members give freely of their time and knowledge so will certainly be patient in awaiting any further replies.
    Greebo, MrSki, tufty79 and 1 other person like this.
  9. scooter

    scooter Well-Known Member

    She can't sign because she lacks capacity. You can't get a Power of Attorney because that is something that she gives to you. She is the Donor and you are the Attorney but she can't give it if she lacks capacity.

    If it becomes a problem with the DWP then you could write to the pension provider and ask whether your appointee status will be sufficient to grant permission to the DWP. If they won't accept that then you would have to apply to the Court of Protection to become her deputy. See:

    Court of Protection - GOV.UK

    and the Code of Practice here:

    Mental Capacity Act: making decisions - GOV.UK
    equationgirl, Aruna, Greebo and 4 others like this.
  10. Nao

    Nao New Member

    Thanks for links scooter. Yes you're right about Power of Attorney and I don't think my mother would have given it when she did have capacity. She's a very stubborn, strong independent woman - widowed at age of 37 with 9 children ! She held on to every last bit of independence ( rightly so), refused to acknowledge she had a problem and only agreed to go into a care home when her safety became at risk.
    I said in my original post that she never disclosed the pension to dwp, but actually I have no way of knowing whether it was ever disclosed or not. I lived abroad at the time she would have retired and understand that she had help from social workers to apply for benefits. She has never owned a home and her savings are well below the minimum allowed. She was very private about her money , hence the reason I have only recently become aware of the situation.
    Greebo likes this.
  11. Dainty23

    Dainty23 New Member

    Hi I'm new here please be gentle :). My husband suffers from PTSD and depression and our HB was suspended in July and I had no idea why. The HB office letter said they needed my tax credits letter and my wage slips from last 2 months and at that point my husband told me that he had been hiding and shredding letters as he hadn't told the Benefits agency that he had been working in 2013 and also hadn't taken my wage slips in with an increase in pay. He knew I would be in trouble so came clean about the letters and I went into the HB office on the same day I received the suspension of HB letter, and told them and wrote a statement about my husband hiding/burning letters and Knew they would have overpaid me and any overpayment would be paid back if they let me know how much it was. I gave them my payslips and what he had earned and also the start and end dates of his employment, and didn't hear anything for 2 weeks. I then had a letter through about the overpayment and called them and arranged to pay it back. I've now got an interview under caution on Tuesday morning, a family member has paid for a solicitor to come with me. She's been really good and said that its positive that I told them I had been overpaid and am already paying it back, my husband has since told me that he hasn't been paying my rent and I've now had to set up a plan to pay that too! I've got a letter from my husbands counsellor advising that he suffers with depression and PTSD but I'm really worried about what's going to happen and my job! I'm so scared as I was unaware that he hadn't given in the information I asked him too.
  12. Aruna

    Aruna Member

    This is no surprise to me you know. From experience Posted letters to dwp seems to NEVER get there. So now if i need to send them anything i take it to my local jobcentre and write a statement along with it for scanning and they will email it, and give you acknowledgement.

    I now work part time and still get income support, (don't have to deal with my overbearing personal adviser at the j/c anymore oh she was a total biatch).

    So when working part time while on IS that means she can't keep calling me to her numerous annoying lone parent WFIs innit or put me on work programmes or force silly courses down my throat like they do there. HAPPY DAYS lol

    Its the Belfast people who will write asking for payslips and they will send you an adressed envelope to put the payslips in. Twice i posted payslip and "they did not receive them"

    Now i just take the payslips to the jobcentre and ignore the adressed envelopes
    Greebo likes this.
  13. Cerkir

    Cerkir New Member

    I've just received a DWP compliance letter. I'm a mature student doing a post grad course. I have received DLA for many years and now get ESA too which I've just started claiming after finishing my degree. When I spoke to the DWP about ESA and post grad studies I was told I could claim as I get DLA and don't get a maintenance grant or my course fees paid. I'm entitled to DSA, but that is not paid in cash to me, it's paid to companies I use and they are all specified in my DSA award.

    I have no savings at all. I have one bank account which is only used for my children's maintenance to be paid into, and a current account.

    I get on well with my neighbours. None would know I'm claiming benefits tbh. We don't discuss money situations. I have not lived with another adult for over 11 years. There are only myself and my 3 children who live in my home.

    I phoned the number as I have a doctors appointment on the same morning and needed to know how long the interview would take. I was told 30 minutes. I asked what it was about and was told that it's to do with claiming money I may not be entitled to. I've not had paid work for years. Like I said I've got no savings and I'm not living with anyone.

    I'm scared to death about what they are wanting to talk to me about. I know I've done nothing wrong but everything I've read seems to imply you are treated like a criminal.
  14. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    The letter is standard & it looks like they have just picked your name out of the hat. Take what they ask for & tell the truth if nothing you are doing is wrong. The letter is designed to catch out anyone claiming something they are not entitled to & make them think they are onto them. Good luck with it & don't worry about it at this stage.
    Greebo and Cerkir like this.
  15. Naughty Girl

    Naughty Girl New Member

    I had a Compliance Interview today. Apparently I have old bank accounts - some of which I had forgotten about - which I may not have mentioned when I previously claimed Income Support (now ESA). I haven't used these accounts for years, and there hasn't been any money in them. Have I committed some kind of offence by not mentioning them? If yes, what punishment could I face?

    Also, the Compliance Officer asked me to send in statements from these accounts. In the first instance I am having difficulty accessing the information, because they haven't been used for so long. But I am also now wondering if this is a good idea, since they may try to use this information against me.

    Thanks for any advice.
  16. andysays

    andysays Defiantly non-premium member

    You have to tell them about any savings etc you have, which usually means providing statements for any bank account you have, but if you have old accounts with nothing or very little in them I wouldn't have thought it would be a problem to say "I didn't tell you about this account because it didn't have any money in it".

    I guess they might ask you to demonstrate not only that there's no money in them now, but also that there hasn't been all the time you've been claiming benefits. Presumably it would be possible to get the bank to issue duplicate statements or similar to prove this.
    Aruna and Naughty Girl like this.
  17. SHELL37

    SHELL37 New Member

    Hi ive had letter today from dwp asking me to go in for an interview in feb .... im worried out of my mind and cant see ive done anything wrong ive no saving dont work and dissabled ....so i got on the phone the lady told me it was to go over my claim how ever im not so sure about this as my partern has an ex wife who has done this to him before although he is bringing up there children and they live with us she wants them living with her but the court has said no ...me and partern have to be very careful in what we say around the children ie if we plan on going anywhere we also want to move house so as i can be around my childern she has already tried her best to stop us moving but we couldnt work out how she knew any of this it turned out the children where telling her everything so im just wondering as we still want to move and are looking if she has reported something to the dwp as she did my partern .....this woman will not stop at anything to make our lifes hell . im wondering can they or would they call me in if this has happened .
  18. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    most complaints are anonymous, however, most involve harassment of some kind rather than any evidence based complaint, many of those involve ex partners.

    don't volunteer too much info. make them ask direct questions that you can respond to. if they do a fishing expedition, it's easy to talk yourself into trouble with ambiguous answers. make them tell you what the complaint is, don[t guess yourself and try to respond to your assumptions.


    you will have been asked to take documents with you. do so, but if you have documents that you can take that explain that there is a contested custody issue and a history of unfounded allegations as harassment, then take those as well. and ask for a note to be added to your file that your family have been victims of this behavior. it won't stop them having to investigate every bullshit allegation, but it will make those complaints go away faster.
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  19. Aruna

    Aruna Member

    So the DWP has written to me again, just a little over a year after my first ever compliance interview, has anyone ever been called to a another interview again?

    It seems they've changed the wording on the letters. The one i received said "we are reviewing your benefit claim, please come and update us" they want to see bank statements AGAIN and if i don't go they will suspend my benefits.

    The template code at the back of the letter says FES 2.

    I really can't stand these compliance interviews anymore.
  20. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    either you're really unlucky, or have a really good think about who is out to get you. ex partner or neighbour is most likely.
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  21. Aruna

    Aruna Member

    Im exhausted after stressing about it for a number of days.

    I had a row with my completely unreasonable ex about the children first week of march. And received this dwp letter end of last week. Is this about how long it takes for them to get in touch after someone reported me?
  22. toggle

    toggle wobbly

    could well be.

    same shit as i've said to everyone else. make them tell you what their complaint is. don't give them info unless in response to a direct question. if they give open ended equstions, ask for clarification.

    only thing to tell them is that you are being treated like shit by the ex and believe that he is reporting you as harassment. and that you require a note on your file of that info.
    Libertad and Greebo like this.
  23. trv

    trv New Member

    Hi, I have just received a compliance interview and am concerned about undeclared savings from benefits.

    Im a single bloke, parent to a teenager and full time carer to my adult son.

    We are in receipt for over ten years of the following. ESA and high rate DLA (adult son, Im his appointee as he lacks mental capacity), Income support and carers allowance (me) and child tax credit and child benefit for my teenage son. We also claim housing and council tax benefit.

    All benefits are paid to me in my name, approved by dwp, local authority etc as my son lacks capacity and for this reason would never be capable of making financial or otherwise decisions, he has a mental capacity of approx 9 yrs and is 28.

    Now, we have no debts and the legitimate benefits we claim are significantly more than we need to live on. We also live frugally and dont spend money for the sake of it so i have been able over ten years to save what now stands at 5k in a savings account but at one stage was closer to 10k until we decided to spend some last year on treats for my kids.

    Several years ago, I tried to open bank accounts in my sons name but none of the banks were having it, as I didnt have lasting power of attorney. I couldnt get lasting power of attorney anyway as I was told that in order for the LPA to be granted my son would have to be able to mentally understand the process so that idea went out of the window. I was advised that as he had no assets or property, had lived with me since a child and his only income was benefits all i needed was to be his DWP appointee (which I already was since he turned 16) and that it was acceptable to continue to receive his money into my account and spend in his best interests.

    I was also advised that as he was now non dependant it was acceptable to have 6k each in savings before it affected either his or my benefits. So, I continued to save, reaching 8.5k in a savings account in my name and a few k in my current account at any one time.

    I took the view that unless our combined savings in this one account exceeded 12k I had nothing to worry about as it was all savings from benefits anyway and I have no other income.

    My mistake was that I didnt declare it as I thought it was acceptable. naive for sure but not a deliberate attempt to defraud.

    If my intentions were to defraud I would have just hid the cash in a sock at home instead of drawing it out of the post office weekly and paying what we didnt spend into the bank.

    The savings account now runs at 5k and no more than 1 or 2k in the current account at any time anyway.

    I am extremely worried about all this as im not a dishonest person in any way and the paper trail will clearly show withdrawals from post office coincide with payments into bank account and then transfers to savings account over several years.

    It's amazing how they can make you feel worthless and ashamed for doing the right thing and not going out and spending like crazy buying the latest and greatest iphone or trainers to blow money.

    My intention always was to have a lump sum in the bank for my son so that when my youngest hits 16, my disabled son will reach 30 and will go into supported living and i wanted to be able to provide all the furniture and fittings etc that he needed to ensure he settles in to his new life and I can then go back to work as it kills me being unable to after 21 years in a well paid job and then suddenly having to give up work 13yrs ago to become their full time carer after they were taken from their mother when we divorced for neglect and abuse.

    Now Im at my wits end for doing what I considered to be the right thing for his future.

    If they will accept that it is all savings from benefits that belongs to both of us but is all in my name as he lacks capacity or not remains to be seen.

    I have never felt so guilty or ashamed by the propoganda against disability that this government have cultivated, I even question whether I am infact a scrounger regularly.

    Don't know which way to turn really and just feel like throwing the towel in and putting him into residential care immediately so I dont have to deal with this grief any longer.
  24. andysays

    andysays Defiantly non-premium member

    Hi trv. Welcome to Urban and welcome to the thread.

    First, you have my sympathy for feeling guilty as a result of propaganda about "scroungers", but hopefully this site can be something of an antidote to that.

    Pretty much everyone who has posted on this thread has found that their worries about what might happen at their compliance interview have been unfounded or unnecessary, and it's been possible for them to sort things out without having their benefits stopped or being accused of fraud, but it's understandable that you're worried.

    The general advice is not to assume it's about any particular thing, but to wait until you get to the interview and answer their specific questions. It also appears, unfortunately, that lots of these compliance interviews are the result of malicious reports and are based on wrong information anyway.

    As you say, the limit on individual savings before it affects your benefit is £6k, so for you and your adult son that makes a total of £12K. As long as you're not over this limit it shouldn't be an issue at all, and even if you were, you wouldn't lose all your benefit immediately, there's some sort of sliding scale until you get up to £16K as an individual.

    I don't know about the detail of your situation, but I'm sure there will be others here who can offer more help and advice.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
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  25. trv

    trv New Member

    Thanks so much for the welcome and kind words.

    I'm a proud man, proud of my achievements in life, my greatest being the last 13 yrs as primary carer and parent to my children. My life has been on hold during this time, devoting every waking hour to the needs of my kids.

    I'm not a frivolous person, I worked very hard for 21 years before my circumstances changed and had to give up work over night or face my children being taken into the care system. I don't believe in spending for spending sake just because I have it to hand and took the decision that what I considered to be substantial benefits income would not be wasted and I would take steps to provide for Ash when I was no longer able to support his needs 24 hours a day.

    I just wanted to be sure that if anything happened to me he would be comfortable and provided for when he entered the residential care system. Our savings at their highest were around 10.5k, never above the 12k that I was told was allowable. They currently only stand at around 6 anyway as we are now able to get out more together and enjoy life as my teenage son no longer needs the level of support he needed growing up and is slowly finding his own way and needing me less. It was always too difficult to do a lot as he has aspergers and has his own problems so managing the 2 of them in public was always an ordeal.

    I will always feel guilty about the level of benefits we receive as I grew up with strong values that you worked hard for your lifestyle and never got something for nothing in life.

    When my circumstances changed I suddenly had more legitimate money than I could possibly need but my values would never allow me to squander it. Other than school runs and weekly shopping I barely had the time or energy to leave the house for treats anyway. As an example, the last opportunity I got for a night out and some me time was Oct 31st 2014 for a Halloween party.

    My life is pretty much devoted to my boys and their wellbeing and ensuring they are provided for but I will not spoil them for the sake of it so I simply saved it for that rainy day without realising the bother I could be causing further down the line.

    Wasn't for the want of trying to get some of the money into his name but I simply could not get any bank to allow him an account in his name. He is critically vulnerable and requires 24 hours support and supervision, like a toddler would so no bank would touch him without the LPA that I couldn't get anyway due to his limited capacity so it all had to stay in my name.

    I didn't see spreading around several accounts as viable as that would most certainly look like I was trying to hide something.

    Will have to see what happens on April 14th I guess.
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  26. andysays

    andysays Defiantly non-premium member

    Sounds to me like you have every reason to be proud and absolutely no reason to feel guilty, and your boys are lucky to have a dad like you.

    Good luck on the 14th and whatever happens there are plenty of people on this site who can give you support and advice based on their own experience should you need it, so make sure you come back and let us know how you get on :)
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  27. trv

    trv New Member

    Thanks, I will, I intend to stick around.
    Greebo and Libertad like this.
  28. Paul Jackson

    Paul Jackson New Member

    Hello everyone! Wondering if anyone could give me a little advice on this. I had an interview with a dwp compliance officer at the jobcentre. To cut a long story short apparantly was concerning owning another priperty whilst living somewhere else whikst claiming jsa. However before the interview i found work and told the clerk in tge compliance office and she told me tgat she woukd cancel the appointment but they woukd phone me if they still wanted to go further. I dint receive a phone call and after 5 months contacted the jobcentre plus via phone about this and they told me that all tgey had on their computer was tgat the investigation had been closed down because i stopped claiming jsa. Am still working but am wondering will they open up tge investigation again if i want to claim jsa again ib the future? Advice from anyone who actually knows or has had experience in this woukd be much appreciated.
  29. trv

    trv New Member

    Had the compliance interview today. Allegation of me working and claiming.

    Most horrible experience of my life I'd say. Started off being humble and honest and then when they indicated they didn't believe me I completely lost my shit with the 2 guys and almost ended up with police intervention until I calmed down.

    I demanded that they access all my online bank accounts etc there and then, refused to leave until i had vindicated myself basically.

    They didnt access any of my details, I insisted that they note on the investigation statement that I would like them to use RIPA to analyse my emails, phone, the whole lot.

    I also said, why the fuck would i be working when I dont have any money worries or debt, infact im sick of the DWP throwing money at my family that we dont really need when what I really need is support.

    At that stage the guy said after 20 years doing this job I have a fairly good idea when someone is pulling a fast one and judging by your reactions I believe you and will be reporting back as malicious and no further action.

    I thanked him, shook his hand and left.

    Whilst they wouldnt confirm who made the allegation, I know who it is without doubt, they say revenge is sweet......
    Aruna, stuff_it, andysays and 2 others like this.
  30. Celyn

    Celyn Well-Known Member

    Wow. That was worrying to read but it's SO good that it ended well. It's rotten that you had to go through all that, though.
    Greebo likes this.

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