If you claim any of the following benefits you may be subject to investigation by the authorities:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA)
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Incapacity Benefit (IB)
  • Housing Benefit (HB)
  • Council Tax Benefit (CTB)
  • Universal Credit (UC)

Allegations may arise for a number of reasons. It may be that you have not kept the Department of Work and Pensions informed about changes in your circumstances which has resulted in you being overpaid benefits. In other cases it may be that you have intentionally misled the DWP in order to gain benefits that you were not entitled to by, for example, working and earning money above the benefit threshold, having undisclosed savings or living with a partner.

Investigators use sophisticated methods to detect potentially fraudulent claims and during the investigation stage you may be called to attend an interview under caution. If this is the case it is essential that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Our team has extensive experience in dealing with these types of cases. In some situations it may not be in your interests to agree to be interviewed, in others it may be possible for us to negotiate repayment of any overpaid amounts without prosecution.

The Legal Aid advice at police stations scheme does not cover DWP interviews. However if you wish to instruct us privately we will often be able to agree a fixed fee for advising in respect of the investigation.

If you are prosecuted, your case will normally be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. More serious cases are dealt with in the Crown Court. Legal Aid is generally available provided that you qualify on financial grounds and that your case passes the ‘interests of justice’ test. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid or do not wish to apply we will be happy to represent you on a private client basis. An estimate of our fees will be provided at the outset and we may well be able to agree a fixed fee for representing you. At Belmores we have, over the years, defended many hundreds of cases of benefit fraud in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.