Call For a Free Initial Consultation 020 3972 9011
or Email PRuparelia@scomo.com
If you are suspected of benefit fraud or subject to an investigation then you should seek legal advice from a solicitor immediately.
The DWP and local authorities are cracking down on benefit fraud in a big way and the media are constantly reporting cases in which claimants have been prosecuted for benefit fraud.
Due to the government looking to save money on benefit fraud, increased resources have been given to fraud investigators. This has led to a big rise in the amount of benefit fraud investigations taking place each year.
Most investigations start with a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the local authority compliance officer which invites a claimant to attend either a criminal investigation interview under caution or customer compliance interview.
Seeking immediate legal advice at this stage is the best way to protect yourself from a loss of benefits or a criminal prosecution which could result in overpaid benefits being recovered by the DWP or local authority.
Types of benefit fraud include:
Disability Benefit Fraud
Disability benefit fraud is a serious crime, and can carry a large fine or even a prison sentence. If you have been accused of disability benefit fraud, it’s important to seek legal advice.
What is disability benefit fraud?
Challenging an overpayment
You may have been contacted by the DWP or local authority because you have been overpaid benefit. This is not necessarily fraud but can run parallel to a fraud investigation. If this happens I can assist with the civil appeal and refer you to a specialist criminal lawyer that can deal with any possible criminal proceedings. I find that on occasions overpayments are incorrectly calculated by the DWP or local authority investigating authority. By reducing the overpayment amount it can have a big difference on whether you are prosecuted and possibly subject to further criminal recovery proceedings.
Interviews under caution
If the fraud investigators are under the impression that you have committed a benefit offence they will probably interview you under caution. If you are asked to attend an interview under caution, you should seek legal assistance straight away and not attend the appointment by yourself.
More information about benefit fraud interviews can be found at the Benefit Fraud Interview Page
If you’ve been accused of housing benefit fraud
It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible as there can be grave consequences in terms of criminal prosecution, recovery of overpayments and possible eviction from your home if you do not assist the local authority with their investigations.
Types of situations when you may be accused of housing benefit fraud.
If you are being investigated for benefit fraud, it is essential that you seek legal advice, even if you believe the allegations are false. I have over 18 years’ experience in dealing with welfare benefits appeals and I am one of the few solicitors in the country that specialises in this area of law. I take on clients from all over England and find that most of the work can be done over the phone, email and skype but if a face to face appointment is needed this can also be arranged.
Due to the changes in public funding, legal aid is no longer available for welfare benefits appeals but I can usually offer a fixed fee service.
Recent examples of some of my benefit cases can be found at: Recent Cases Studies
I would be delighted to help you with your legal matters.
For a free initial consultation please call 0203 9729011 or email me using the contact form below.
Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd Solicitors
3-7 Temple Avenue
Office: 0203 9729011
DX 116 LD
Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Ltd Solicitors
1 Hilton Crescent
Office: 0115 923 2193
Scott Moncrieff & Associates Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (596379)
Prakash Ruparelia is a Solicitor of England and Wales Roll number 369397
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