Blown my benefits?
I'm being investigated for a fraudulent benefits claim and I'm worried I'll be left with no income. How will I be able to get benefits again if the investigation goes against me?
It is common for benefit to be suspended during a fraud investigation, although the decision to suspend can only be made by the benefits decision maker (someone who is based at a benefits authority), and not the fraud investigator. Payment of the benefit can be suspended in whole or in part.
If the benefit agency tells you that it has suspended your benefit, it should also tell you what information it needs in order to work out whether or not you're entitled to benefits and to decide whether to start paying them again. If you are claiming more than one benefit, the benefit authority cannot automatically suspend all of your benefits - they can only suspend a benefit if there is a question about your entitlement.
To get your benefit reinstated before the outcome of the fraud investigation you would need to contact the benefit authority and argue that the suspension of your benefit is causing you hardship or is unreasonable in the circumstances. For example, if you have young children, you could point out the effect that having no benefit is having on them. The decision maker has the discretion to reinstate benefit in full or in part.
You may also be able to help resolve the questions which have led to the investigation. If it is shown that you are properly entitled to benefit after all, payments will be reinstated and arrears paid. If after the investigation is concluded, it is decided that you are not entitled to benefit, you have the right of appeal. For more help and advice, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
Question answered by CAB