If you have been informed that you are under investigation by the DWP for benefit fraud then it is extremely important that you receive legal advice.
The benefit system and application process can be a confusing one, and applicants will be expected to sign a declaration to confirm that the information that they have provided is true and correct, and that the applicant is under an ongoing obligation to notify any changes in circumstances.
Most applicants will sign this declaration without fully understanding or appreciating the possible consequences. This can lead to allegations being made that there has been an overpayment of benefits that has been caused by either dishonesty or a deliberate failure to inform the DWP of a change of circumstance.
Examples of benefit fraud can include:
Most people may be surprised to learn that the Department for Work and Pensions have the power to interview suspects under caution, in very much the same way as the Police would also interview a suspect. Suspects rights are protected by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Codes of Practice meaning that they are entitled to have legal representation present. It is extremely important that you have a legal representative present with you if you are invited to interview.
If you have received a letter from the DWP inviting you to attend for an interview under caution, then it is important that you receive legal advice. You are entitled to legal representation at that interview, and it is important that you exercise that right. Poole Alcock have specialist defence solicitors available to represent you during your interview.
You may be eligible for legal aid for representation at an interview under caution. We at Poole Alcock will be able to advise you whether you satisfy the criteria for legal aid. If you are ineligible for legal aid, Poole Alcock will offer you competitive rates for advice and representation.
Once you have been interviewed then a decision will be made whether the case can simply be dealt with by the overpayment being repaid, whether a financial penalty should be imposed or whether a prosecution is pursued. The investigation and decision making process can be a lengthy one, taking months, and even years in more complex cases.
If you have received a summons telling you that you are facing prosecution for an allegation of benefit fraud then it is important that you receive legal advice and representation at Court.
Legal aid is available for benefit fraud prosecutions, subject to your means. At Poole Alcock we will be able to advise you whether you will be eligible for legal aid.
At Poole Alcock we understand that this investigations by the DWP can be stressful and upsetting experience. Our experienced team will deal with your case professionally and compassionately, and help you through each process.Contact Us Today
Please submit your information and a member of the Poole Alcock team will respond to you as soon as possible. If you have a quick question, please feel free to call 01270 625478.
Thank you so much for all your preparation and work in the court this morning. I want to thank you and each of the solicitors that helped me over the last 18 months. I would also like to say a big thank you to the office and reception staff who have always been most helpful and polite to me.
I just wanted to thank you for the way your solicitor, Stuart Flood defended my cousin at Crewe Magistrates Courts recently.
Stuart did a tremendous job of keeping the case at the Magistrates Courts and in getting the best possible outcome we could have ever hoped for. All concerned were mightily impressed at his skill & professionalism. Stuart and the Probation Officer were a formidable team.
Thank you once again from all the family. One never knows whats is around the corner but with respect, hopefully we won’t be in need of your defence services again, however, if we do we will know where to come.
Amazing Team! I can’t thank Derek and Hannah enough for their guidance and expertise. Thank you both so much.
This is just a quick note to thank you very much for all your help on Friday 16th at Crewe Magistrates Court.
You understood my exact situation perfectly and communicated this very effectively to the court. You were a great comfort to me in unfamiliar circumstances.
Thank you very much again and you are correct – things are looking up once more!
Tim Edgeley gave an excellent service throughout my case and kept me updated regularly.
I would just like to personally drop you a line to thank you for your considerable personal and professional effort today, I am well aware that its your job, however when I spoke to Scott before he assured me without reservation that you were the man for the job, he was absolutely correct, I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to anyone who may be in as an unfortunate situation that we were today.