Benefit Fraud Solicitors
Benefit fraud is a very common offence which is frequently dealt with in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts, depending on the extent of the offence. The severity of each individual offence is usually based on the amount of money which was allegedly claimed fraudulently. If you’ve been accused of falsely claiming benefits and wish to take the matter to court, you’ll require a specialist benefit fraud solicitor to ensure you develop a strong case and be in with the best chance of acquittal.
Here at Gray and Co Solicitors we have extensive experience of dealing with all types of benefit fraud in the Magistrates and Crown Courts. Our dedicated barristers represent alleged offenders from the initial interview under caution through to full representation at Court; this includes the full Trial, Guilty plea and mitigations, ensuring full legal support throughout the process.
There are many different types of benefit fraud which can cause the offence you’re charged with to be rather perplex. Below are the most common reasons to be suspected of benefit fraud:
Working and Claiming
You would be classed as ‘working and claiming’ if you are receiving housing/council tax benefit due to the fact that you’re on jobseekers allowance/income support but have actually been gaining an income through working.
Withholding Information on Income, Capital or Owned Property
Failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of your correct income, capital or property could cause you to receive a higher benefit than you’re entitled to. This also includes failing to notify DWP of changes in your income, capital or properties which could affect the rate of your benefit.
Failing to Declare Living with a Partner
In the case of some benefits, entitlement is lost when living with a partner. Purposely withholding information about your partner residing in your home to retain ‘entitlement’ is classed as benefit fraud. The term ‘partner’ would be defined as a husband, wife or civil partner.
Failing to Declare Non-dependants or Sub-tenants
If you fail to disclose that another adult is residing in your home to increase or retain your benefit entitlement this is considered to be benefit fraud.
Homeowners Falsely Claiming as Tenants
If you’re a homeowner but are claiming council tax as though you’re a tenant you’re committing benefit fraud.
Providing a False Address or Failing to Notify a Change of Address
This involves claiming for a house you’re not currently residing in. Different homes within different areas entitle claimants to different rates of housing benefit and council tax benefit. If you provide a false address or no longer live at the address you provided to the DWP or local council, you will be considered a fraudulent claimant.
If you’re a landlord and are receiving benefit payment directly on behalf of a tenant who no longer resides in your property you’re committing benefit fraud.
Creating Fictitious Tenancies
Fictitious tenancies usually involve creating a tenancy between friends and family where the house wouldn’t normally be rented. This is done to obtain a higher benefit fraudulently.
If you believe you’ve been falsely accused of benefit fraud, or the extent of your charge is too severe then speak to one of our qualified, friendly solicitors. We’re able to provide you with expert benefit fraud advice and take some of the pressure off you and your family at this difficult time. You can call us on 01244 344299 or use our online contact form.