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p i p s stopped - followed by d w p investigation officer

imcjimcj Member Posts: 5 Listener
edited November 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
Was taking dog for short walk noitced men &women following me didn't think of anything bad thought their were after my dog went for a long walk to get rid of them didn't want to return home didn't want them to know my address a week later the came to my address I phoned the police and complains about these men police gave me a crime number since then I know it was the d w p investigation officer can I go to a tribunal and explain my case please help me thanks

Replies

  • Peasmold_01Peasmold_01 Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Have you received a letter informing you that your PIP has been stopped? If so they must provide a reason, and what their intentions are. Get back to the forum for further help and advice. Good luck  
  • imcjimcj Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Yes stopped my money went for a meeting under caution and was told I walked a long way only because I was followed and was scared to come home didn't want them to know where I lived thanks for your help
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @imcj welcome to the community.

    We have lots of information about appealing a DWP decision here. It may be worth you getting some advice, you can speak to the CAB or to the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333




    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Peasmold_01Peasmold_01 Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Interviewed under caution ! May I suggest you contact a solicitor ASAP  and put them in the picture and seek their advice. Have you received any communication from DWP since the interview? If you are thinking of appearing, wait until you receive the DWP decision letter detailing the outcome of the interview. Good luck. 
  • imcjimcj Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Yes seen a solictor paid £400 for preared statement cant afford no more got M R letter saying no change now going to appeal
  • Peasmold_01Peasmold_01 Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Have DWP stopped all of your benefits, or just mobility? There is something strange about this situation  Why were DWP investigators looking at what you were able to do? Had they been tipped off about something, or was it just random? Were you in receipt of the mobility element of PIP? 
  • imcjimcj Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Yes they stopped all my money someone reported me to d w p please help me
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,729 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @imcj
    With legal matters it is always good to get some proper advice, as I said you can speak to the CAB or to the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333

    You might also like to check out The Law Centre?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Peasmold_01Peasmold_01 Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Do you have a community law centre near you or a university law school? If so contact them. Keep in touch, what part of the country do live? 
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,352 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry to have to say this but it looks as if you have been reported for suspected claiming a benefit you may not or are not entitled to receive. The fact you have stated your self that you where out walking your dog says a lot if you where in receipt of PIP mobility component then by publicly demonstrating your abilities of walking more than the PIP descriptors proves that you have been claiming when you should have informed the DWP that your circumstances have changed, improved. This must have been going on for a considerable time weeks or months for an investigation team to be sent out to follow, observe you dog walking. I hope you get some legal advice.
  • sunnydayssunnydays Member Posts: 29 Connected
    What grounds have they stopped Pip on? Have they mentioned if they are going to take any further action?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    As you mention you have a solicitor helping you with this then you really should be speaking to them about it. It's totally impossible to give any advice on an internet forum because no one knows your case or the reasons you were claiming PIP to start with.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Asher3Asher3 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Get legal advice ASAP no matter the cost..
    What level of Mobility were you getting?
    Did you happen to have a paid dog walker before this incident?

  • Asher3Asher3 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    edited November 2018
    It goes along way if you can prove the person who reported you had malicious intent.
    If they take you to court, which it looks like, the the minimum will be to pay back the money.
    If anyone else gets asked to attend an interview under caution, take a solicitor with you!
    The next step would be a summons depending on what they have seen and recorded of your movements and what was said in the interview during the interview. 
    The rate of mobility you are receiving will play a large part as well as the amount of time you have been receiving it.
    They will look at your bank and credit cards and even your freedom pass if you have one to see where to go.
    They will talk to your neighbours.

    Get a solicitor 
    Sorry to be a downer.

    Good luck


  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    How often do you manage to walk your dog ? and how far do you usually walk ?
    How far did you have to walk on this occasion ?  Were you observed on more than one occasion ?
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    How often do you manage to walk your dog ? and how far do you usually walk ?
    How far did you have to walk on this occasion ?  Were you observed on more than one occasion ?
    Normally they will have video footage of more than one occasion - this would show that the ability to walk is ongoing. 
    It does however depend of what the mobility award was - hope that it was not enhanced!

  • atlas46atlas46 Member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi

    None of these posts of @imjc stack up, with reference to counter fraud work undertaken by DWP.

    In particular, the DWP arriving at his front door following an alleged counter surveillance activity by them, of his dog walking event.

    Or that he engaged a solicitor to draft a statement on his behalf.

    I note with interest, he has not posted anything, since 4.05pm.

    I am sure @imjc would wish to throw further light, on his situation, to enable the community to assist him as much as possible.
  • imcjimcj Member Posts: 5 Listener
    No it wasntenhanced they followed me for5days I thought they were after my dog I was scared to go home on the 5 day when they were outside my house I phoned the police because I was scared
  • Asher3Asher3 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    edited November 2018
    Get a crime reff for that call or some evidence it took place.

    It would be normal to send a letter requesting an interview under caution.

    Why did that not happen?

  • Asher3Asher3 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    The only answer to this is to get a solicitor and be as honest as you can with them after legal advice.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,540 Disability Gamechanger
    Ah bless, threads like these elicit their fair amount of panic mongering tosh so let’s go back to basics. 

    Nothing in this is suspicious or unusual in any way. It happens daily somewhere. Equally there is nothing in walking a dog which of itself would prevent a legitimate PIP mobility award. Idle speculation is just that and it’s hugely unhelpful. Trying to establish facts on a forum is a waste of time. That the OP was walking a dog tells you nothing. That they walked further than normal tells you nothing without the context of knowing how that then impacted. Could they do it repeatedly etc. 

    Equally it’s wholly irrelevant as to whether any report had malicious intent. I’m not even sure what that means. No-one reports alleged fraud out of the goodness of their heart so all such reports are driven by ill intent to some extent. However, the fact is that you will never learn who made the report so it’s a moot point.’

    Ditto how long it’s been going on for. DWP will video at less than a weeks notice if possible. Few investigations last more than a few weeks. Again though it doesn’t matter. 

    There has been an IUC but I’m not clear whether the solicitor attended or just helped with a statement to DWP or with the MR. 

    I see no mention of an intent to prosecute and the IUC has been and gone so a solicitor is not relevant at this stage. You just need a WR representative. 
  • Asher3Asher3 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    edited November 2018

    mikehugescq

    I grant you that malicious intent may not be relevant in this case as the investigators have followed the poor fellow for 5 days already without asking him for an informal meeting.
    At the first point of contact with the fraud department the malicious intent of the informant is very relevant and it is important to point that out to the investigator.
    Most people know or have a very good idea of who has reported them.
    The fraud department gets many untrue malicious allegations against people and they do not have the time to run around investigating false malicious allegations.
    The malicious intent of the informer can play a large part or can tip the balance as to whether to drop the investigation or to continue.

    For example: If you are having a feud with an antisocial neighbour and trying to have them evicted. it is important for the investigator to know this.
    It makes the informants report and evidence of your mobility suspect as well as their motive for reporting the alleged infraction.

    I object to you referring to other peoples advice as "tosh".
    At the time of writing we did not know that he was not receiving enhanced mobility.

    The time for a solicitor was at the time of the interview under caution in this case.

    The mans PIP has been stopped and he has been followed for 5 days by investigators . He has had an interview under caution.
    To do that the department has spent considerable resources which it is short of.

    I would be taking this seriously and talking with a good solicitor so he is up to date and ready for any summons that comes.

    Get a benefits adviser on the case and find out why all your benefits have stopped. 
    From what you have said you have cooperated so they need a reason for stopping your money.
    This might put a little more light on the situation. 







  • YadnadYadnad Posts: 2,856 Member
    They have probably stopped all of their benefits on the grounds that there may well be an overpayment looming in the future. It's a way of securing the repayment of that possible debt? 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,540 Disability Gamechanger
    @Asher3 few people have an IUC without realising that someone has presumably grassed them up for something. All then say that whoever did it was malicious. Few are in any kind of other dispute but even when they are it’s pretty rare that their guess as to who did it is accurate. Your assumption that most people know who must have done it is incorrect. DWP report that in most cases people are keen to concentrate on the “it was x wot dunnit” angle and in almost all cases they’re incorrect and often horribly so. Neighbour and other disputes often escalate horribly because a claimant is so caught up in that they cannot contemplate the possibility it may not have been a neighbour. It usually isn’t. 

    Where you end up with that is that unless you actually have evidence of a dispute with someone who has made previous unwarranted accusations about you then you have zero evidence of malicious intent. 

    More to the point, investigators couldn’t care less about malicious intent. They’re merely gathering information to pass on to a DM. Their interest will remain focused largely on what evidence supports the accusation and what doesn’t. Hard fact rather than speculation as to why something was reported in the first place. If an accusation is unfounded then there will be no supporting evidence and it stops there. 

    In talking to colleagues over the years about fraud cases literally a handful of us have had cases where malicious intent even played a part. Where it did it played no part in the case ending. The case ended for lack of evidence. It used to come up in “leaving voluntarily without just cause” type UB cases many moons ago but the law doesn’t work like that for overpayments. 

    You may object but “panic mongering tosh” was the phrase I used and I stand by it. If you want more precision then I’ll be more precise. You assert the next step will be a summons and the OP should get legal advice immediately. Wrong on both counts and likely to scare the OP witless without good reason. 

    At present benefit is suspended. It is suspended because a question as to entitlement has arisen. It’s a wide ranging power age as @yadnad says it’s to prevent/reduce the possibility of further overpayment. 

    The next step will be either the lifting of that suspension following referral to a DM or the issuing of a supersession decision to reduce or remove benefit. Neither of those require anything more than some basic WR advice. The supersession letter must be accompanied or followed by a letter stating there’s a recoverable overpayment. Only then could there even be a suggestion of a prosecution because prior to both those decisions/letters an overpayment doesn’t legally exist. 

    If a case is considered likely for prosecution then, depending on the amount at stake, many IUCs involve an offer being made to the claimant starting along the lines of the investigators stating they believe they have enough to prosecute. What they then do is offer to not proceed with that if the claimant ends the claim themselves and agrees to an administrative penalty on top of any recoverable overpayment. Many sign on the dotted line immediately. Often foolishly so. Often times this is, to be blunt, poor practice and often founded on very poor fact finding. 

    Few such conversations takes place if we’re talking serious amount of money - high 5 figures rather than 4 but even then you still need a supersession and recovery letter. 

    So, until we move from suspension to a letter detailing a recoverable overpayment this person needs no advice at all although they may want to seek reassurance at this stage from a WR specialist. IF, and only if, a prosecution case is started, they will need legal advice to run in parallel not instead of. 

    Likely answer to why all benefits were suspended relates to their interdependence. Losing PIP removes premiums on means-tested benefits and that in turn could end entitlement to those. Again though it won’t take a solicitor to advise on the mechanics of that.

    So, telling someone they need a solicitor when we’ve not even got a decision to supersede is both wrong and panic mongering because it implies an urgency which as yet does not exist. If there is an urgency then it’s obviously the removal of income but again that just needs timely WR advice.

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