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Help with mistake
Hi everyone. I am looking for some advice/help as I am really panicking and haven’t slept. I have been getting Esa support group since 2014 due to several health issues. I still work part time and am self employed and was told I would be in the permitted work group when they filled the forms in for me at the benefits office. They asked me how many hours I worked a week and I told them on average 4-6 hrs a week. The reason I visit the benefits office was because I was signed off sick by the doctor as I had a big flair up of my arthritis for a few months which they couldn’t get under control and went to the benefits office to see if I could get sick pay and they put me on esa.
I have received a letter about a compliance telephone interview which I had and they have asked to see my tax returns and to sign and a42 form so they can see my bank accounts which they have sent out to me. This is the first time I have spoken to anyone about my claim in 7 years since I was put on it. I got a questionnaire several years ago about my illness but nothing since. After receiving the call I have checked online about esa and all the ins and outs of it. It says you can work up to 16 hours a week and earn up to £142 a week without it affecting your benefit. I only work the 4-6 hrs a week and this was all they asked me at the benefits office they never asked about how much I earned. Most of the time I don’t earn more than £142 a week but sometimes I am just over it. With being self employed I don’t get paid every week as invoices can take some time to pay so I worked it out monthly/yearly and some times I am just over the total amount allowed.
I am now panicking and my anxiety is out of control and my depression is starting to take over again as I am worried that I will be charged with fraud as I not that kind of person and have never been in trouble.
I never asked to be put on esa they put me on it and they filled in all the paper work and asked all the questions. The only question they asked me about work was the amount of hours I worked a week. If there has been a mistake I would want to pay any money back that was given wrongly but it wasn’t my fault and I don’t want to get into serious trouble. Should I just contact them and tell them or speak to someone professional first about what to do.
Any advice/help would be very much appreciated. Over the 7 years there is about 14 months I earned slightly more than I should have.