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Compliance telephone interview - nervous

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inrempto
inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
I'm on universal credit.
I signed up during covid, recieved some payments (about  5 months worth) and took the phone calls and applied for jobs etc, but after a while I realised I wasn't able to even look for work as my anxiety is too bad so I stopped attending the interviews with the work coach and have basically been on a 'sanction' ever since, receiving no money (although I was surprised to see that I WAS actually paid over the last 2 months. Not the upcoming month though, and not for the  5 or so months prior to them 2 payments)

A few months back I got a sum of money given to me. I didn't even think to notify the jobcenter people since I hadn't received any money from them and basically considered my case closed at that point (I think they'd even told me in my journal that my case was going to be closed but seemingly that wasn't true)

Anyway,  I've got a message in my journal informing me of a compliance telephone interview I must 'attend' and it's got me scared. I suffer from nerves just leaving the house so you can imagine how this has got me feeling ;(

Is this interview very likely to be about the money/savings? If so, I take it i'll be in some trouble. Is the worst case scenario having to pay back all of the money i'vebeen overpaid? 

I hear that these interviews are 'random' etc, but from reading google, I don't believe that at all. It seems everyone who has to have these interviews is having them due to the WPC acting on some sort of information

Is the fact that it's a telephone interview 'good'? I'm hoping it's based on the fact that I moved address a few months back, although I think that's a tiny chance and it's more likely about savings 

I know it's my fault (even though i'd basically considered my claim 'closed' a long time ago and didn't think i need to tell them anything!) and i'll take whatever punishment they give me, but I don't need the stress so just looking for peoples thoughts.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,998 Disability Gamechanger
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    Yes they do these interviews at random sometimes. However, if the money you recieved took your total savings to more than £16,000 then you should have reported the changes and your UC would have ended.
    For every £250 or part there of over £6,000 there's a £4.35/month deduction in your UC.
    Prior to this did you report your health condition on your journal and then send in fit notes? Had you done this then you should have been referred for a work capability assessment. However, even with this, you're still classed as a job seeker until a decision is made on the work capability assessment.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • inrempto
    inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Yes they do these interviews at random sometimes. However, if the money you recieved took your total savings to more than £16,000 then you should have reported the changes and your UC would have ended.
    For every £250 or part there of over £6,000 there's a £4.35/month deduction in your UC.
    Prior to this did you report your health condition on your journal and then send in fit notes? Had you done this then you should have been referred for a work capability assessment. However, even with this, you're still classed as a job seeker until a decision is made on the work capability assessment.
    I'd love it to be 'random' but I very much doubt it from what i've read from other people who had these interviews

    Yes, I should have reported the change, but as i'd not received any money from them for like 5 months in a row, I just stupidly thought 'they can't deduct what they aren't even paying me' kind of thing, plus I sort of assume my case was already closed, tbh. I have no idea why I WAS paid the last 2 months though, out of the blue having not been paid prior. I only realised that today when i saw my journal

    No, I didn't report my health condition, but I guess that's a separate issue. There's no skin of their nose if i'm not being paid money i'm theoretically allowed and since I didn't feel well enough to get that 'ball rolling' I just accepted that I won't get any money from them and basically considered it 'over' already - until this happened. Now i'm nervous. I'm expecting to just have to pay back what i've been paid so far basically which will sting, but it is what it is
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,998 Disability Gamechanger
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    Believe it or not some of these compliance interviews are random. You will need to tell them why you didn't report it but all overpayments are recoverable when claiming UC, if it's it's an official error.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • inrempto
    inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Believe it or not some of these compliance interviews are random. You will need to tell them why you didn't report it but all overpayments are recoverable when claiming UC, if it's it's an official error.
    I live in hope, but based on what i've read on forums from people talking about these interviews, i'd be flabbergasted if it really was a 'random checkup' about nothing kind of thing (most seem to be ''they rang me and asked me about a new account that i'd opened and desposted 20k into'' kind of thing)

    I'll say that I didn't report the overpayment because I wasn't aware I was even recieving any payments considering i'd not recieved any many months in a row and assumed my account was closed (since i had a message in my journal telling me my account would be closed) - and that's the same reason I didn''t declare the largeish sum of money I received (why would I declare money if I considered my claim to be closed and that I wouldn't be getting any money from them)

    However, i'm still expecting anything from a slap on the wrist too paying all the money received back and a fine,  too a prison sentence for benefit fraud! Who knows! Hope for the best, expect the worst!

    thanks for the repies
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,998 Disability Gamechanger
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    One thing you won't receive is a prison sentence. The worst that would happen here is you'll need to pay back any UC you received after the money when into your bank.
    Yes, you thought your UC had closed, i understand that but all overpayments are recoverable when claiming UC.
    You should also try not to read too many stories on the internet.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • inrempto
    inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    edited December 2022
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    an update - they didn't mention anything about money when they began the compliance call and said the call was just to see why I hadn't been signing on for so long and whether I had a job.

    I said I believed my claim ended a long time ago and that I believed any payments had stopped permanently (they argued that I was just on a sanction). I also then VOLUNTEERED the info about the large sum of money I received (I really hope that wasn't a stupid move but I just thought honestly would be the bet policy). They say i should have told them. I say at that point i'd not been too a meeting or been paid in very long and had all but forgotten about my claim assuming it was closed

    So now they want statements from all my banks from the very beginning. I see that i had too much money (over 6k) when I began the claim so that won't do me any favours either. I think I just estimated my main bank accoutns balance, and I do'nt think the form gave me the option to add a 2nd bank so overall I was 'off'/under by a few thousand

    I feel like i've got a reasonable excuse as to why I didn't update them when i got the money given to me (had reasonable doubt that my claim had ended having received 0.00 payments many months in a row) although I screwed up when filling in the online form in the first instance

    I'm of course happy to pay back whatever I owe, but I am very scared, I can't lie.

    Someone who used to work there told me not to worry and that at WORST case it will be an 'interview under caution', but i'm of course scared of further punishment. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,998 Disability Gamechanger
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    Even though you thought your claim was closed, unfortunately all overpayments are recoverable when claiming UC so you will have to pay back what you’ve been overpaid.
    When you first claimed UC is asks you about all of your savings and all your bank accounts. For every £250 or part there of over £6,000 there’s a £4.35/month deduction in your UC. You will need to send them what they’ve asked for otherwise you will have an overpayment for everything you claimed since your claim started. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • inrempto
    inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    I will send them all of my bank statements. I'm of course happy to pay back anything i've been overpaid.
    I maintain that even though I was wrong, I honestly believed i'd never receive another penny from them once i'd stopped going to meetings interviews etc (and was mostly correct) and that my claim was closed.
    I did screw up from the outset though when i first claimed in regards to my savings
    Is it likely that paying the money back will be the end of it? I'm struggling to sleep nights, tbh
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,998 Disability Gamechanger
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    There maybe a small fine on top of the overpayment but that’s about it, nothing else will happen.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,982 Disability Gamechanger
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    It sounds really difficult that this is meaning you are struggling to sleep @inrempto. Would anything, in particular, help you to sleep and make this feel more manageable for you? 

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything to support you. We are all here for you and listening to you. 

    You don't have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don't want to. Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • inrempto
    inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    edited December 2022
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    It sounds really difficult that this is meaning you are struggling to sleep @inrempto. Would anything, in particular, help you to sleep and make this feel more manageable for you? 

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything to support you. We are all here for you and listening to you. 

    You don't have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don't want to. Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    I suffer from anxiety (although am undiagnosed) and so anything like this is super stressful. If going to the shops makes me nervous, then you can imagine what the thought of 'interviews under caution' and the word 'fraud' and 'soliciters' and all that stuff does to me. Hense I've struggled to sleep etc

    I was able to sleep a little after @poppy123456 's last message where they suggested i'd only have to pay pay what I owe and possibly a small fine, although I fear they may be wrong.

    If my whole claim is an 'overpayment' then we're looking at like 7k. That's a lot of money. I don't mind paying back what I owe, but because it's a large number I fear they will want to punish me.

    And on top of that there's this situation with receiving a very large lump sum of money that I failed to declare (even though at that point i'd not been signing on in so long and had received many 0.00 payments that I'd basically forgotten all about my claim and didn't think to let them know). I received barely any money AFTER that lump sum so any 'overpayment' after that isn't especially large (Not to mention completely unexpected!!) BUT it's just that since the sum I was gifted is so large, I feel it just looks bad.

    I wish an 'expert' was here to put my mind at rest. I've never claimed benefits before so really have no idea how much of what i've written is 'typical' and what typically happens with similar amounts etc.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,998 Disability Gamechanger
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    Your UC will not be affected before you had the inheritance. It’s only affected from the last day of your assessment period after it went into your bank.
    If it’s expert advice you want then you’ve come to the wrong place. This is an internet forum and the majority of people who post here either claim benefits their self or they are are caring for someone with a disability. 
    As I advised it’s very unlikely that you would receive anything other than a fine on top of any overpayment. 
    If you want that expert advice then you can speak to an advice agency near you. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • inrempto
    inrempto Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Options
    Your UC will not be affected before you had the inheritance. 
    Yes, but like I said before, I was potentially very slightly over the max allowance when the claim began, so the overpayment might be everything I've been paid. (and then the additional issue on top of the inherritance)

    I'm of course happy to pay back whatever I've been overpaid

    I didn't mean to sound ungrateful for your thoughts or to 'doubt' you or anything. I'm just a bit worried. 

    I've actually emailed citizens advice and waiting for their reply

    thanks
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,982 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2022
    Options
    Oh no, this sounds really stressful and confusing for you @inrempto. Though, it is positive that you are happy to pay back whatever you've been overpaid. 

    Thank you for clarifying your response. We can hear that you are feeling worried. Is there anything, in particular, that might help this to feel more manageable for you and less worrying? 

    Hopefully, Citizen's Advice will respond to you soon if they haven't already. Please don't hesitate to let us know how this goes and if there's anything else we can do to support you.

    We are all here for you and listening to you. Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
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