Nobody wants to learn that they are under investigation by the Department for Work and Pensions. It can be hugely stressful and intrusive for everyone involved. If you are in this situation, it’s vital to seek legal advice early to maximise your chances of a favourable outcome.
Investigations can be invasive and thorough, so choosing the right solicitor is essential to help you build up a solid defence. At Setfords, our benefit fraud solicitors are highly experienced in this area and can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
What is benefit fraud?
Fraud occurs when somebody deliberately claims benefits that they are not entitled to. It can be done either by providing false information, using a false identity or not reporting a change in circumstances. Or, it may simply be a misunderstanding.
What happens if I am suspected of benefit fraud?
If you are to be investigated for benefit fraud, the relevant department will contact you. Whilst the investigation takes place, your benefits may be stopped, Fraud Investigation Officers may visit you, and you could be asked to attend an interview under caution. The relevant office will then decide whether to take the claim further.
If you are found to have attempted or committed benefit fraud, you may have some or all of your benefits reduced or stopped, have to pay back the money, have to pay a penalty, or be charged with a criminal offence and taken to Court. If found guilty of a criminal offence, you may face prison time.
Upon finding out about any allegations against you, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Click the button below to get in touch today.
Our welfare benefit fraud solicitors’ specialisms:
Our solicitors can assist you with allegations of benefit fraud, including but not limited to:
- Working and claiming benefits you are not entitled to (undeclared income)
- Non-disclosure of assets, including undeclared savings
- Non-disclosure of a partner (moving in or out), meaning you are paid benefits or reductions you are not entitled to
- False claims of housing benefit by homeowners
- Failing to declare sub-tenants
- Falsely claiming your address or failing to notify of a change of address
- False rent proof (both landlord and tenant)
- Falsely claiming any benefit or reduction, including PIP, child benefits, council tax, bedroom tax, housing benefit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, pension credits, working tax credit, or Universal Credit.
How can our welfare benefit fraud lawyers help?
Our lawyers can assist you at every stage of the investigation, from initial legal advice to representation at Court.
You are advised to seek legal guidance as soon as you become aware of the investigation so that your solicitor can assist you at your interview under caution (if this is required). This interview can be a stressful process and may be used as evidence in Court. But, your solicitor should be provided with the evidence against you ahead of the interview and so can advise you on your current position and the best course of action going forward. It is often possible to avoid prosecution by exploring alternative avenues or clarifying misunderstandings at this stage.
However, if your case is taken further and you are summoned to Court, our firm will ensure that your case is expertly prepared, and you receive full representation to give you the greatest possible chance of success.
Our unique structure gives our lawyers the flexibility and freedom they need to deliver a truly personal service.
Finding the right benefit fraud lawyer is vital to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. It can be a complicated area of law, and a specialist solicitor can make a real difference to your case.
Our lawyers have many years of experience in this specific area and have assisted countless clients with favourable outcomes. And, our flexible structure allows our lawyers to work entirely remotely, so they do not necessarily have to be local to you.
To get in touch with our benefit fraud solicitors and find out more about how we can help you, please fill out the form below:
Sapna Bhalla is an experienced and dedicated lawyer specialising in welfare benefits and benefit fraud. Qualifying as a solicitor in 2008, she has over fourteen years of experience dealing with complicated matters.
Sapna has successfully represented numerous clients on several First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal cases for all social security law and welfare benefits matters, including:
- Preparing submissions and representing at appeals such as Personal Independence Payments and Employment Support Appeals, as well as obtaining specific medical evidence
- Dealing with overpayments (which are often linked with accusations of benefit fraud but dealt with separately. We can advise on appealing these)
- Appeals including complex housing benefit and tax credit issues.
She also specialises in Criminal Defence Law and has acted on a broad range of Criminal law matters. She is Police Station accredited and now specialises in representing clients on cases concerning allegations of benefit fraud at interviews under cautions at DWP and local authority offices. Also, she can advise on compliance interviews on a private basis.
Sapna is resolute in ensuring she gets the best results for every one of her clients.