Tricky Situation - Advice and Opinions Sought

Yorkshire toffee

Well-known Member
In which case, the only way to commit HB fraud would be via a fake tenancy agreement, either with or without the property owner's knowledge and consent.

I suppose it is possible, though I don't know how for how long you could realistically get away with it.
I know under exceptional cases they will pay directly to the Landlord, but the majority go straight to the claimant.
 

spudtator

Well-known Member
Under tax credits, you could only claim for a child if you were getting child benefit for them, and to do that, you had to produce their birth certificate. What evidence does UC require before including a child in a claim?
The first check is whether child benefit is in payment. Child Element can also be paid if child benefit isn't in payment, but then UC would be looking for evidence that the child lives with the person the majority of the time or that they are the main carer/guardian.
Support can also be paid for older children if evidence can be provided to show they are in non-advanced education.
 

spudtator

Well-known Member
By default in England and Wales the housing part of UC is paid direct to the claimant.
Claimants can request a direct payment to their landlord, but would have to provide reasons.
Landlords can also request UC pay direct to them. Again, they would need to supply reasons.
In Scotland claimants can request a direct landlord payment with no reasons being requested.
 

Doug the D

Distinguished Member
Hi Derek, I'm trying to step away from this thread, DWP get awfully twitchy about social media posts. But generally, most (nearly all) claimants get their rent payed to themselves, they then pay the Landlord direct, DWP's thinking is if you were working, your employer would not pay your rent direct to your Landlord, so why should DWP?
Clearly there are several issues around vulnerability etc so there are occasions where DWP pay the L/L direct but the default is pay the claimant.
As to your first question, I believe DWP's figures are audited independently every year (by the audit commission), how independent they are is up to you!.

I'm not sure if it's the case anymore, but when I privately rented housing over a decade ago, the adverts for homes quite often had 'No DHSS applicants' in the adverts, which I'm certain would nowadays be viewed as discriminatory.
Perhaps part of the reason for DWP paying individuals and then letting them pay landlords themselves is a way of hiding the fact that the individuals are being paid benefits for their housing, thus allowing more people on benefits to have access to housing without being turned away by landlords because they are viewed a certain way.
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
"The DWP claim that fraudulent benefit claims amounted to around £900 million in 2019–20."
The government figures seem to be at odds with the figure you've given?

This report provides estimates of fraud and error levels in the benefit system in Great Britain for the financial year 2019 to 2020.

The main points from the report are:


  • 2.4% of total benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud and error
  • the estimated value of overpayments was £4.6 billion
  • 1.1% of total benefit expenditure (or £2.0 billion) was underpaid due to fraud and error
  • the net government loss, after recoveries, was £3.6 billion, or 1.9% of benefit expenditure
Source:


This is interesting too:

 
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drum

Active Member
If he's fiddling he will get caught, for all we hear of benefit cheats they really are few and far between . You mention the person has autism ? him storing hard cash maybe a symptom of his condition. The DWP are severely strict so if he's getting those benefits then the chances that he qualified will be high(er) than you believe. Personally, get on with your own life and leave him to his.

Reporting him could cause a lot of serious problems with him and those he lives with. Sometimes a benefit is stopped due to fraudulent suspicion and if that suspicion is cleared the person has a whole new fight on their hands to get benefit reinstated.
 

drum

Active Member
I know under exceptional cases they will pay directly to the Landlord, but the majority go straight to the claimant.
In Scotland you can asked for the rent to be safeguarded, that way the rent goes directly to the landlord. Landlord has to issue the letter of request, you take it to housing and that's it done. That's for all qualifying benefits including UC. Up here they split the monthly payments into fortnightly (on reques) that helps people manage a bit better.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
The government figures seem to be at odds with the figure you've given?

This report provides estimates of fraud and error levels in the benefit system in Great Britain for the financial year 2019 to 2020.

The main points from the report are:


  • 2.4% of total benefit expenditure was overpaid due to fraud and error
  • the estimated value of overpayments was £4.6 billion
  • 1.1% of total benefit expenditure (or £2.0 billion) was underpaid due to fraud and error
  • the net government loss, after recoveries, was £3.6 billion, or 1.9% of benefit expenditure
Source:


This is interesting too:

That second link is absolutely appalling.

And both Labour and Tory are at it with the stigmatising too.

I've heard about that "Benefits Street" programme, never watched it. I can just imagine that it was full of the worst people the TV production company could find, the sort guaranteed to wind up viewers with their "fecklessness".

Funny how we never get similar programmes about tax avoidance/evasion by wealthy individuals or companies, isn't it? The closest we get is secret filming inside online retailers' warehouses to reveal the manic work conditions.
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
The closest we get is secret filming inside online retailers' warehouses to reveal the manic work conditions.
Which, paradoxically, leads to being overworked, stressed, dosed up on caffeine and two glasses of wine a night... being seen as a badge of honour.

When anyone tries to impress me about how hard they work, often to the detriment of their health, I ask them "So... you're religious then?"

They usually look at me gone out and ask "What you on about?"

I reply "You're... a Puritan? You have a Puritanical work ethic that you think will atone you of your sins?""

If they don't walk away confused, I try to get them to read this:


I'm not advocating that nobody should work. But the existential philosophy around our 'treadmill' based work ethic needs to be considered.

And kind of back on topic... some people can't adhere to this work ethic, for health reasons.

It's why I feel that the person mentioned in the OP's post may be seeing what they're doing as pushing against the system... but not seeing anything inherently wrong with their actions because of their autistic traits.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I'm not advocating that nobody should work. But the existential philosophy around our 'treadmill' based work ethic needs to be considered.
Yes, and I think its flaws have been exposed somewhat during the past 16 months too.

Stepping off the treadmill must have felt very weird to many people, it may have been the first sustained break they had from the commute-work-commute-collapse pattern they've had in years, maybe ever!

I still don't know why we have a 9-5, five days a week work pattern. My sister worked from home during all the lockdowns and nearly always got all her day's work finished by lunchtime. She wasn't distracted by her colleagues and their stupid, idle gossip. Wasn't interrupted by phone calls or emails, and didn't need a lunch break.

She sounded so much happier working at her own pace and with a new self-generated pattern: work hard until lunchtime, have lunch, then go out with the dog in the afternoon.

But yes, we do seem to overly value work above other priorities in life.
 

Reglip

Active Member
My sister worked from home during all the lockdowns and nearly always got all her day's work finished by lunchtime. She wasn't distracted by her colleagues and their stupid, idle gossip. Wasn't interrupted by phone calls or emails, and didn't need a lunch break.

She sounded so much happier working at her own pace and with a new self-generated pattern: work hard until lunchtime, have lunch, then go out with the dog in the afternoon.

Yes but your work arent going to be happy to pay you for half a days work just because you now knuckle down and work hard because you know that you can just have the afternoon off. They will just think you were idle at work before dossing around and chatting and not actually working hard
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Yes but your work arent going to be happy to pay you for half a days work just because you now knuckle down and work hard because you know that you can just have the afternoon off. They will just think you were idle at work before dossing around and chatting and not actually working hard
Alternatively, maybe we don't actually need 8 hours at all to achieve a day's work, despite what our bosses might think?

And we don't need 5 days a week either?

My sister says, and I agree, that too many bosses don't trust their workers to be productive or efficient, which is why they're always interrupting them or checking up on them. Left to her own devices, she works better at home than in the office.

I think the whole office-based ethos is a myth and people can work anywhere if motivated to do so.
 

spudtator

Well-known Member
Regarding the payment of UC housing direct to the claimant and paying monthly instead of the old way of paying fortnightly. I can't find a link for it, but the original plan of UC was paying everything to the claimant, as it's cheaper. Every payment the government makes costs them.
The 'spin' put on it was that it taught claimants how to budget which would prepare them for monthly payments when they got a job.
 

tiacat

Member
Alternatively, maybe we don't actually need 8 hours at all to achieve a day's work, despite what our bosses might think?

And we don't need 5 days a week either?

My sister says, and I agree, that too many bosses don't trust their workers to be productive or efficient, which is why they're always interrupting them or checking up on them. Left to her own devices, she works better at home than in the office.

I think the whole office-based ethos is a myth and people can work anywhere if motivated to do so.
Thats fine if she wants to go part time then, is she happy to be paid for the hours she actually does then?
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Thats fine if she wants to go part time then, is she happy to be paid for the hours she actually does then?
No idea.

I think she just goes along with their crappy arrangements because she needs the money. And if that means sitting in an office bored out of her mind and pretending to work hard, then so be it.
 

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