Failed to notify the Department of Work and Pensions of a change of circumstances?

It is a criminal offence if you have failed to notify the Department of Work and Pensions of a change in your circumstances, whether it is financial or not.

• The changes you should notify are; obtaining employment, (also to include if your hours or salary changes), if you move in with your partner or stop living with them, have a baby, move address, start full-time education or training, rent out a room in your house or take in a lodger or go abroad for 4 weeks or longer

However, the Department of Work and Pensions have recently reviewing their prosecution charging practice. This means that if the overpayment is calculated at £5,000 or less, you may be eligible for a non-prosecution disposal, which would mean you wold not receive a conviction on your record. The non-prosecution disposal normally requires the overpayment to be paid back either in full or by way of instalments and also a separate financial penalty.

The change has been a long time coming, the previous legislation was if the overpayment was £2,000 or more the case would be considered for Prosecution.

Your rights when invited to attend an interview under caution at the Job Centre
You are entitled to seek legal advice before you attend the interview or to have a solicitor or legal representative attend with you.

Emery Johnson Astills are able to assist and have experience of dealing with benefit fraud interviews.

Due to the recent change in the overpayment limit for consideration prosecution, it is advisable to attend the interview with a solicitor present. The solicitor is able to obtain disclosure prior to the interview, in order to establish whether you are eligible for a non-prosecution disposal.

Emery Johnson Astills have offices based in Leicester, Loughborough and Coalville so are able to attend interviews within Leicestershire.

If you have any questions please contact a member of our Criminal Team at Emery Johnson Astills who will be able to assist.