In which I find my name associated with benefit fraud.

It had to happen eventually. Somebody’s reported me to the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions).

I got a letter today. Well, my mother did – my benefits are in her name after all – saying that a fraud officer will be visiting my house on Tuesday, and to be sure I’m available. Unless this is the standard letter all benefit claimaints eventually get… but then, why at home? Why not at the benefits office or jobcentre? I don’t know anyone who’s had someone come to their house, with a snotty letter demanding they be available.

I’m not breaking any laws. I’m not committing any fraud. So why do I feel like Tuesday will be the day my life as I know it ends?

I’m terrified. I also don’t know anyone who’s had an assessment and passed. Not even Z, who is bipolar and can’t function without medication. Not my friend Ann, who can’t walk more than a few steps and needs a commode downstairs. Everyone I know has failed the assessment.

I’ve never had one. I’ve never needed to; my disability was always considered life-long. And fraud? I wouldn’t know HOW to commit fraud.

I want to cry. I want to hurt myself. I want to take co-codamol and forget it all.

If I lose my benefits, I can’t help but feel I’ll have no choice but to kill myself. Seriously. I’d have no other options. I’d have no money. Not a penny. Not a single thing to live on.

I want to throw up.

I’m not strong enough for this.

DWP advert in the UK.

I’m sorry I haven’t commented on other blogs. I just don’t think I can speak sense right now.

 

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61 Comments

  1. This is serious – don’t do anything serious in reaction to it. There must be an appeals process if you are denied. And just because you don’t know anyone who has passed doesn’t mean that people don’t pass, you may well be the first person you know. Get any doctors statements you have ready and be prepared to present evidence.

  2. I know it’s hard, but try not to stress out beforehand. Just be there, any documentation you have I’m sure would be helpful. Be open & forthright & pray that this is just some beurocratic check-up.
    I am sending love!!!

  3. You won’t know for sure exactly why they are coming until Tuesday comes.I know it is difficult and close to impossible for you to not get really stressed out before hand, But try really hard. I know how I would be feeling and I understand you being scared to death. But I have been scared to death about upcoming events I wasn’t sure about and thought it had to be something really bad, and it end up being nothing like I had thought. I hope this is so in your case sweety. My prayers will be with you.

  4. Sweetie you can meet them at the front door and tell them its nothing personal but you don’t feel safe welcoming someone you don’t know even if they work for the DWP into your home and that you will prefer if you both can undertake the meeting in a cafe. If they persist tell them it’s a phobia, & unless they have shown you legal evidence to see/ search your property they have no rigth to
    invade your privacy.

  5. Take some even, deep breaths, shrug you shoulders high and then relax them, stretch and release. Follow the advice already presented to gather you documentation or at least collect all the contact and reference information for the practitioners you’ve received care from. Research the assessment process and find out if there are any organizations or persons who provide pro-bono legal assistance in these matters. Whatever happens, you’ve been strong enough to make it to this point, you will be strong enough to make it through this.

  6. What a stressor that you really don’t need to be dealing with. I am going to be keeping my fingers crossed so hard for you that it goes okay on Tuesday. Go into that interview knowing that you have done nothing wrong, you deserve everything you are getting, and nothing less. We are all behind you to emotionally back you up. Keep that head held high x

  7. I had one of these, I hope you have the same one. All they did was go through all my benefits, and check I was receiving the right money, turned out, at the time I was getting £2 too much, and they took it off me – wtf.
    The woman seemed to be checking if I had a partner, that’s what her questions were aimed at. I guess because I have been single since I’ve been on benefits (5 years) that’s why they wanted to check. If they had evidence, they’d do it at the office, and tape it. Hope this helps.

  8. So sorry to hear about this. Can I ask what do you mean when you say passed the test? If your refering to ESA or DLA I passed both. I have Bipolar and havn’t had any problem’s with my claims. Have you heard of an organisation called Advocacy? They helped me with all my form’s and advised me on what I should an sholdn’t say during the Interview process. Here’s 1 huge piece of advice they gave me, when asked about how you live with your condition answer them with your worst days, at your lowest and don’t include your ok moment’s. I know It may seem abit deceitful but trust me It’s needed. Also don’t be afraid of them, I was told to question them as much as they did me. Ask them what qualifies them to make a diagnosis, what training and qualification’s they have.
    I did all that an to be honest It made them very uncomfortable but hey their doing it to you.
    I hope you get it sorted an try not to worry to much, theres plenty of advice an guidance on the web,take some time an get your self more prepared..
    Let me know the out come please. Your in my prayer’s..
    BRIAN

    • I’ve been on DLA/Incapacity since I was fourteen; and because my disability is considered life-long, I’ve never needed the normal assessments. Now I’m going to have to prove myself to a total stranger from the government, in my own house. I just don’t understand why someone would report me :(

      It’s so hard filling in those forms. I’m really hoping I don’t have to do it again.

  9. Deep breaths! If you haven’t done anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about! Make sure you have files and what ever to back up any claims they make against you. Get dr.’s numbers and scripts in order. They aren’t coming to take your benefits away, they just want to make sure this claim isn’t bogus. Just like when someone calls 911 here in the states, the cops HAVE to come out and check…even if it was just someone being a douche.

    Relax. I do believe it will all work out!

  10. Thats a horrible stinking thing to do!I hope that who ever did report you gets a good kick in the arse by karma!
    OK…that said,I totally agree with what everyone has said. You will be fine, you more than qualify and you have got nothing to hide. Just dont try be all strong and whatnot – let them have the full crappy days in detail.
    I know you will pass and hopefully, there will be a positive side to all this and you will finally get your benefits paid into YOUR account and not your mothers.Fingers crossed!

  11. Sending lots of positive energy your way. Good advise given here..just hang on and when you hear hooves think horses not zebras. In other words don’t make a monster out of something that could be a simple process.

  12. You’re getting lots of good advice. Over the years I’ve been through quite a few “Spanish Inquisitions”. You aren’t guilty, don’t act like you are. Take the high road, tell the truth. Ask them questions. Get indignant, politely, if they try to misrepresent you.

    Don’t worry about who reported you. Assume it is random – unless they bring it up, which they won’t. It may very well be random. Regardless, it doesn’t really matter.

    Believe in yourself.

  13. *hugs* Don’t drive yourself more crazy with the what-ifs. It’s not a fun game in situations like this, so don’t play it. Yes, I know, easier said than done. I’m guilty of it all the time too. I over-think just about everything. But you are strong enough to get through this, that much I am completely certain of.

  14. See here is where I get super defensive, what right do they have to even try to enter your home, here if they told me they were coming to my house I would tell them to fuck off. But then I am an asshole like that, and just for shits and giggles i would booby trap the front sidewalk with doggy landmines from the neighbors yard, let them walk through poop. If they get through that I will throw kittens at them from then upstairs window, ha that will show them…..No I would throw kittens but I would do the doggie land mines I think that would be kinda funny. As said here many times, and it is good advice just tell them the truth and all the while make up shit about them in your head, and giggle a lot that will definately throw them off, or just smile through the whole process, when people they think are mental and they smile it makes them uncomfortable, I have been there and done that.

  15. Oh . . . darlin. That sounds so frightening.
    I know it must be hard not to think the worst, but could you ring the DWP, now, today?
    Could you just ask if they would explain what the appointment is about, that you are perplexed, especially that it involves a fraud officer?
    At least this way, whatever they tell you, you can prepare.
    It may not be as bad as you fear. But if there are serious allegations, you can ready yourself and call forth that Strength I know you have inside.
    You are in my thoughts,
    and I send you Stilness of mind and heart today.
    Elyn ♡♡♡

    • My mother’s calling the DWP on Monday when it opens in the morning to try and get some information. I’d have preferred to do it myself but eh, she’s taking over this situation just like any other. I wouldn’t have been half as stressed by the letter if she hadn’t freaked out when she opened it.

      Thank you so much Elyn, as always <3

      • Hi again, beautiful!
        I was just thinking about your reply above, and I think it reveals a lot.
        Maybe it’s not YOU, but more your mother, who the ‘fraud’ is in relation to.
        And perhaps, and this is only a thought to play with, don’t stress about it, please –
        Maybe, when this person comes, perhaps you may be able to discuss having your benefits put into your name, your account. Maybe, this may all work out to be an opportunity for you to gain back some control.
        I know what I have just said may be scary to you for all different reasons, but from what I have read of you in your blog, you have NO reason to feel you are not entitled to a benefit. You should have what you are given and more.
        Try to be gentle with yourself this weekend, I know it will be difficult to stop all those panicked thoughts swirling, but look at this page, there are so many people who have you in their thoughts and hearts this day. I hope this gives you confidence and strength.
        Go gently today, Elyn ♡

  16. Love from Maine in the middle of the night. I have read the comments, and anything I wrote would just be repetition. I agree with others, knowing there is nothing you can do beforehand, much like there is nothing to do when it’s gone. Hang in there, love — you are surrounded by friends, and every one of us is pulling for you. XOXOXOX

  17. Fuck! I cannot believe that people who can’t walk more than a few steps wouldn’t pass a disability assessment. What do you have to do to convince them? Show them your medical papers? You have plenty of that. Sit in a wheelchair and not walk? You can do that, but if they catch your bluff it won’t be good. Actually have a fibro attack? Would it be convincing enough? Especially cuz it’s something they can’t see?

    Do one thing though: Be as unkempt and messy as possible. Don’t let them wonder why a disabled person has time to wash up, wear make-up and be attractive.

    Here’s a hug: *hug*. And best of luck. I sure as hell hope you pass the assessment.

    • *hugs back* Thanks luv <3 I can't believe they refused to pass her; they said "she can use her arms, so she can work". Never mind her hands are crippled with arthritis :( Bless her, I feel awful for her.

      I doubt they'd see a fibro attack, although I've become quite good at hiding them. Maybe it's time to let that false coping slip a little and let them see how I really am when I'm not faking smiles.

      • Didn’t they see that? The fact that she has arthritis? :/
        Even if she didn’t, the only way she’d be able to work with her useful arms is if she Lived in a factory, because even getting from home to a workplace requires legs. She can hardly walk on her hands.

        Yes please. Do let that false coping slip a bit. And no fake smiles please. I’m awaiting the result of the assessment with my fingers crossed.

  18. Sending you love and light. This has happened to a close friend of mine. There are some sick people out there who are malicious. I’m praying Tuesday goes well – i agree with the above post – make yourself as dishevelled as possible!

  19. Oh hun like life is not enough? I agree with everything all have said. I’d like to add that you have the right to know what the allegations of fraud are that they have. Ask them just what basis they have for their investigation. You have a right to know. You have a right to know in writing as a matter of fact. Don’t let them bully you.

  20. I know it’s hard, but please try to keep calm until you have something to worry about. A lot of people pass these assessments, and I believe you’re going to be one. Right now, you are, as my father says, “Borrowing trouble like sugar.” Just keep your head up and know that we all are here for you. *HUGS*

  21. I am sorry to hear this, I’ve been through much of the same bs, the fear, anxiety, dread, etc. can overwhelm and drain what energy there is. We’re behind you 100%, our strength is your strength.

    Just imagine your home filled with us strange people, er, uh, I mean strangers from around the world. We’re all standing by you and behind you in support, and oh yeah, there’s one puny person from the DWP who has no proof! :)

  22. Looks like everyone’s made some sensible suggestions! I too will be praying for you (I can’t promise to remember on Tuesday but I will do today and tomorrow). I also wondered if it was because the money is paid into your mother’s bank account and not yours – in which case, if she’s the one who makes the phone call tomorrow, it may not help the situation either, as it makes it look bad for her.

    Sending love & hugs.

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  24. Them coming to your home is not a bad thing at all. They want to see you in your home environment. Be truthful and be yourself. They visit you at home for a number of reasons. As twittermalingerer stated, it could be just to ensure that you are actually living at the house and your mother isn’t continuing to get your benefits without you living there or to make sure that your are getting everything you are entitled to. When they go after people for fraud it’s normally because they have been seen working somewhere or running down the road for a bus when they claim they can barely walk and things like that. I have aunt who works for them and is a manager so I will double check with her and see what she thinks.

    Call your doctor and ask for all your records that show where you have been diagnosed with certain illnesses and problems. Try not to overdo it but be sure to list and tell them all your illnesses. Don’t worry so much. You are not lying, you are not committing fraud so be positive and look at this as a positive thing. When they come in, be friendly, offer them a cuppa and thank them for visiting you at your home to check on you. Presume they are there to ensure your well being and convey that to them and that will ensure that you stay calm and focused. I will say a prayer for you and it never hurts to say a little prayer to God before hand either. You can do it…..

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  26. wow, you have alot to deal with, my god, so stressful, i sure would be feeling the same way you do.don’t take this the wrong way, but here it is obvious that you NEED what you get. WHY are people always med-ling in our lives for the worst? its so annoying, and most my stress is that brought upon by others.geeze girl, stay strong, idk what i can possibly say to make you feel better, do know you are very loved here with all of us, it shows and we care and WE NEED EACH OTHER TO STAY SOMEWHAT SANE. NO YOUR NOT ALONE AND ARE IN MY PRAYERS. GOD BLESS YOU SWEETHEART, TRY AND KEEP YOUR CHIN UP..HUGA

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