Capital over the Income Support Limit
Our client was a man of good character. He consulted unqualified benefit fraud advisors about his undeclared capital case. Unfortunately his advisors were unsuccessful. Therefore, a summons was issued for him to attend court. He then instructed our benefit fraud expert Keith Hollywood.
The claimant was in receipt of carer’s allowance with an income support top up. He was not entitled to the top up because his capital exceeded the limit of £16,000. Carers allowance is not means tested benefit and so our client had committed no offence there. As a result we calculated that given the small amount of the top-up, the total overpayment would be low enough for an administrative penalty. This is one of many approaches we use in these cases.
How we got an administrative penalty
The Social Security Order 2015 increased the maximum amount of an administrative penalty to £5,000. This means a client may be offered an administrative penalty for any overpayment up to £10,000.
After the first hearing date we wrote to the prosecutor pointing out that our client wished to repay the full overpayment and any administrative penalty immediately in order to avoid prosecution for failing to declare capital. We pointed out that the courts usually order repayment of small sums each month. It can take many years to pay back the debt. In some cases the whole overpayment is never fully recovered.
We gave further compelling reasons why he should not be prosecuted. He was involved with voluntary work, and he was responsible for elderly dependents. W explained that a conviction would lead to loss of employment opportunities.
The prosecutor agreed. Most importantly they withdrew the undeclared capital charges and gave him an administrative penalty.
Expert advice from qualified solicitors is essential in these undeclared capital and other benefit fraud cases. Keith Hollywood has over 15 years experience in benefit fraud matters so talk to him about your case. 020 8986 8336.