Forum

DLA nightmare

Hi everyone,

Not sure if anyone can help or has any ideas:

I was diagnosed with R&R MS 15 years ago and advised to claim DLA and put my worst possible day on the form which I did and was awarded it for life. Now as we all know the bad days I cant be bothered to even get out of bed but on the good days an outsider would not know there is anything wrong with me and I work full time.

I am currently being investigated for benefit fraud and investigators have been following me around for some months filming my best days, and they are now considering prosecuting me based on the fact I am not as ill as what I put on the form.

Due to the amount of years I have claimed for if found guilty I am looking a prison sentance. As you can imagine I am out of my mind with worry. Does anyone have any advice, I have contacted CAB, DIAL, Welfare Rights etc but they are all just passing me around and I am getting knowhere fast.

Thanks

Hello

Have you been interviewed under caution?

This is the prelude to being charged with benefit fraud. If you think this is likely to happen you need to get legal advice. CAB will be able to give you a list of local solicitors who specialize in benefit fraud.

I am not trying to frighten you – just being practical. It is much better to have representation than face the DWP on your own.

Jane

This is why I am not keen on the advice to complete the form for your worst days only. The form does say to state how many bad days you have and how many good days you have and I was quite honest on the form when I completed mine. Consequently I only receive the lower rate care component but I don’t have to worry that I can be shopped for getting around quite well on a good day. They said my mobility is not affected sufficiently to qualify for the mobility component.

I am not sure how best to defend yourself against the charge but I agree with Jane that you will need a solicitor. I believe some solicitors still offer a half hour consultation free of charge and then you can find out if you will qualify for Legal Aid [this has been drastically limited now as well for all but a handful of cases :frowning: ].

Good luck, I know that you did not intentionally deceive them, and hopefully things will work out.

Tracey x

Whilst I agree with most of Pat’s post I do disagree with this. DLA is not means tested and you are not disqualified from working full-time whilst claiming DLA. It is there to help with the extra costs involved with living with a disability. Why should someone in a wheelchair not work full-time if they have a desk job?

You may need aids to dress and undress but you can take those aids to work to assist in going to the toilet to undo zips and buttons for instance. You can take your stick/rollator/wheelie to work.

However, if you state that you are unable to get around without these walking aids etc for the majority of the time then, for the majority of the time, you should be using these aids.

The lowest rate of care component is paid if you have difficulty in preparing a main meal for yourself. In what way does that prevent someone from working full-time?

Tracey x

Hi there, 15 years ago I am assuming it was a heck of a lot easier to claim benefits than it is now. I don’t really know as I do not claim any benefits but I would like to think that I would be able to claim in the future if I really needed to because of the possible difficulties as a result of my ms. I agree with some of the points Pat has made. You say that they have been filming you for some months. I do know someone who works for the DWP fraud investigation dept. and they do take an extraordinary amount of time sometimes to collect evidence against an individual, it’s certainly not something they rush into !!! Unfortunately ( or fortunately, depends how you look at it ), the evidence they collect is usually quite damning and it is done so they get a good idea of the claimants movements on different days at different times etc. This can take several months and unfortunately for you it would seem they THINK they have very good grounds to accuse you of benefit fraud. They will have taken into account that ms is a difficult condition to monitor, they will have consulted doctors etc. about this. The problem is that if your condition has improved for a good length of time they will possibly penalise you for not informing them that your condition is manageble enough not to warrant whatever rate of care and mobility you’re receiving. It would be helpful to you if you have relatively Recent evidence from your GP, neuro or ms nurse that you have to take various meds or have had to up your dosage to try to control your symptoms then that would I think help your case. To be honest I always think that lifetime awards are a bit of a grey area as some people on these awards clearly are not going to have an improvement in their health /mobility but others on some medications have a significant improvement of their symptoms/moblity etc. so it’s all a bit of a minefield. I do hope you can get things cleared up.

You know Pat, i have been watching this post over the two days and i was wondering myself why this person had not replied. it does make you wonder. Lisa x

Well call me cynical (and I do pick holes in people’s accounts of events for a living) but did you notice that the original poster posted the same version of events twice but in the first s/he said that they had been diagnosed/claiming for 10 years and in this one it has been for 15.

I would love to be wrong and if there is anywhere a genuine poster can get help it would be here, but that did start my alarm bell ringing. (I could tell you the exact date I was diagnosed, it was such a devastating event)

Forgot to put a link to the original poster’s thread http://www.mssociety.org.uk/forum/everyday-living/dla-nightmare

Oh and by the way I work full time and I qualified for DLA (mobility and mid-level care). The fact that I can work full time (now with massive adjustmets to allow me to work shifts from home) did not make any difference to the legitimacy of my claim.

Hummmmmm…curious indeed

Oooh, do you think it’s someone from the DWP trying to scare us or get us to reveal all? That wouldn’t surprise me - using underhand tactics to get to some of us.

Tracey x

That is where my thoughts are heading…

I don’t see any discrepancy. One version says 15 years, the other says “over ten”. 15 is over ten, right?

Possibly the person was Dx’ed 15 years ago, but began claiming a few years later?

I don’t see any reason to get too paranoid about this. If I was being investigated for a possible crime, though, I would feel paranoid, and might not be too keen to hang around and discuss it at length (even anonymously).

I honestly don’t think it would be a worthwhile use of the DWP’s time and money to post bogus “frightener” posts on health forums.

What percentage of claimants or possible claimants are even on these forums? How many of those are going to withdraw a claim, or not claim, because of this one post? I’d suggest any possible savings by such tactics would be absolutely minuscule. It would be much more cost-effective just to target people already suspected of cheating - or to do random checks (which I’m sure they already do).

Posting on a forum seems a highly inefficient way of catching or deterring anyone.

Tina

I’m not bothered about it as I have nothing to hide but I have kind of wondered why the OP hasn’t at least bothered to say thanks, that’s all.

Tracey x

Perhaps they have indeed had the knock at the door by now?

But the person does say they work full-time - when they’re not too sick. Possibly they don’t get time to check the forums much?

Anyway, hardly the first time someone asked advice but didn’t respond or say thank you. It might not be good manners, but I don’t think it’s proof of devious intent. That’s the internet for you!

T.

True - perhaps they don’t open the extra tab like me and chat on the forum when they should be working

T x

Hello,

Sorry to upset anybody, I just dont always have access to a PC this is the first chance I have had to get back on.

There is two posts because I put one on and nothing happened and as I hadnt done it before I thought it was wrong so I done another one. I hadnt saved it or emembered it so I just started again.

Thank you for your help, I have an appointment to see a solicitor.

Sorry again to upset anyone, and yes I do feel very paranoid and unsure who I can trust

Tracey,

LoL - yeah, I used to do that as well. But then have worked from home the last several years, so no chance of anyone creeping up on me from behind, and shouting: “What the heck is THAT?”. :wink:

Tina

x

I have had this debate of a few ms sites about filling forms in as if it’s your worst day. If your not like it the whole time your lying and that’s when the problems start!

I think it’s bad advice unless you fill in on a desperate piece of paper saying on your good days are this that or the other

If your saying you cannot get out of bed and can’t walk for example. Then you become better and doing things like getting up and walking that’s when the fraud happens if you haven’t reported your change in condition.

I wish people would think about what they are signing and declaring.

I understand it’s not always done to cheat or lie but that’s exactly what it is in the eyes of the law.

I hope it goes well for you. I’d get some good advice and fingers crossed.

I smell the dwp or atos at work here, yes I do have a paranoid personality.

When I trained as an advice worker one of the first things we learnt was not to make assumptions or be judgmental. (Not so easy the human condition being what it is)

1874 didn’t answer straight away so the assumptions and judgments ran overtime. Within a couple of posts we were led down the conspiracy path of a DWP planted bogus post! Not at all as we later discover. 1874 just doesn’t have a computer and doesn’t check the boards every 2 minutes like me.

1874 is in a very serious situation. She has been misguided by the “worst day” advice and is now facing the consequences. I can feel heckles rise even as I type but I will repeat yet again my advice to describe a “worst” day but always add that there are some “better” days and to quantify how often the worst days occur. For many people the risk of a worst case scenario rules their life and so even better days need to be planned as though they will be cr*p. By doing this you cover yourself with the DWP and cannot be later accused of gilding the lilly.

1874 – I hope this plays out OK for you and I am very glad that you now have legal representation.