26 Feb 2015

A question about : Do they DWP have access to my accounts?

Hi,

I have just received a letter from the DWP asking me to go throw an under caution interview because they think there is a possibility of fraud on my benefits.

I am getting housing and council tax benefit at the moment.
When i claim the benefits i omitted telling them about all my bank accounts, i only told them about one but i hold two, plus some money in an e-account.

My fear is if they now that.
Can they have access to my details or am i protected by the privacy law?

I am very worried of course at the moment and i would apreciate any advise.

Thanks

Best answers:

  • May well depend on how much money you have in those accounts. If you have significant savings, or deliberately didn't tell them about the accounts because there is something you wish to hide, then you may well have a problem. If the accounts are empty/unused then I'm sure you'll be okay.
  • If they have had a call from someone claiming you are defrauding the system, then they begin to dig - and *may* dig deep over a few months while gathering any evidence. They will be able to find out easily if you do have other accounts when they start to investigate, however, I am not sure if they would be allowed access to them, so I am not going to comment on that part as I don't want to misinform.
    Either way you will need to provide bank statements from these accounts (if this is what you are being called in for) and even if it is not, your best bet would be to declare them at the interview.
  • How much do you have in these undeclared accounts?
  • If you've Ј5-100 in two other accounts, just show them.
    If you've been hiding Ј20,000 then we'd need protection from you under the fraud laws.
  • Hammy is correct.
  • What they dont tell you it does not matter if you have savings or not they are still legally bound to give people housing benefits regardless under the law "think its either European law or the universal declaration of human rights act 1948.
  • Yes they do have access to all your accounts via credit agencies.
  • I believe the DWP don't have access to your bank accounts but they do have access to the amount of interest that is paid out to you in all your accounts, just like HMRC.
    So if they've called you in for interview under caution, they've found out you've been paid interest that could indicate you have more than the statutory amount in those accounts.
    So tell us - how much do you have in the undeclared accounts?
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