Benefit Fraud Solicitors
Have You Been Accused Of Benefit Fraud?
We are expert Benefit Fraud Defence Solicitors in Derry and we can help you if you have been accused of benefit fraud.
An allegation of benefit fraud can be a very stressful and worrying and you can often have questions such as:
- Will I go to prison?
- Will my case be in the local newspaper?
We specialise in Benefit Fraud Defence so that you can be assured that you are getting the best advice and assistance available if an allegation of Benefit Fraud is made against you.
“Excellent service, such genuine people who wanted the best for me” – from Nathan
“They were so open and warm to deal with and left me with a great outcome” from Rae
Why Choose Us?
We have been able to help many people who have been accused of benefit fraud so we will be able to help and assist you if you are in that position. We have been able to help people who have been accused of thousands of pounds worth of benefit fraud but also people who have been working for a short period whilst claiming benefits.
We offer a free consultation so you can speak to us and discuss your case with us free of charge and confidentially.
Most people who are investigated for benefit fraud have never been in trouble with the police or been before the Courts before and can find it extremely stressful. The investigation can hang over them for months. Your benefits can also be stopped during the period of an investigation which can lead to significant financial hardship.
Benefit Fraud Investigations
Being investigated for benefit fraud is now a relatively common occurrence and there are more and more prosecutions coming before the Courts. The Social Security Agency (SSA) are able to carry out detailed investigations of people who are receiving benefits by various means such as tracing your National Insurance number to see whether you have been receiving any earnings whilst on benefits.
Another common way is to use investigators to watch your activities and to follow you. This is used in cases where it is alleged that you are living with your partner and have not declared it or you are claiming to be ill or disabled whilst receiving disability benefits.
The SSA also have software which means that they are able to trace your activity using you National Insurance number and they are able to get a picture of your life and your family so they are able to gather evidence before they question you.
A benefit fraud investigation begins with an interview with the SSA. You will be notified of this by letter inviting you to attend for interview. If you get one of these letters it can be extremely stressful and cause anxiety for you.
If you have received a letter inviting you to a benefit fraud interview then call us now and we can give you expert advice and guidance so that you are prepared for the interview and you are aware of the allegations against you.
After the interview the case is the passed to the Public Prosecution Service who will review the evidence that has been put forward by the SSA and they will then decide whether or not you are to be taken to Court. It can take months for a case to proceed to Court and this waiting period can be very stressful as you do not know whether you are going to go to Court.
We are experts in defending benefit fraud allegations and offer a free consultation with an expert solicitor.
Call us now on 02871229343 to discuss your case.
If you are currently under investigation for benefit fraud or you have received a Summons to Court then call us today. We offer a friendly and confidential service where we can give you expert advice on your position and the case against you.
We want to see the best possible outcome for you and to make the entire process as stress free as possible. When you speak to us you will be met with a positive attitude and a friendly face. We offer a free consultation for anyone who might have concerns regarding benefit fraud investigations.
We offer a free consultation with an expert solicitor who can give you help and guidance free of charge, without any pressure or obligation.
Benefit Fraud Solicitors Derry
There are a number of different types of benefits and a variety of different types of allegations of benefit fraud that can arise. We have listed below some of the more common types of benefit fraud that can arise:
- Failing to tell the SSA your true financial position – This is most common where someone has not declared their savings or that they have received an inheritance or that they may have property that they have not informed the SSA of which would affect their entitlement to benefits.
- Living with a partner – An allegation like this can arise where the SSA can accuse you of living with your partner whilst receiving benefits. They can allege that you have defrauded the SSA by not declaring that you have a partner living with you which would affect your entitlement to benefits. We have seen cases where investigators have sat outside people’s houses watching their movement and watching who comes in and out of the house as part of the investigation. They can also obtain utility bills to see whether bills are in the name of your alleged partner such as satellite TV or a bank account registered at that address.
- Failing to tell the SSA about the change in your financial circumstances – This can arise if you are receiving benefits and then get a job and start working and do not tell the SSA.
- Using a false identity to claim benefits – This is relatively unusual but people can use false ID to be able to claim benefits, such as using a false birth certificate for a child so that they might be able to claim child benefit.
There are a variety of different types of benefit fraud and we have been able to help people with these.
If you have any questions or just need to speak to someone about a potential SSA investigation then give us a call on 02871229343 and speak to one of our team now.
Will I Go To Prison?
This is one of the most common qustions that people have when they come to speak to us about a benefit fraud case. They may never have been in any trouble before and received a Summons to Court for benefit fraud. The first thing they are concerned about is whether they will be taken away from their friends and family and put into prison.
Whether a prison sentence is appropriate or not in case depends on a number of factors such as:
- the amount of benefits that has been allegedly defrauded
- how long the period of fraud has gone on for
- whether it has been as a result of a breach of trust
If you are concerned that you might go to prison, then give us a call and we will be able to very quickly tell you whether that is a real possibility or not. Sometimes people can become extremely anxious and worried that they might go to prison in cases where it is highly unlikely that that will occur.
If that is something that you are worried about then give us a call and hopefully we will be able to give you some peace of mind.
Will My Case Be Reported In The Local Newspapers?
This is another very common question that we are asked whenever someone comes to us with an issue about benefit fraud. People are terrified that the local community or friends and family are going to find out that they are being investigated for benefit fraud. It can be deeply embarrassing and leave people very worried.
In January 2020 the Communities Minister Dierdre Hargey of Sinn Fein directed the Department of Communities NI to stop publishing the details of people who are convicted of benefit fraud. It used to be the case that benefit fraud convictions were published on the Department of Communities NI website as a matter of course and these would then often be reported in local newspapers. Much to the distress of our client.
The decision of the Communities Minister has meant that the chances of cases being reported in newspapers is a lot lower but there is a chance that a local reporter might pick up on a case. Again, this would depend on each case and whether the reporter used it as a high profile case which is worthy of recording. If you are worried about the case being reported in the press then give us a call and we will be able to hopefully give you some guidance and some peace of mind as whether your case will end up in the newspapers or not.
How Much Will It Cost?
We offer a free consultation for anyone who might have a benefit fraud worry or concern. If you have been issued with a Court Summons for benefit fraud then it is likely that you will get Legal Aid for your Court case which usually covers the costs of the case.
If you are worried about the legal costs then call us and we will be able to tell you whether you will qualify for Legal Aid or not based on your financial position and also the seriousness of the case.
The first part of a benefit fraud investigation involves the SSA asking you to attend for interview so they can question you about the fraud. This can be very stressful and worrisome and we are able to give you guidance before the interview. The interview itself is not covered under Legal Aid but we will be able to discuss your case with you beforehand and hopefully give you some support and we can attend the interview if you wish. An allegation of benefit fraud is extremely serious and can be extremely worrying. It is therefore very important that you get advice from an experienced Benefit Fraud Solicitor who can ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
We have been able to help many people who have been facing allegations of benefit fraud and guide them through the process and provide representation for them during the interview and at Court.
Why Choose Us?
- Friendly & Trusted Solicitors
- FREE Initial Consultation
- Legal Aid Available