Author Topic: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.  (Read 7107 times)

AccessOfficer

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DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« on: August 06, 2013, 03:40:53 PM »
"The purpose of this section of the manual is to provide investigators with details of the factors that need to be taken into account whilst investigating potential Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Carerís Allowance (CA) fraud. "

 "The Decision Maker (DM) bases their decision on the claimantís own assessment of how their illness or disability affects them.

They will also consider any further evidence they feel is necessary to decide the claim, such as medical evidence or information from a carer. The DM will then decide whether the benefit qualifying conditions are satisfied and the period for which benefit is to be awarded."

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/fraud-guide-dla-aa-ca.pdf

Regards
AO

Sunny Clouds

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 04:22:20 PM »
It's a bit basic, isn't it?  I note the bits saying about what makes someone entitled to DLA.  If they don't know that, what are they doing investigating fraud?

I live in perpetual fear of being accused of fraud because I don't trust the DWP fraud investigators to have a clue.

That's why when I apply for benefits or have a change in circumstances I send excessively long letters plus loads of evidence that must sometimes be a pain to read so that no one can say there's anything I didn't declare.

I've even appealed a decision as to how much my benefits should be reduced by because of capital because they wouldn't take cash in my house into account and I was obstinate because I said I wasn't having anyone say that I'd let them get away with calculating my capital at less than it was.

So a rubbish guide like this just enhances my fears of being accused of fraud just because the DWP doesn't know what it's doing.

I even get anxious now about how much time I spend online because I could imagine a whole investigation launched by someone who hasn't the faintest about mania and obsessive compulsive traits.

So I'm glad you've posted this because I've saved a copy but bloody hell, DWP, buck your ideas up. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

oldtone27

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 04:49:26 PM »
I have not read the document in depth, as there is a there is lot of detail, but nowhere did I see any discussion of where an error becomes fraud.

Given the complexity of the criteria it must surely be very easy to make a mistake understanding the requirements which is very different to trying to obtain benefit by deliberately misleading assessors.

It would be grossly unfair if the former was treated as the latter, but I suspect there may be no distinction in the bureaucratic mind.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 05:46:09 PM »
Thanks for posting, AO, it was only 15 pages so I could manage a quick shuftie through  ;-)

Quote
I even get anxious now about how much time I spend online because I could imagine a whole investigation launched by someone who hasn't the faintest about mania and obsessive compulsive traits.

That's something I've been concerned about for myself as well, Sunny, but my rational side says - how would anybody from the DWP know how much time a particular claimant spends online anyway..  wouldn't they need to have some sort of spyware remotely installed on that claimant's computer to find that information out, and that would be a form of hacking and therefore not legal!

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 07:11:24 PM »
Maybe I'm being hopelessly naive, but how on earth would the amount of time a DLA/ESA claimant spends online be indicative of fraud?  >confused<

JLR2

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 08:27:53 PM »
"I even get anxious now about how much time I spend online"

This is why I quit Facebook it seems to me the DWP scan Facebook looking to find any sort of clue as to what someone claiming welfare benefits has been doing, if anything. There has been a number of welfare claimants investigated for benefit fraud following tip offs from such as ex's bearing grudges. I think one such case was the woman who was shown on a water slide at a resort in Spain and it was her ex who did the tipping off.

"how would anybody from the DWP know how much time a particular claimant spends online anyway.."

I'm guessing they'd only have to contact the internet service provider being used by the claimant.

 

KizzyKazaer

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 09:24:03 PM »
Quote
...it seems to me the DWP scan Facebook looking to find any sort of clue as to what someone claiming welfare benefits has been doing, if anything. There has been a number of welfare claimants investigated for benefit fraud following tip offs from such as ex's bearing grudges.

Well, the DWP may well do this where Facebook is concerned, but that raises another point - it wouldn't be much use for them to monitor message boards like this or any other place on the Net where people use pseudonyms and only disclose the county/region they live in. How on earth would they definitively tie a specific claimant to a user-ID?  Especially with 'throwaway' e-mail addresses that don't use a person's real name either!

Re actual minutes and hours spent online:

Quote
I'm guessing they'd only have to contact the internet service provider being used by the claimant.

I did actually think of that first, but as I understand it the providers will only give that information if compelled by a court order?  The DWP fraud investigators wouldn't obtain one of those unless they had something more concrete, for sure!

 



KizzyKazaer

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 09:30:31 PM »
Maybe I'm being hopelessly naive, but how on earth would the amount of time a DLA/ESA claimant spends online be indicative of fraud?  >confused<

I think for ESA there are fears that have been around for some time, that if one can operate a computer X number of hours per day, it might be used to show that a claimant is in fact 'capable of work'   >erm<   For DLA paid on the grounds of care needs arising from mental illness, I suppose it could be (very loosely) interpreted as a sign that a claimant is able to 'perform' (a task) for X proportion of a day without supervision needs arising, or something - perhaps Sunny can elaborate!


NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 11:04:21 PM »
I think for ESA there are fears that have been around for some time, that if one can operate a computer X number of hours per day, it might be used to show that a claimant is in fact 'capable of work'   >erm<   For DLA paid on the grounds of care needs arising from mental illness, I suppose it could be (very loosely) interpreted as a sign that a claimant is able to 'perform' (a task) for X proportion of a day without supervision needs arising, or something - perhaps Sunny can elaborate!

Ah yes. I remember now.  :-(

Sorry for the dim question. Mind's a bit muddy these days.

AccessOfficer

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 09:09:56 AM »

From the GOV.UK Website.

Service:

 Report benefit fraud
 
If you think someone is committing benefit fraud you can report it online to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

Regards
AO

SteveWSW

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 09:52:56 AM »
Maybe I'm being hopelessly naive, but how on earth would the amount of time a DLA/ESA claimant spends online be indicative of fraud?  >confused<

I think for ESA there are fears that have been around for some time, that if one can operate a computer X number of hours per day, it might be used to show that a claimant is in fact 'capable of work'   >erm<   For DLA paid on the grounds of care needs arising from mental illness, I suppose it could be (very loosely) interpreted as a sign that a claimant is able to 'perform' (a task) for X proportion of a day without supervision needs arising, or something - perhaps Sunny can elaborate!

But being "online" does not prove you are using the computer in a way similar to using a computer for work. My son is "online" for hours but never touches the keyboard - he uses his computer to listen to the radio, watch TV, watch movies, enjoys hearing/seeing his Nan when she speaks to him via "skype", and so on. I'd suggest only a totally incompetent person would use the length of time someone is "online" as a guide to fraud.

Steve

TemporallyLoopy

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 10:40:06 AM »
My laptop is often "online" but it does not mean that I'm attached to it  >whistle<  I've wandered off to do something else and forgotten to switch if off; placed it on the bed next to me because my hands are tired and am having a break; OR have had a seizure and away with the faeries  >erm<

Although it might be in screen-saver mode, it will be logged in as online and attached to all the websites and the broadband until I come back - no one "monitoring" me would be any the wiser as to my surfing habits from watching me online  >doh<

T.Loopy
Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans.

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Fizzbw

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 11:58:20 AM »
We are not allowed to have any fun are we?

Fx

KizzyKazaer

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2013, 12:59:26 PM »
'Fun'?  'Fun'??  Now lookie here, if you're well and able enough to enjoy anything you do, then you're perfectly capable of work, so get on with it ..

DarthVector

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Re: DWP Fraud Guide DLA/AA and CA Investigations.
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2013, 01:04:19 PM »
Expanding on TemporallyLoopy's reply #11, above:

ISP logs wouldn't tell the DWP very much about your browsing habits nowadays, because many web pages have content which updates automatically. Either the whole page reloads by itself, or pieces of encapsulated content do. Every time that happens, it's another burst of data transfer and another entry in the ISP logs.

Someone could be taking an hour to slog through a long page in Braille, for example, while the advert at the top is happily changing once a minute and making it look like a lot more is happening in terms of broadband activity.

In fact, looking at the logs for my broadband connection would make it look like I'm online 24 hours a day. I never turn my machine off, and my browser is always open with dozens of tabs in place, so those automatic updates are chuntering along the whole time.

It would be technically feasible to crunch the ISP logs in a search for human browsing patterns, but it's not worth the effort for the DWP to develop such a system, especially given that they already have to overcome the hurdle of getting a court order.