Author Topic: Customer compliance office interview  (Read 11185 times)

gorbut

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Customer compliance office interview
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:39:55 AM »
Anyone know how thy decide who to send these to. My son got one this morning and of course when I phoned the person who sent it is on leave. He was only assessed for ESA a few months ago and was seen face to face by Atos. He is angry about it and as my mum has just been diagnosed with dementia I have more than I can cope with.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 05:16:41 PM by SunshineMeadows »

SunshineMeadows

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 01:23:24 PM »
I dont know much about this topic so have used Google. Some of the search results mention that it is to check people are getting the right amount of benefit including DLA and ESA, so it might be about his DLA claim. They check things like whether or not people who say they are living alone are in fact living alone.

I dont know how they decide who has to take part and I would not be surprised if they choose some people by random so they can test their own systems eg be able to show what a not guilty behaves like  >doh<

Is your son in ESA WRAG or the Support Group?

gorbut

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 01:59:41 PM »
He is in the support group. He was reassessed for DLA in the summer and had it renewed for three years. It might be because he is now part time at uni but we made that clear in the ESA stuff. He resents having to use his limited energy for something he sees as stupid box ticking when he needs it for study. He managed to attend nearly all his lectures last term but it is only with careful management. At least he knows there is a welfare rights adviser at he uni if he does run into difficulties. All he has said on forms is true though so it should be just an annoying waste of energy. It hasn't come at the best time though as my Mum is refusing to take the tablets which should help with the delusions she is suffering from. My Dad is having to cope with all this and he is 90 and in poor health . At the moment I am having to help them a lot but I am supposed to be carer for my son and daughter. We will get some care help for mum and dad but it all takes time to sort out and it being Christmas complicates matters.

ATurtle

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 02:53:04 PM »
My daughter had one of these, fortunately, they did a home visit for her. 

It seems that these Customer Compliance Officers are a sort of Quality Control on Atos and they are checking that the report they got is correct.  Why I didn't get one when I appealed with the 22 errors on my Atos report, I don't for the life of me know!
Tony.

"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability." - Robert M. Hensel

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 03:47:58 PM »
Hi Gorbut, I'm so very sorry to read about the problems you are having with your mum's illness - it really isn't what anyone wants at any time of year, but as you say, getting various 'helping' services is more difficult during the festive season.  I do wish the DWP would put certain aspects of their business on hold in a similar way  >doh<

The Customer Compliance involvement can be a result of the DWP finding something apparently irregular with a claim that needs further investigation (not necessarily suspected fraud, though they do cover that side of it as well.)  I had a home visit from a CC officer myself about five years ago to do with some savings that weren't actually mine (and I was able to prove just that - complicated stuff I won't go into right now!)  He was very pleasant, though I did also have my then support worker with me at the time - I assume you'll be with your son for his interview (you can also request a home visit if this would be easier to deal with.)

But the Customer Compliance Team also carry out interviews/visits as part of the DWP's ongoing random review process, as SunshineMeadows has already suggested.  So this could be totally innocent, as it were.   As you stated, your son has given truthful answers on his claim forms, so please try not to worry - even if there turns out to be an honest error (like the one I made!) that's OK, people are human.  People who haven't committed fraud have nothing to fear  >thumbsup<

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 04:26:50 PM »
It  can also happen if you're in shared accommodation - periodically checks need to be made to ensure that no-one claiming benefits is 'living together as man and wife or civil partners'. As Kizzy said, when everything is completely honest and above board, it's straightforward to demonstrate that that is not the case.  >thumbsup<

SunshineMeadows

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 02:01:11 PM »
Quote
It might be because he is now part time at uni but we made that clear in the ESA stuff.

It could be that they want an update to see if the way he manages going to Uni means he is more able to cope working, but even then it does not mean anything bad because going to Uni as compared to work is very different. Some people assume that people who are disabled/sick and studying have more time to study and get better grades but often the reverse is true. This very much relates to the Spoon Theory http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

The most significant difference between working and studying is that when working you are not your own master. Working means being on a timetable of productivity, lunch and breaks, travel to and from, start and finish which is not set by the worker. The working environment makes a difference to eg air conditioning  >bigheadache<

headinawheelchair

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 12:30:43 PM »
Interesting. To get the key bits out of the documents, that might be of interest to people who have received letters about customer compliance interviews etc.,

1) it's not a criminal investigation and won't be done under caution

2) the interview is to be "robust and challenging", such that the officer doesn't have to accept initial answers as being the truth

3) they gather information from you and any documents you supply, which then goes to a Decision Maker, who makes a decision about any action to take

4) they impress on you that you have to comply from now on

5) they have to give you at least 3 working days notice, and they have to arrange this within 15 working days of them receiving a referral (5 days for "prepayment cases" whatever they are). They can get special circumstances for an unannounced visit ONLY where they suspect you're in a couple, you're a "prepayment case" and a financial assessor has warned you you will be visited at some point.

6) The most common "triggers" for their involvement are:

:- suspicion that you might be living together as a husband and wife or as in a civil partnership

:- you're recently separated

:- you have been self-employed

:- you have sanctions on your benefits

:- they think you've been working without declaring it.

7) Where they think you're not declaring your work, they specifically are not allowed to contact the employer before interviewing you, and must obtain permission to do so at the interview. If you refuse permission they must not contact your employer, as they say it breaches human rights to do so. Similarly, if you deny working for the employer, they must not contact them.

8) "1. The aim of the Customer Compliance interview is to:
• discuss the case having regard to the reason for the referral;
 • obtain accurate information from the customer;
• conduct a full review of the customer’s circumstances; and
• reinforce customer responsibilities."

9) they take a signed statement from you at the interview, either that you write or that they write and you sign (or, if you refuse, that they write and they sign)

10) for "living together as..." cases you can request the interview stops for you to consult with your "other half", then a second date will be set

11) you can have somebody with you for the interview

12) you can request to record the interview and they MUST accept your request

13) if you don't provide relevant documents at the time they can insist you provide them within 10 working days

14) you can refuse to say anything in the interview, in which case they will just terminate it

15) if the interview is in your home you can ask the interviewer to leave at any point and they have to do so

16) if you don't turn up for an interview, they must automatically offer you another one; if there's good reason for your inability to attend the second one (with or without notice) they have to offer another.

17) Where an allegation is malicious they can abandon the investigation

18) the Decision Maker makes any decisions (a tautology I know), not the person who comes out who just gathers info

19) 5% of cases are selected for "process checks" to ensure that the Compliance people have done what they should have

20) The Compliance Officer will normally undertake the interview on their own; but for their supervision, they will occasionally be accompanied by their manager

Fiz

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 06:53:23 AM »
Gorbut, has he had his compliance interview yet?

I know a couple of people that have been to them, both had no problems. I think I might have had one without knowing it, a bloke from my LA turned up on my doorstep (with ID) asking to come and check my benefits claim. He went through my claim, viewed my bank statements and said everything was fine. After he left I had a major panic attack as I wasn't well at the time and I struggle with men and ones arriving unannounced into my home in a suit was more than I could cope with. My floating support worker that I had at the time wrote a really strong letter to my LA about the unannounced visit and the upset it had caused and they apologised and said a letter should have been sent out before hand but they admitted they hadn't done that. I can only assume that was a compliance visit!

headinawheelchair

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 02:22:13 PM »
Even with a Customer Compliance visit they must inform you by letter that they will be calling on such and such a date.

Failure to do so means you can you can simply refuse entry to your home, and ask them to inform you by letter that they are calling.

headinawheelchair

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 02:35:33 PM »
There are two common reasons why Compliance interviews are arranged. The first is that some percentage of all claims are checked at random, and this is what's most likely in your case.

 The second reason is that someone has made a fraud allegation which the DWP is not taking seriously. They have to check out every report, but if they really thought that something was up then it would be the Fraud Investigation Service, not Compliance, who'd be looking into it.

TAKEN FROM LINK BELOW

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?403554-Notification-of-Customer-Compliance-Office-Interview

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 09:58:28 PM »
Thanks for all the information you have kindly posted about this, headinawheelchair - and welcome to OuchToo  :-)

gorbut

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 12:58:24 AM »
After trying to get someone to answer the phone at the jobcentreplus for 2 hours we found out that they want more information about his hours etc at university. Why they didn't just ask for this I don't know. They may be looking for a reason to move him from the support group to WRAG but this would seem unreasonable when he was honest about university during the atos fiasco.

He has emailed the university to ask them to write a letter and hopefully this will be the end of it.

devine63

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 12:56:46 AM »
Hi Gorbut

just something to be aware of: studying at Uni is not like studying at school.  The majority of a Uni students' time should be spent in private study.   

Many students don't seem to know it, but there is an unofficial  rule of thumb that if a typical (non-disabled) student is on a full time course they should be doing a total of 40 hours per week of University stuff - in many cases that will be 15 hours or less of teaching contact (classroom) time and 25 hours or more spent on "private study" (which is reading in preparation for seminars, reading in prep for work on an assignment; planning & writing assignments; and of course revision for exams)
 

Some courses especially in the sciences do have a much heavier teaching contact load - and students still have to do all the other stuff as well, so they end up doing a lot more than 40 hours per week.

For some disabled students it is this non-contact time (private study) that is the difficult part - if the course were just the 15 hours in class, they could manage, but it's not and that can be exhausting or problematic in other ways.  This is why some disabled students end up dropping down to doing part time study  e.g. 75% (so the expectation is a total of 30 hours a week) or 50% (20 hours) or even 25% (10 hours) of a full time course and overall taking much longer to complete their degree.  These part time options are usually "measured" in terms of how many modules he tries to complete a year: a full time course might be 8 modules; 75% = 6 modules; 50% = 4 modules; and 25% = 2 modules.  [and going from full time to part time study can have huge financial implications so don't recommend it to someone til they get specialist advice]

Some disabled students have to work more slowly than other people e.g. someone with dyslexia may have very slow information processing & slow reading and slow handwriting or typing; someone with a visual impairment may be slow at accessing written information (or if they read braille very well, they might be fast!).  These kinds of difficulty are not allowed for in the 40 hours a week - so disabled students may be compelled by their impairment to study for more hours than others would.

So the reason I am telling you this is that your son may get asked about how many hours he is spending on his Uni work - and this information will allow him to compare what he is doing with what other students are doing and to ensure his answer is credible in terms of how many hours he needs to do the work he is supposed to be doing.

If he is asked about this, it may be because they are wondering something like "if he can cope with 15 hours of classes and 25 hours of private study, might he be able to work later on?"  [if yes - then WRAG might be the right grouping ....]

I hope that's helpful,
regards, Deb
regards, Deb

[devine63]

gorbut

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Re: Customer compliance office interview
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2014, 06:46:26 PM »
Thanks Deb. He is actually only doing 6 hours a week of lectures so we will work out the self study time in proportion. So far they have only asked for actual lecture hours. He is also sending them a copy of his DSA assessment to show what help he has to have to be able to study at all. His course will last 6 years. All this was already sent during the ESA renewal but Atos mislaid it and although they said the found it and passed it on I suspect they didn't.