DWP Interview Under Caution
Interview under caution – what is it - why me?
If you have been invited for an interview under caution, you need to take advice. You might be asked to attend as a volunteer or under the threat of being arrested. You will have received a letter from DWP or Local Authority telling you that they want to conduct an ‘interview under caution’.
What does the letter asking for an interview imply?
You could only be asked to attend an interview under caution if there grounds to suspect that you might be guilty of an offence or to eliminate you from an investigation.
Why do they want to interview you under caution?
If DWP or Local Council want to interview you, it will about usually means tested benefits, benefits payable because of incapacity or disability or Housing Benefit or Council tax benefit if it is Local Authority. They want to ask questions about the forms you completed when you claimed the benefit or if they believe you have not reported a change of circumstances.
What is an interview under caution? - how is different from any other interview?
Interviews under caution is a legal process and what you say in an interview under caution can be used as evidence against you in Court.
The caution is read out to you,
You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something that you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
Do I have a right of silence?
Yes, you do not have to answer any question in interview. But if you are charged with an offence the case goes to Court, you may asked why you did not answer questions or mention the facts that you raise in Court.
Disclosure of facts?
For there to be a fair interview, DWP or Local Council have to disclose enough information for you to be able to decide whether to exercise your right of silence. The process of an interview should not be operated by DWP or Local Council as an ambush but they do not have to tell you every question that they are going ask either. If an interview is conducted unfairly, the remedy is to seek the exclusion of the interview as evidence or to edit the interview record which occurs frequently.
What should it do?
Anything you say in interview can used in evidence and the vast majority of prosecutions arise from cases where a person has deliberately or inadvertently admitted an offence. In DWP cases, they have to prove that what you said on the claim forms were wrong or where you have not notified a change of circumstances. In Court, they have to prove that you knew you were doing something wrong beyond a reasonable doubt. What is said in interview is often the decisive factor in Court. Legal advice is essential in an interview under caution so that apologies or excuses are not taken as admissions of guilt.
Filing a statement after no comment interview
If you have been interviewed and exercised your right of silence, there is nothing stopping you filing statement answering the questions or issues that seem to be relevant from the interview.
What influences the decision to prosecute?
The Specialist fraud division (solicitors for the prosecution) review the file and decide whether a case should brought to Court. They review the evidence and the interview under caution record and they have to decide which of many such files they going to prosecute. Where there are admission in interview under caution, you would have to say that it is far more likely that they would prosecute.
MJP solicitors conduct interviews under caution all over the UK and interviews conducted in a police station are covered by Advice a Police Station Legal Aid. Interviews conducted at a Government office [DWP, Local Authority] are not covered under that scheme. Legal representation can be difficult to locate for these interviews.
If you want our help over an interview under caution call 0333 011 0516 our enquiry form to send us a message or you can leave your name, contact number and time below and we'll be in touch.
The following benefits can be reduced or stopped if you commit benefit fraud:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support
- Industrial Death Benefit
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Industrial Injuries Reduced Earnings Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Retirement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Unemployability Supplement
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Housing/Council Tax Benefit
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
- War Disablement Pension
- War Widow’s Pension
- War Pension Unemployability Supplement
- War Pension Allowance for Lower Standard of Occupation
- Widowed Mother’s/Parent’s Allowance
- Widow’s Pension/Bereavement Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
Benefits That Can’t be Reduced or Stopped
The following benefits can’t be reduced or stopped if you commit benefit fraud:
- Attendance Allowance
- Bereavement Payment
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Christmas Bonus
- Council Tax Benefit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Graduated Retirement Benefit
- Guardian’s Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Constant Attendance Allowance (where a Disablement Pension is payable)
- Industrial Injuries Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (where a Disablement Pension is payable)
- Personal Independence Payment
- State Pension
- Social Fund Payments
- War Pension Constant Attendance Allowance
- War Pension Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance
- War Pension Mobility Supplement
If you commit benefit fraud and you’re on any of the following benefits, none of your benefits can be stopped or reduced:
- Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme (2008)
- Health in Pregnancy Grant
- Maternity Allowance
- Pneumoconiosis (Workers’ Compensation) 1979
- Statutory Adoption Pay
- Statutory Maternity Pay
- Statutory Paternity Pay
- Statutory Sick Pay