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You think you're being accused of benefit fraud

This advice applies to Scotland

If your benefit's been stopped or you're asked to confirm some facts, it doesn't always mean you're being investigated for fraud. Often, it's just to check you're getting the right amount of money.

You might get a letter asking you some questions or inviting you to a meeting. Answer any questions as accurately as you can - you'll need to confirm things like:

  • who you live with
  • whether you've changed your working hours
  • whether your health's improved
  • other changes in your life that affect your benefits

Try to get proof, for example a letter from your doctor confirming your condition hasn't changed or a bill showing your partner's name and address to prove they don't live with you.

You can get help with answering the questions or finding proof from your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you get a letter asking you to an 'interview under caution' you must get advice because it means you might be suspected of fraud - find out how to get help about an interview under caution.

If you're asked to pay money back

If the government department or council paying your benefits thinks you should be getting less money, they'll ask for some back - this is called an 'overpayment'. You should check if you can challenge the overpayment.

If you need money while your benefit is stopped

Contact your nearest Citizens Advice - they'll be able to tell you about any money you can apply for. For example, they might be able to help you get a reduced rate of benefit called a 'hardship payment'.

If you need food or other help straight away you can find out about foodbanks and other crisis help in your area.

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