Shocked by letter for Interview Under Caution for ESA

Hi all
I’m new here I’ve visited the forum and posted a couple of replies to other posts but this is my first post, which as I’m typing I can’t believe this is why I’m posting.
So yesterday a letter arrived from dwp I’d had a letter a few weeks ago to say my ESA would be paid at slightly higher rate think its gone up by £2 or something and would be paid until Nov. I’ve been on it since Nov 2015 so thought I may be due a review at some point, I was placed in support group in 2015. However I was shocked to read that an investigation is being carried out and they have arranged an interview under caution for 14th May. As its bank hol wkend I tried ringing but no reply and I don’t even know if dwp are open on Sat mornings so now can’t ring til tue. I don’t think they tell you the actual issue when you ring but from what I’ve read they may give some idea if its a financial or health related investigation.
I know I haven’t done anything wrong but its really upset me. The letter is very frightening and states that I will be taken to a room where 2 cassettes will be opened in front of me placed into a recording machine and I will be read my rights. I’ve never done anything or been in any trouble in my life and would never claim benefits fraudulently. I’ve had poor health for many years from a young girl onwards but always worked since aged 16 apart from two short times of illhealth needing surgery but had a career I loved…nursing… and was determined to get back to it. Long story short I developed Crohn’s and other health problems I also have complications of chronic anaemia and b12 deficiency which I have injections for. The iron has to be given via infusion in hospital. I also recently had xrays I have arthritis but have multiple joint pain and severe fatigue.
I live with my mum 78, who I care for but sadly I feel I no longer do it very well as my health has pulled me down so much the last few years. Mum has multiple health issues and has been disabled since I was a child. My dad died suddenly in 2012 after being in intensive care for 2 weeks and when it came to dealing with things afterwards I don’t know or remember how I got through it. Dad didn’t have a will and had always managed all the finances so mum overwhelmed by grief and with other difficulties wanted me to step in which I did without thinking it through for the longterm. So as mum never had her own bank account she had to supply an account to have her widows private pension paid so asked if it can go into an account in my name which we did. At the time I worked part time and never thought it through fully I just wanted to support her and be a good daughter.
Now I’ve had this letter I’m wondering if its because of this although I did have a compliance letter and few calls last year regarding it and thought it had been dealt with. The lady who dealt with it realised I was genuine she also spoke to mum on the phone and said a lot of daughters and sons take on the role of helping an elderly parent with financial management after a parent dies.
I just feel so worn out, mum has been diagnosed with macular degeneration a few months ago she had the dry type of md for a while but suddenly it changed and we have been on so many hos appointments she now has monthly injections but gets understandably very low and scared at times and has lost lot of her sight in a very short time.
I have postponed going to the day unit for my iron as mum also on warfarin has been having high inr levels plus has episodes where she barely eats. I have to keep a careful eye on her as she is diabetic but no longer on insulin.
So sorry for writing such a long post I just don’t know how to get a solicitor in time for this interview and we have loads of appointments coming up.
Thanks if you read this far and hope you are having a nice bank holiday.

Hi MyForeverFriend.

In line with advice given to others . the CAB / Carers UK Advice Team are recommended for
guidance on interview with the DWP under caution :

Contact details for both follow … CUK Advice Team best by email :

As for the proceedures , Advice Now have produced a 32 page guide , in .pdf format :

CAB have a good guide worthy of being included here :

If you’ve been invited to an interview under caution for benefit fraud - Citizens Advice

I hope the above information will be of immediate assistance ?

Thank you so much for your reply and for the links.
It is such a worrying time and I have no support I have become very isolated and am always at home as I cannot leave mum for long she tries to remain independent but has had quite a few falls and cannot see if things are switched off etc despite me putting bright bumper stickers on switches toaster etc. I’m also not able to get out much due to the pain and fatigue plus other symptoms of my illhealth.
Mum does have an awful lot to contend with her health and does her very best to remain independent I’m proud of her for keeping going and her approach to life but the other side of this is that she refuses to accept help. Last time I was admitted to hospital as an emergency I came home to find her on the floor she had no injuries apart from a few bruises thankfully but I live with the worry as there is no-one to step in if I’m ill. In 2016 I collapsed and had early stage sepsis I’d been on steroids for my Crohn’s and when I came to and was well enough to realise, I was in tears worrying about mum the hospital tried to arrange a social worker but mam said she wouldn’t want help so that was the end of that. I guess I have to try and prepare for the interview but as mum has her next eye injection wed then clinic Thu plus I have an appointment Fri I will be exhausted just getting us there and back.
Thanks again for your help I’m so grateful
Take care

Have a look at pg 27.

Thanks very much for your reply and posting the link.
I still feel very worried as if its about mum’s widow pension going into an account in my name (even though its hers and I don’t touch it we just transfer it to cover the bills on direct debit) I thought it had been dealt with last year by compliance team they said it was all sorted. My esa was temporarily suspended until the statements arrived at dwp then reinstated when they could clearly see I have substantial debt since losing my job and I’m only using my bank account which my esa goes into. I use a credit card to buy my special diet food, supplements for my condition, petrol stuff like car repairs etc. I’d also applied for a loan online as I’m struggling with interest payments I will look for evidence of that (it was declined) as I obviously wouldn’t be doing that if I had lots of money. Today I feel so tired as not had my iron infusion yet, plus b12 injection due next week and vit D injection as I have severe deficiency. I have brainfog and poor concentration so lots of factors to consider for next week. I also have a lot of pain keeping me awake so feel quite tearful in general. I hope I can keep it together during the interview and a week is not long to find a solicitor who can attend.

solicitors are well used to finding someone at an hour or two’s notice so a week should be no problem at all. Try not to worry too much - easier said than done, I know - but you will want to be at the best you can be and worrying won’t help that. We’ll all be thinking of you.

Hi and thank you for your reply. I’ve finally managed to contact a solicitor who can attend on Tue I’ve just emailed evidence of my esa benefit as requested to them.
The interview is regarding me helping mum with managing her money even though compliance dept looked at this last year it was never closed down apparently. I recall ringing to check if my esa was going to be reinstated and the other officer rang me as the one dealing with me was off sick and the office had been closed that afternoon due to adverse weather, this was Feb last year when it was snowing. So my esa was paid as an emergency and reinstated as they had statements letter from mum and letter with her name on the private pension. So I’m not sure if its just those factors which meant the investigation wasn’t closed but I was told it was dealt with. Unfortunately due to ongoing anaemia and many deficiencies I have poor concentration brainfog and fatigue so don’t always remember things. I don’t recall having a letter but have a vague memory of asking for a letter to confirm and being told the compliance team don’t send outcome letters unless there is a problem just reinstate benefit which is what happened. However I may well have got that muddled with sonething else especially as my b12 injection due plus I’m supposed to be going into the day unit for my iron infusion which I’ve had to postpone.
I really want it over with now I’ve never been in any situation like this ever and would never do anything wrong.
Thanks again for your support I’m very grateful its just mum and I and its been one thing after another for I don’t know how long and now with her visual impairment its very hard.

At least it’s not long till Tuesday and then it’s over. The waiting’s often the hardest part. I know what you mean about one thing after another. I bet everyone on this forum does.

Hi all.

I’ve been popping in to the forum now and then although not been feeling able to post been a bit low various stuff really but realised I didn’t get around to posting an update on this situation… This was partly due to the fact that I had to wait nearly 3months for a letter from the decision maker and also I had a stressful few months was unwell with infections then had a fall halfway dowstairs and hurt my back and hip.
Anyway the letter stated that no further action will be taken…not much else really certainly nothing that acknowledged the stress I’d been put through and the fact that if I had been charged a fee for a solicitor I would not have been able to be represented as I’m in debt since losing my job.
Luckily I found a solicitor who accompanied me free of charge after I emailed proof that I’m on ESA and he was very good. The interview itself was more or less as I’d read about, it was a strange situation and stressful being recorded like a criminal due to the way they have to conduct them, although I get they have to treat everyone the same. I was asked about my understanding of what I need to inform dwp about and then it was questions about why and how I help mum manage money. The case that we thought had been dealt with had never been closed down as the person had gone off sick and they were unable to find the records to show it had been dealt with so I was told it was closed down but it never was!
The interview took about 30 mins I took various documents and copies of proof of what I was saying and what I’d previously submitted that they couldn’t locate.

Just thought I’d post the update, albeit sometime later, incase it helps anyone else. Just shows how important it is to keep records and proof of things…something we were taught as nurses but never thought I’d need it in that situation.
Sorry for sounding bit moany and thanks again for all your support.

Take care xx

Moan away we need to hear these stories. As it does help many others. It happens all to often!!

Glad yours is finally sorted and you can go about you daily life. One less thing to think about.

I am appointee for my son. His money goes into a separate account, and my name is on the card with Re M***. So his money is entirely separate from mine, although both in my name. Maybe the way forward for you?

Hi both and thanks for your replies.
It was mentioned that I could become an appointee when I had a chat with someone from Carer uk, she had an info stand at the hospital I had an appointment so went over for a brief chat.
However when I discussed it with someone else she had recommended to me the lady said its quite a big thing to do as you have to assume all responsibility for the person regarding financial aspects and tbh it put me off. Plus I don’t want mum to feel she is losing any independence and I know she would be reluctant to agree to that. On the other hand I need to ensure nothing like that happens again. I’ve heard of becoming a signatory but not sure about what that involves…keep meaning to get it sorted but so many other things crop up…like us all its hard to sort everything. Currently waiting for gp to get back re mums elevated digoxin level.
Thanks again for yr input.
Take care xx

If you become DWP appointee, that means that you manage mum’s benefits. Very simple to apply for.

This is very different from having Power of Attorney.

To become a signatory for mum’s bank accounts, all you need to do is ask them for a “Third Party Mandate” for mum to complete.

How does that work? I have opened a bank account for my son but I want him to be able to have a say. When he gets DLA, do I list him as the appointee or not?