I live in an area of high unemployment and even higher rents. Things are now at the stage where one in three households in my town are receiving either Housing or Council Tax Reduction. I live in the area I work and I love the feeling as I walk to the office that I am helping one in three of the houses I walk past.
I also love that my family and friends know that when they are in financial trouble they can come to me for advice.
However the flip side of my job is that I need to make sure that money goes to the right people. Occasionally I need to ask questions that people do not like. Usually it is because I think they are withholding information and do you know what…I am usually right.
My rule of thumb is that the louder they complain the more guilty they are and today it proved true. A year ago a couple I had requested information from kicked up a fuss, complained to their M.P and tried to bully me into stopping requesting information from them. I didn’t stop and today they were sentenced to 50 hours community service for neglecting to mention a job which netted them up to £700.00 per week.
So if you receive a letter from a benefits officer don’t assume the worse. They want to help you, that is unless you are on the fiddle. If you are not only do they want to catch you, the chances are they already have.