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How to deal with interview under caution

If you have been asked to come to an interview under caution in connection with our benefits, we know that you are likely to feel very worried and confused whether or not you think have done anything wrong. Don’t panic. It doesn’t mean they are going to take you to court or even that you have done something wrong, just that they think you might have. This guide will explain what an interview under caution is, help you work out whether you want to go, and explain what will happen and help you prepare for it if you do. It explains how you might be able to get help, and what you can do to help yourself even if you can’t. It also explains what happens after an interview under caution.

Download this guide as an easy-to-print leaflet - How to deal with an interview under caution (421 KB)

This guide is for you if your council, the DWP, or the Single Fraud Investigation Service, invites you to an interview under caution in connection with your benefits. Note that this guide covers what happens in cases of suspected benefit fraud but not for other types of fraud, such as tax or tax credits.

So, you’ve been asked to an interview under caution: what now?

* Don't ignore it

* Work out what the problem is

* Get help and advice

It's really important to get an independent adviser or solicitor to help you with your case and represent you at the interview if it all possible.

What is the Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS)?
The government has announced that, following the introduction of Universal Credit, they are going to set up a Single Fraud Investigation Service that will look into any suspected fraud in Universal Credit cases. If you have been claiming Universal Credit, and have been invited to an interview under caution, this guide will help you.

Universal Credit is a new benefit that will replace Income Support, Jobseekers

An adviser can check whether you are entitled to the benefits you have been getting, or whether the case against you is weak or wrong. They may also be able to help you find a solicitor or accredited representative to come with you.

A criminal defence solicitor or accredited representative can advise you about your rights in the interview which could become part of a criminal investigation. Accredited representatives are qualified members of staff of criminal defence firms who can deal with things like Interviews under Caution. If you are on a low income may be able to get Legal Aid to pay for help from either a solicitor or an accredited representative (see ‘Get advice’ for more information).

However, you might not be able to get all this help, either because you can’t find an adviser who can help you, you cannot access Legal Aid, or because you can’t afford a solicitor or accredited representative. So this guide aims to answer your questions, explain what help you can get, and give you an idea of what you can do to help yourself.

Jana Elles
January 2014

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Please rate this article:


I have an " Interview Under Caution " soon, and I knew nothing about it before today..... It was VERY informative and helpful indeed.I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't found it.....

Tuesday 15 Feb 2011

I've had so much stress of inland rev, they stopped my money for 4 months. I have three young boys. All coz my ex used my address. I haven't been with him for over a year. I gave them a adress where he is at. they just keep saying this and do that. I'm in limbo and don't know who to see to get help. I've said comemto my house have a look around. can they stop my money for 4 months with 3 young boys?

s g, Monday 24 Sep 2012

Got a benefit fraud interview on wed.
Was scared but feel a bit better now

A. B., Wednesday 28 Jan 2015