DWP demand access at random to your home and documents

DWP sign

In today’s scary news, it has emerged that the DWP are claiming the right to enter the home of people in receipt of a variety of benefits, demand to see their ID and financial documents, and interrogate them for an hour or more. All without prior warning.

While the DWP have always had teams that investigate fraud – including spying on people through their windows from parked cars – the idea that they can select you at random and turn up unannounced appears to be new. What happens if you turn the DWP officer away is not stated.  While the website says “You can reschedule your appointment if you need to” it also says  “You won’t always get a letter in advance telling you about the visit.” Of course this is very likely to be backed up with the usual “you do not have to comply but if you do not then your benefits may be affected.” When confronted with the idea of losing all their income most people will obey against their will.

As many people have pointed out to me, plenty of sick people cannot cope with this intrusion or unpredictability. (Including myself.) Others may not have the ability to find the documents or to think well enough to provide the answers demanded. Carers who know all the details may not be present.

I suspect that the random selection and the entry into the home without warning  may breach the human rights act. I’d appreciate if someone knowledgeable could check this for me.

It is notable that the text claims that the DWP will check you if you are on Housing Benefit. That benefit is implemented by the local authority and not the DWP. This leads me to believe that this update is mostly posturing for the tabloids on the part of the SPADs that churn out propaganda for the DWP Press Office.

A page on the gov.uk website carrying a date of 2 June 2014 sets out what the DWP are threatening. The current contents of that page in full:


Home visit to check your benefits payments

You may get a visit from a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officer to check that your benefits payments are correct. A Performance Measurement review officer may visit you if you’re claiming:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
Your name is selected at random to be checked. You won’t always get a letter in advance telling you about the visit.

What to expect

The officer will interview you in your home and will want to see 2 forms of identification. They’ll also ask to see documents about money, savings and rent, eg:

  • payslips
  • bank, building society or Post Office accounts
  • rent book or tenancy agreement
  • benefits and tax credit awards

Visits usually last up to an hour but may be longer. You can reschedule your appointment if you need to.

Check their identity

You can check the identity of the Performance Measurement review officer by:

  • asking to see their photo identity card
  • calling the Business Support Team and giving the review officer’s name
Business Support Team Telephone: 0191 216 8050 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

82 thoughts on “DWP demand access at random to your home and documents”

  1. Interestingly, no mention of the long black leather trench coats these “Review Officers” will be issued with.

  2. Holy shit, when was this introduced? And was parliament consulted? Wouldn’t they need some sort of warrant?

  3. I assume they’re doing this by abusing contract law, i.e. that it says all this stuff on the small print (which no one reads), then you sign on the line, which means you have “agreed” to it. However, no one signs one of those contracts out of choice. Every one signs due to having no choice whatsoever, which I believe legally is called “duress”, meaning you were FORCED to sign it, and therefore the contract is nullified.

      1. In that case, please show me the contract I signed granting you the right to take National Insurance payments from me while I was earning???

      2. And show me which part of that contract then gives you the right to act as the gatekeeper to having MY money BACK when I need it???

        The amount btw, after working some 25 years is around £45,000

  4. And if you have a flat screen tv, or computer, or a nice clean home, then they will stop your benefits, because people on benefits dont seem to be allowed nice things, best thing to do is only answer the door to people that have been invited. someone calls and your not expecting them, dont answer.

  5. “Oh you’re from DWP, well you’d better come in then.” “You’ll have to excuse the smell my current medication give’s me farts that would make a camel puke.”

  6. Come to my door and tell me who there are and my answer will be see my solicitor, this is his number, now f11k of before you go down my path quicker than you came up it and close my gate on the way out.

  7. Reading other posts etc I have come to the conclusion that they are officially criminals doing a job for Mr Big Scumbag Cameron and his ass jabbers who btw are bigger scumbags than Maggie Thatcher who is rotting in hell for what she did to Scotland

  8. anyway, i never answer the door to anyone who i don;t know is coming, or i am expecting any more …. they want to come …. they can make an appointment

  9. Simply post a notice on your door stating that “All implied rights of
    access are denied, no access without an appointment”. Without a
    Warrant, anyone, including Police, calling at your door unexpectedly can
    just be told “Its not convenient at the moment please write for an
    appointment”. You could also state that any financial or other data is
    protected under data protection laws so you would require written reason
    for wanting such data and the extent to which it could be used, with a
    written undertaking that it will not be used to damage (cause a tort to)
    you or yours. These are rights and your entitlements cannot be
    affected, if they attempt to, or threaten to reduce or remove your
    benefits because you exercise your rights you can call the Police and
    charge them with attempted extortion, disturbing the peace, using duress
    to commit fraud, attempted breach of the data protection act,
    conspiracy to; pervert the course of justice, commit a trespass of your
    rights. and no doubt other charges. If they do change your benefits
    write to the local office stating that your entitlements have been
    changed without your consent and if not restored you will be placing a
    charge before the local magistrate for breach or rights, as it is your
    account they are administrating and paying you from, they are failing
    their fiduciary duty if they do not continue to supply you what you need
    to live.

  10. And another vulnerable person with mental health issues dies from the stress. Notch up another death thanks to this evil gang of thugs!

      1. Yep, IDS and the most inhumane British government I’ve ever known, continues to cull the most desperate in our society. Let the sick, the disabled, those with mental health concerns, pay for the mistakes of the incompetent rich!

  11. Lots of people are saying just don’t let them in, and it looks like they don’t have any right to come in if you refuse. The problem here is the power imbalance. If you are told that you either let that person come in or you may lose your benefits, you might not risk it. Lots of people won’t have the strength to deal with sending the DWP away and then possibly chasing up stopped benefits or appealing sanctions.

    1. I can be quite brave in my mind, but when someone lands on your doorstep from the government, and you know it involves your life, you tend to quickly buckle. In fact, I was in shock..

      I’ve had Atos Doctors out seeing me, and I really mean this, they were 100x nicer than these unexpected visitors.. And people should know it’s happening and not become complacent. It’s an awful way to live, in constant fear, unfortunately there’s no solution..

      1. be careful Atos are paid to screw you over I know someone who worked for Atos and they told me every person they say is fit for work they get an extra £100 and if you work it out at 2 people per hour for 9 hours extra £180 per day that’s £900 extra per week just for saying a person is fit for work.
        Another example I suffer with extra skin on the heel of my feet that cause me great pain when I try to walk as the skin goes hard I don’t have transport to go to work but they told DWP the skin is there because im always walking. How on earth am I suppose to walk when im in so much pain

        1. you are out by a zero . It is £200/hour x9 =£1800/day x 5= £9000 per week . Every asshole in the land with not a gram of morals would want a job like that#

  12. looking at the human right act i see : under the respect for your private and family life: the right to respect for your home is not a right to housing. Instead, it is a right to enjoy your existing home peacefully. This means that public authorities should not stop you entering or living in your home without very good reason, and they should not enter without your permission. This applies whether or not you own your home. so basically you tell them you do not have my permission and go away come back when convenient.
    i do not see in the restrictions anything that DWP can use:

    In some situations, public authorities may interfere with your right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence.
    This is only possible where the authority can show that its action has a proper basis in law, and is necessary and ‘proportionate’ in order to:

    protect national security

    protect public safety

    protect the economy

    protect health or morals

    prevent disorder or crime

    protect the rights and freedoms of other people.

    hope this helps

  13. They came to my door last year. Turns out the send send someone who’s not from the dwp but actually a sub contractor. I told them that I don’t supply any personal information to strangers and to get off my property before I called the police. Told him if he wanted to interview me then send me an appointment to meet him in the job centre. A few day slated I got an appointment. He wanted to see all bank statements and I’d for everyone in my house. I turned up just with id and when he asked to see bank statements I told him no and quoted article 12 of the human rights. “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

  14. Write this down, and if they should arrive recite to them the FULL article and state that you will be happy to arrange an appointment for them once they have provided, in writing, proof that the interview is “necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Then inform them that once you have had a lawyer confirm that the reasons stated are valid you will be happy to receive them. If they try to tell you that your benefits ‘may be affected’, ask them to provide it in writing and contact Citizens Advice, legal representatives, or (my preference) the Freeman on the Land project.

    European Convention on Human Rights

    ARTICLE 8
    Right to respect for private and family life
    1.
    Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family
    life, his home and his correspondence.
    2.
    There shall be no interference by a public authority with the
    exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the
    law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of
    national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the
    country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection
    of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms
    of others.

      1. To this I would say no, because the amount lost to wrongly paid benefits is just 2%, or 1.2Bn or 0.0008 of GDP or 6p per day per person in the UK, whereas unpaid taxes by big businesses is thought to be around 120Bn, and the amount being fiddled by the banking system is around a TRILLion or two. So it is mind boggling that the gov are focussing on benefits but ignoring astronomical losses elsewhere.

    1. “the Freeman on the Land project.”? It does not apply in this case. By signing on the dotted line as your legal personality to receive money from the state, you are removing any status as a freeman. The act of claiming benefits places you in a contract in the legal world which you must comply with. If you want the benefit of being a freeman on the land, then opt out of the legal world into the lawful and that means you must work to create an independent income.

    1. No, they rarely get even a tenth of it back, mainly as there is an underlying entitlement to some or most of the benefits anyway, and also because they cant touch some of the income so back paying is tiny. They have no chance of recouping the 0.7% loss attributed to fraud, and it would be at a disproportionate cost to them – but as this is idealistic vote grabbing and headline grabbing stuff, they will do it regardless of the cost. Not surprisingly I think this came from Fraudy Freud himself.

  15. I guess we are legaly entitled to video the interviews seing that theyre in our homes..Just so nithing can be twisted and manipulated to their advantage..It would be your evidence then should anything happen..May be post it on youtube too for the world to see how mutch our government despises the sick and disabled in our country…They cant stop you recording as vin fact theyre public servents as the police are too..

  16. one way it will stop all these fake claims..then they can give the money to the ppl who need it..

      1. It can, and should get a lot lower.

        I am opposed to a single penny of taxpayers money being fraudulently claimed or paid out in error. That applies to benefits, corporate welfare for corporations through legal tax avoidance and MPs expenses.

        Every penny we pay in taxes should be spent very carefully and only where it is needed and accurately and honestly claimed.

    1. *snort!* You think that;
      (a) this will uncover fraud? and
      (b) if it does they will redistribute it?
      LOL!

  17. The unemployed are being used by the government as a scape goat for the immigration issue when they have been trying to get rid of benefits and the nhs since 1948…when is this country going to wake up!

  18. This already happened to me 3 years ago, so it’s nothing new I’m afraid.

    A
    housing benefit fraud officer called unannounced and requested because
    they were accusing me of claiming housing benefit whilst being at
    university a few years prior to that, but I was only studying part-time
    so this rule didn’t apply to me. Nevertheless, I had to find all bank
    statements and identity documents, which he went on to photograph. I
    only let him in because I remembered him from a performance measurement
    visit that my friend had whilst I was there a few years before.

    It
    was very stressful to say the least. As for being organised with my
    documentation, as it happens I could find the documents he asked
    for, but it does vary. I can have a 6 month period where I am so sick
    that I would not be in any way able to file things or even open the
    letters at times.

    The fact that he was completely wrong about my
    circumstances said it all really. He could have telephoned the
    university and easily have found out that I was doing a part time
    masters without stressing me out. I was shaking like a leaf throughout
    the visit. Universities, the Inland Revenue and all sorts of organisations share data about us now, so the least they could do is check their facts before they put ill people through this!!

  19. What is your evidence for “alot more people that are taking advantage of the system than not”? Because the DWP – who have no interest in underestimating it – say that total benefit fraud AND error combined is just 2.0%. And that underpayment (mostly from error) is 0.9%.

    People receive frugal benefits to raise their living standard to a minimum level. If you are working but receiving below this level then firstly, you should probably be getting housing benefit and tax credits, and secondly, you should blame your employer for exploiting you with low wages. But what you shouldn’t do is say that causing people who are sick, disabled, unemployed to live in fear is ok because of fraud that is barely detectable.

    1. If you are on a meagre income, and are not happy about it. Take action to change it and increase your income.

      I was on and off benefits for over a decade, I was hating it and went to college, got better qualifications and a better job. It is possible.

      I have not claimed any benefits whatsoever for 13 years now and I am much happier being self sufficient.

      If you do not like what your employer is paying, why do you accept it? Get another job! Stop bitching and making excuses and blaming everyone else. I used to do that and complain how unfair it all was.

      The opportunities are out there. So do something about it.

  20. I’m chronically ill, as is my husband. My husband is also autistic. An unannounced visit would cause a LOT of problems. In which case I’ll be telling whoever it is to leave, contact me and make an appointment (with reasons WHY they need to see us anyway) so that we can adequately prepare. If I’m not at home, my husband is under instruction if there’s anyone at the door that he feels uncomfortable with, to hand them the phone and my mobile number, and a card saying he is autistic and won’t be speaking to them, they need to call me.

  21. I’m chronically ill, as is my husband. My husband is also autistic. An unannounced visit would cause a LOT of problems. In which case I’ll be telling whoever it is to leave, contact me and make an appointment (with reasons WHY they need to see us anyway) so that we can adequately prepare. If I’m not at home, my husband is under instruction if there’s anyone at the door that he feels uncomfortable with, to hand them the phone and my mobile number, and a card saying he is autistic and won’t be speaking to them, they need to call me.

  22. ive got them coming on friday ,the letter says its to see if im claiming everything im entitled to , so why would they want mybank statements ,yeah rite well i will be recording the interveiw…

    1. They are asking for your bank statements because if you have another income which is undeclared, it is likely to show up on a bank statement. If you have another undeclared income, then your claim would be fraudulent.

  23. It won’t happen. It’s just a scare tactic. Duncan Smith has pissed away all the allocated cash on his laughably managed reforms, he has little or no available resource, and certainly not the wage bill to have goons knocking on doors.

  24. i am sorry but ur ID card can be a fraud anyone can make one these days. so unless i get a letter asking to make an appointment with the main office no one is putting a foot over my door step

  25. Or ‘ah no I’m just house siting while is at a job interview in <insert name of city other end of country. Or similar.

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  27. put up a notice all rights and implied rights are removed and they can not come on your land I have one even the police have to phone or right for permition without a warrant no your rights

  28. The simple answer is get a job and stop claiming benefits. Benefits should never be a lifestyle choice. It should only be a temporary assistance between being self sufficient through employment or self employment.

    They are assessing whether you are complying with the terms of the
    contract you have agreed to in order to receive the money they give you
    in benefits. If the terms of that contract contained their right to
    enter your property, then that is what you agreed to when claiming benefits. If you signed on the dotted line, then you comply with the contract or stop claiming benefits.

    If you feel
    that this is an unlawful clause, then challenge it in court. Otherwise
    comply with the agreement you made in return for your benefits, or find
    some way to earn money for yourself, and don’t claim benefits.

    Everyone commenting here has already proved by their own behaviour that they are capable of data entry, and writing and so could find work as data input or as a writer or author self publishing online.

    The world does not owe anyone a living.

    As for the freeman on the land route, as someone below suggested? Don’t make me laugh. If you claim benefits, then you are not a freeman on the land, but are claiming monitory reward as your legal personality and willingly contracting with the merchant legal world and must comply with that legal world to keep receiving benefits.

    1. Which part don’t you understand that there simply are not enough jobs for everyone. This will increase as more infrastructure is in place and there is literally less to do. More and more jobs are now being done by machines e.g. how vending machines have replaced people who make tea/coffee. Trains in some places have become driverless. So what if ppl here are capable of data entry and writing? There still aren’t enough jobs or even self employment opportunities to make use of those abilities.
      If as you claim, that benefits is an easy lifestyle choice, then why don’t you leave your job and live on benefits?? It sounds like you work for the DWP.

    2. Must be my imagination,I’ve just read your statement that you received benefits on and off for ten years.Now of course I do not know your personal circumstances but your “advice”,given that you ignored it yourself for a decade,to others is rather ironic shall we say.

    3. go and fuck yourself ,piss of arrogant pathetic non existent worm. You come with your tory shit incompetent mentality ,knowing nothing and caring about nothing.

  29. When most folk have Smart televisions and other Smart appliances that have cameras and listening devices hidden in them, then the government can spy on whoever they want to whenever they want too.

  30. Found this site by accident, I don’t have ME but I have the symptoms of ME, but my condition is called Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity or just Electrical Sensitivity EHS or ES. My symptoms are worse when I am close to mobile phones, Wi-Fi, cordless DECT phones, basically anything that emits non-ionising radiation, which can also be called microwaves. My symptoms include depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, inability to concentrate, memory problems, lethargy, headaches and burning pains in the skin, toothache, twitching muscles, feeling very heavy (especially in the legs) abdominal pain, racing heart and very slow heart, a vibration throughout body and more. It’s the tiredness, extreme depression, insomnia and pains in my body that are most common on a daily basis, I am fighting a on-going battle with trying to reduce my exposure to microwave radiation, this means I cannot use or be near a mobile phone and I have to screen out other peoples wireless devices with carbon based paint or just cheap aluminium foil. I have a Ethernet connection on my computer and the Wi-Fi is completely disabled (no leaking BT Home Hubs!), I wear shielding clothing when outside and minimise my time out, avoiding supermarkets especially a they seem to all have Wi-Fi now. I kind of live in a semi-Faraday cage, I have a shielding canopy for my bed so I can sleep better, but since the roll out of 4G it’s not working so good.
    There is a charity called ES-UK, check out their website, I think that a lot or most people with ME really are suffering like me from EHS/ES, I have been noticeably ill for about 10 years now, it has got much worse since 2012. There is a silent war going on, it’s been on for years and the silent weapons include toxic vaccinations, pesticides and other chemicals in food like Aspartame, chemicals in materials like flame retardants, chemicals in non-organic cosmetics, so called medicines which are just toxic slow-kill drugs, geo-engineering or chemtrails (look up the sky is very strange all the lines and hazy particulate matter up there to reflect back the suns radiation to cool the planet-NOT) Global Warming is a LIE!!! This aluminium, strontium, barium, mercury, viruses and much more all fall back down and we all inhale, drink and eat them. Watch “What In The World Are They Spraying” on YouTube. Watch Barrie Trower’s videos on YouTube, he is an ex-military man and knows all about the damage done to living organisms by non-ionising radiation which the government have known for over 60 years but keep quiet as it’s bad for business. The wireless industry makes more money that the drug/medical industry! Listen to Dr Leonard Coldwell, Dr Russell Blaylock and Dr Klinghardt on YouTube, these doctors are AMAZING!!! The information they have will change everyones lives if only we all listened to them!!! Watch “Resonance Beings of Frequency” a film on YouTube, this explains ES well.
    Drink Reverse Osmosis water, this filters out the nano particulates, eat organic food and unprocessed food, throw away your mobile devices!!! we never needed them any way, it’s all been planned to make us want these things, it’s all about surveillance and control, they know where you are and what your doing and if they don’t right now in just a short while they will be watching you sleep. If you think this is far fetched then just do some internet searches, some key words to help: New World Order, FEMA camps coffins, Bilderberg, Bohemian Grove, Freemasons satanic child sacrifice, toxic mercury fillings, GMOs, Cures for cancer like vitamin B17, Smart Murder Meters (www.stopsmartmeters.com) toxic vaccines, Gardasil, autism detox cure, toxic fluoride waste product rat poison NAZI camps docile, aspartame, alkaline body acidic leads to disease, 9/11 truth 7/7 truth, free energy, watch the movie “Thrive What On Earth Will It Take” on YouTube, Alex Jones http://www.infowars.com http://www.davidicke.com Peace, love and healing.

  31. my solution when anyone is knocking at door unexpected, is consider the question “do I feel lonely?” answer is usually “no”.. Not engaging is the safe option. Giving dwp reason to claim they were refused entry or submission to their demands could increase your poverty rating. Allowing them in is a major hassle – setting up recording equipment; getting them signed in and checking their 2 forms of valid id often upsets them 🙂 I also have to arrange to transcribe the discussion (only ink-on-paper fiction works on their side of the looking glass), considering their rate of error is bigger than the fraud.

  32. I do apologise I must be mistaken, I thought this was a discussion page ? Not a your wrong im right page? All I wrote was my opinion on the matter. To the guy that asked if I have proof that there are more people frauding the system, do you have proof that the majority of people arent committing a fraud?

  33. If this ever happened to me I would tell them in no uncertain terms that they would not be coming into my house and if they wanted to arrange an appointment, at my convenience, by letter then they would be more than welcome to do so.

    You have no legal obligation whatsoever to allow them access into your home, and they cannot take any benefit from you if you refuse either, but I would bet my hat they would threaten this as a scare tactic. Call their bluff, because they know they can’t do this, and no one should be coerced into letting a random stranger into their home to be interrogated. This government is totally corrupt and disgusting if this is really happening.

  34. Pensioners beware!!! If in receipt of Pensioners Credit and Housing Benefit, we are included in the benefit round-up and open to enquiry from the DWP. Last year, even as a disabled pensioner, I was called into the Job Centre and waited three worrying days for a replacement phone call back when the letter stated that my ‘benefit’ could be reduced for non compliance! Even as an ex Pensions officer it took up most of an hour to get them to realise that the savings I had a few years ago were now below the threshold and that my pension income had been adjusted appropriately at that time. There is one aim, to take away benefit income with false sanctions. Take care out there folks, young and old.

  35. I just want to know what happens if I am at the doctors or at the hospital for a consultation and they knock at my door. Will they class me as non-compliant and cut my benefits?

  36. I would not allow them admittance to my home, I would tell them that if they would be kind enough to write to me with a date and time for the interview along with a list of the information that they require to see, I would arrange for these items to be ready for them on their return.

    I realise that the present government have no respect for the rights of the people who claim benefits, but the European Convention on Human Rights gives people the right to privacy in their home.

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