This post about Notice of Compliance Telephone Interview letters continues to get a lot of views, everyday it is the top post viewed on my website. Now that should make me happy, after all a blogger wants their posts to be read. However it doesn’t make me happy, because it means that every view is likely from someone who has received this letter and is suddenly afraid of losing the money they need to survive!

If you have had this letter, I know that feeling of dread, fear and even upset that this piece of paper can bring.

But please try not to worry and let it upset you too much!

You are probably wondering why you got this letter and what does it mean?

It means they are looking into you, and unfortunately this may even be because someone has reported you to the DWP for working or something else and this can be done genuinely or by people as a means of retaliation or just from people filled with hatred.

There is a phone number on the letter that you can ring and they will very briefly outline why the letter has been sent!

Here is what happened to us!

If you are disabled and or have chronic health, then you will know how it feels when the dreaded brown envelope falls on your doormat!

Brown Envelope

Instantly my pulse quickens, my brain begins to overthink the situation and then I am having an anxiety attack, this is all within a couple of minutes.

This of course impacts my physical health and my pain levels sore.

But I tell myself to calm down, it could be anything, it could even be an update of my benefits or any number of things.

I put off opening the envelope despite the fact that it won’t change what is inside, but I just need a bit of time before whatever is inside destroys my day, week, month, year or life!

Notice of Compliance Telephone Interview

As soon as I open it and see Notice of Compliance Telephone Interview, this 6. 4″ and 20st 50 year old man is almost reduced to tears.

What is going on?

I can chat via message, I can talk into a camera, but I cannot easily talk on the phone. I don’t know why but I just cannot mentally handle it anymore, my brain suddenly refuses to know the right words and so my wife phones up to see if they will tell her what is going on?

It is an accusation that we are working!

What really angers me is that people can phone up DWP and just accuse someone of doing xxx, without proof and without any come back on them for lying.

They can simply use the DWP as a weapon to help them in whatever grievance they have with the person.

I am a blogger and I also review products. It is my outlet, my way of having some pride in producing something and it also helps to fill the endless hours and as I am in constant pain it helps because one of the best defences against pain is distraction.

The website does okay, but it does not generate any income and is just a hobby, a hobby that would not be possible without my wife’s help.

Someone had apparently reported us for earning money from the blogging and from a beard group I run on Facebook and it could be linked to some posts where I have been critical of a product I have reviewed or a brand for not complying to EU rules that control the making of beard care and indeed cosmetics which they fall under.

The group is my only access to a social life, I only see my mum and her husband and Donna’s parents as well as our children and so being a part of a group where we talk crap, laugh and support each other is a means to keep me from slipping further into depression.

The problem is that when you are unable to work, you are expected to just do nothing and if you dare to try and push on, people look at your efforts and question your inability to earn a living.

Also this potentially had the ability to make us homeless, we private rent and so any stoppages in our benefits could have meant we lost the property we live in.

So hopefully this has been resolved with our explanation, but the stress that this caused had a big impact on my health and I hope that I am able to find the source of this callous attack!

The woman who phoned us to discuss this issue couldn’t have been any nicer.

She explained that someone had reported me for earning money from my Facebook group and reviews. I then explained that yes I set up a group and yes I review products but it is just a hobby and that I would love to be able to earn a living doing it but it isn’t possible.

It caused us a lot of stress, some sleepless nights and did impact my health and when my mental health suffers I am unable to cope as well with the physical health issues.

I think it is about time that people who use the DWP reporting system to make false allegations should be prosecuted!

I understand the need for an anonymous way of reporting people, after all there are people who claim benefits and yet have an undeclared income. The issue is that what happened to me is clearly not unusual, in fact it happens a lot.

So is it not about time that people who do report someone to DWP were required to give their name?

This would surely cut down on the number of people who use the DWP as a tool to get retribution and so so callously and without any comeback.

This can destroy peoples lives and I expect it wastes a hell of a lot of time and money for the DWP!

It is scary when this happens and obviously there are people who do claim welfare when they don’t need to and I understand the need to stop this happening.

However the current system for reporting is flawed, yes people should be able to stay anonymous in case of retribution but that should be that their name is not given to the person being reported, they should still have to give a name and address to DWP.

If you have received this letter and you are genuinely claiming welfare, gather as much evidence as you can and just be truthful.

Keep calm, losing your patience or getting stroppy with the person on the other end of the phone working for DWP will not help, in fact it could go against you.

They are human, like all of us they respond better to someone who is calm, friendly and it is important to get that person to empathise with your situation.

I hope that this issue is easily resolved for you, please feel free to leave a comment below on what happened when you received this letter and if it was resolved.

If you need advice contact the Citizens Advice Bureau

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

6 thought on “Notice of Compliance Telephone Interview”
  1. I completely agree with you that when people report they must give their name; I too have fibromyalgia brought on by horrific divorce and cancer. Last year I was reported and then had to produce huge reams of evidence which made my health deteriorate. I asked who it was and I knew who it could have been. I asked to have a note on my file regarding my abusive ex. Well I got notified again last week for a call but they cancelled on the day. So I had weekend where pain was through the roof. I suspect that my ex informed them of nasty lies. It is awful 😞 you put it right that he’s now using it as a tool to cause me pain and misery.

    1. I am sorry this is happening to you.
      Ideally you hope that something would be done about how people who are reliant on welfare are treated, however anyone who dares to need the help has been stigmatised by the media and social media and so we are seen as second rate citizens.

  2. I’ve had letter today (Saturday) for a telephone interview on Monday at 9:30am. It says if I don’t answer the call my benefit will stop. I don’t do phone calls to people I don’t know without support. I have both physical and mental health issues and currently having counselling for recent suicidal thoughts. Every so often I get reported by a jealous neighbour, I don’t know if I can take this anymore, every time I try to do something positive to help my mental health this happens.

    1. I am sorry to hear you have also had this letter. It is very upsetting and, just like you, I avoid talking on the phone.
      I don’t know what to suggest as the letter has arrived today and the call is first thing Monday. I would try asking for help from either a charity or help organisation and ask them to contact DWP on your behalf to explain the situation.
      This system is very unfair, I understand that sometime anonymous reporting may be needed, but it is clearly being abused and used as a weapon to attack people.

  3. I just read your blog and was so pleased that someone actually understands my new predicament, as I have just had a compliance telephone interview and told the truth as I’m not doing anything wrong. Although the woman on the other end of the phone was still not happy with my answers and told me she is still looking into this and if I’m found lying I could lose my benefits like you I’m on pip as suffer with bipolar disorder and has caused much upset and pain to my mental health condition…. Any advice would be appreciated and thanks for your article

    1. I am sorry to hear that you are going through this!
      The system fails us, they don’t seem to understand that just seeing a DWP letter throws us off, then to see it is one of these, it has a massive negative impact on our mental health.
      Every day this post is the one with most views and even though the post is a few years old, it still makes me stop and think because each view is potentially another person, another family going through this.
      People don’t understand that when we are on welfare due to health, that it shackles us. We are to scared to do anything in case it is seen as us being okay and people don’t realise that we can have good days, although our good days would be bad days to other people.
      I have no advice, all you can do is tell them the truth and hope that they listen.
      Maybe seek advice from Citizens Advice or a support service for people with Bipolar.
      I hope it goes well, I hope they don’t take it further and cause you even more upset. Please let me know how it goes!

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