Getting a DWP home visit to check your benefit payment can be a little unnerving – especially if you don’t know what to expect. You should also know how to check whether the visitor is bona fide (genuine or not).
This help guide explains what happens during a home visit by staff members at the Performance Measurement team of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
So, the question is:
What should you do if you get a visit from a Department for Work and Pensions officer? In most cases, a visit from a Performance Measurement review officer will only take place if you claim one of these benefits and allowances:
First of all, the main reason for a home visit is to check that your benefit payment is accurate and correct. Secondly, the officer will be visiting you to collect national statistics on the welfare benefits system.
It is important to understand that the DWP would have selected your name at random. Hence, you are not being victimised (assuming you have not committed benefit fraud).
Furthermore, they will send you a letter in advance of the actual day that they knock on your door. The letter that you get from the DWP will give you extra information about what happens on a Compliance Officer home visit.
Note: The information about a home visit to check your benefit payment is also available in Welsh language (Cymraeg) via the GOV.UK website.
Performance Measurement Review Officer Identity Check
You should check the identity of the Performance Measurement review officer before letting them into your home.
The two recommended methods for checking their identity, and making sure their visit is genuine, are:
- Asking to see their ID (a photographic identity card).
- Phoning the Business Support Team and asking them to check the name of the review officer against their records.
Business Support Team
Telephone: 0191 216 8050
Relay UK (NGT text relay if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0191 216 8050
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Find out how call charges work.
Note: Another section contains more information about benefit overpayments and how to repay money to the Department for Work and Pensions.
What Happens at a DWP Home Visit?
The officer is going to interview you in your home. In some cases, they will allow you to reschedule the visit for another day (if necessary).
As part of the process, they will also ask you to provide them with two (2) forms of identification. Hence, you need to prove that you are who you say you are.
Other documentation that they will want to see will include anything that relates to your money, savings (and rent where applicable). Typical examples include:
- Bank, building society or Post Office accounts
- Benefits and tax credit awards
- Rent book (or tenancy agreement)
Note: In most cases, a DWP home visit will last up to one hour (but it can take longer). The Department for Work and Pensions provides more details about estimates of fraud and error levels in the benefit system in Great Britain.