If you get any of these benefits,
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit.
You may get a home visit from a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officer to check that your benefit payments are correct.
The DWP calls this visit a ‘Performance Measurement review’.
Your name is selected at random to be visited, but only a tiny proportion of claimants are visited. You don’t usually get a letter or phone call in advance to warn you about the visit.
The DWP says that, if you get one of these visits, you can check the identity of the Performance Measurement review officer by:
- asking to see their photo identity card, and
- calling the DWP Business Support Team on 0191 216 8050 and giving the officer’s name.
However, it may also help you to know that:
- you don’t have to let them in
- you can ask for the visit to be re-arranged with prior notice if the time isn’t convenient for you
- you can insist on having the interview at a DWP office instead of in your home.
Doing so won’t affect your benefits, although refusing to take part in an interview at all may leave you open to a fraud investigation.
You can read more about what to expect at a home visit on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.
You can also see detailed DWP guidance for Performance Review officers at www.gov.uk, although the DWP has removed some paragraphs from this document so that they are not available to the public.