Working the examination: Inability to comply
If the claimant(s) informs you that s/he cannot obtain the information, or says that the evidence you have specified does not exist, and you are satisfied that the explanation is genuine, you should disregard the relevant items for the purposes of taking penalty action.
If you are not satisfied with the explanations you should write to the claimant(s) telling them so and explaining that you will now be taking further action.
Claimants might encounter problems producing statements for internet bank accounts. These statements are often only available on-line and some internet banks only make them available for 3 months. Where you asked for the statements to help you consider the household’s income and expenditure you might still be able to piece together some of the outgoings from household bills. You could suggest that the claimant lets you see their three most recent statements and then you will need to discuss these at any meeting which you hold so that you establish whether there have been any significant changes to their income or expenditure.