Mum’s £4,557 illegal welfare benefits claim

From the courts
From the courts

A BARLBOROUGH mum illegally claimed more than £4,500 worth of benefits by not disclosing equity from a house sale.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard last week how Lisa Wood received the settlement in November 2010 but stated that she did not have savings above the prescribed limit.

Sarah Haslam, prosecuting, said: ““An investigation commenced and it transpired she had savings in excess of £16,000.

“She accepted she knew she had to report the change in her circumstances.”

Wood, 43, of Ash Close, Barlborough, was overpaid a total of £4,557 between November 2010 and May 15 of this year.

She admitted charges of failing to notify a change in circumstances affecting entitlement to benefit and making a false statement to obtain benefit.

The justices gave her a one-year conditional discharge with £100 costs.

Steve Brint, for Wood, said the offences were “basically an oversight” rather than deliberate dishonesty.

He added: “She left college in 1986 and had always worked with the exception of having two children and maternity leave.

“She made a legitimate claim for benefit in 2009. She and the father of her children were divorced and, in 2010, the matrimonial home was sold and the equity split between them.”

He added: “She was interviewed in July and she was open and honest and she has repaid every penny to the DWP.

“She is living on her savings at the moment. She has qualifications in the care industry and this conviction will have a detrimental effect on her future employment prospects.”