A WOMAN who claimed more than £3,000 in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit to which she was not entitled has been prosecuted by Tamworth Borough Council.
Rachel McDonnell, 43, of Stonepit, Kettlebrook, failed to declare the correct date that her husband started work and the correct details of his earnings.
The total overpayment was £3,131.05 – made up of £2,991.43 Housing Benefit and £139.59 Council Tax Benefit.
Mrs McDonnell appeared at Burton Magistrates Court on Friday (October 3), where she pleaded guilty. She was ordered to pay a fine of £70, a victim surcharge of £20 and £85 costs. She was also ordered to repay the £3,131.05 which was fraudulently claimed.
Benefit fraud is committed when a person deliberately provides false information, deliberately withholds information or allows someone else to provide false information to obtain benefits to which they are not entitled. It is important that residents keep their details up to date and let the Benefits Team know if there have been any changes in circumstances.
If you are not sure if you need to change your details, please contact a member of the Benefits Team on 709540. To report someone you believe may be committing Benefit Fraud, you can also contact The National Benefit Fraud Hotline in confidence on 0800 328 6340.
Tamworth Borough Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Robert Pritchard, said:
“We are taking a strong stance when it comes to benefit fraud as it is a serious crime which affects all of the taxpayers in Tamworth.”
He added: “The money wrongfully claimed by benefit cheats could be spent elsewhere, such as improving our town or helping those who really need it. While everyone is facing potential financial difficulties at the moment, providing false information to claim benefits you are not entitled to is not an option.”