Benefit fraud mum caught out

Chorley news for web
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A Chorley mum has been convicted of falsely claiming more than £5,000 in benefits.

Julie Leyland, 42, of Lavender Grove, claimed she was too ill to work - but investigators found that she had actually been working for 11 months.

South Ribble Magistrates’ Court heard Leyland was found out when she was asked to complete a review form so that Chorley Council could confirm her housing and council tax benefits were being paid correctly.

She declared she had started a job, but failed to notify the authority that she had started the job 11 months earlier.

As her employment also affected her entitlement to incapacity benefit, investigators at the Department for Work and Pensions were also called in.

She pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining over £5,000 in incapacity benefit, housing benefit and council tax benefit when she appeared at South Ribble Magistrates Court on Friday.

Magistrates ordered Leyland, a mum-of-one, to complete 60 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and pay £85 costs.

The outstanding benefits are currently being recovered.

Coun Peter Wilson, who oversees benefits at Chorley Council, said: “We review people’s claims for benefits regularly so that those on benefits receive the amount they are entitled to.

“In this case Ms Leyland declared she had got a job which had an impact on the amount of money she was entitled to, but she failed to tell us of her change in circumstances when she got the job 11 months earlier.

“It is important that claimants tell the council straight away of any changes in their income, capital and household circumstances, otherwise the result could be a large overpayment to repay and a criminal record.”