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Worcester woman admits falsely claiming almost £6,000 in benefits
A WORCESTER woman who admitted falsely claiming almost £6,000 in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit has been ordered to pay back the cash.
Rachelle Newton, aged 34, of Nelson Road appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, August 15 where she pleaded guilty to a charge of false representation.
She began claiming the two benefits in respect of her rented property in February 2011, claiming she worked full-time on a low wage.
An investigation by Worcester City Council, which brought the prosecution against her, found she had received overpayments of £5,902.71 as a result of making false statements on further forms and failed to disclose changes in her employment status.
When she was interviewed Newton claimed she was not good with paperwork.
The council’s head of revenues and benefits Nick Jefferies described benefit fraud as “a very serious matter”.
“People have a duty to notify us and report any change in circumstances when it comes to matters that might affect benefit payments, just as we have a duty to protect public funds,” he said.
“We would always urge anyone whose circumstances change to contact us, in case there is an impact on their benefit claims.”
Anyone claiming Housing or Council Tax Benefits who is not sure if they are still entitled to receive them can contact Worcester City Council on 01905 822744 for advice.
To confidentially report a case of benefit fraud call 01386 565 280 or email email@example.com.
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