Epworth woman in court re false benefit claims

An Epworth woman pocketed £13,500 in benefits after falsely claiming she was unfit for work.

Thursday, 26th June 2014, 11:29 am
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Stephanie Robson (39) of Burnham Road, Epworth, was sentenced at Scunthorpe Magistrates Court on June 24 after claiming benefits on the basis she was medically unfit to work.

Ms Robson falsely claimed Income Support and Disability Living Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions as well as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from North Lincolnshire Council.

She was found out after the DWP received a tip-off and launched a joint investigation together with the council.

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It was discovered that Ms Robson was volunteering for the Army Cadet Force, and so was fit for work. Even though she was employed as a volunteer she received payment for both training weekends and cadet camps.

By failing to declare this work she received benefits that she was not entitled to between May 2011 and April 2013.

Ms Robson pleaded guilty to the offence on June 6. She was later handed a prison sentence of eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, by scunthorpe magistrates.

Coun Neil Poole, cabinet member for policy and resources, said: “It is completely unacceptable for people to think they can trick the justice system and take hard working taxpayers’ money by making false claims. Let this be a warning to people that they won’t get away with committing benefit fraud. We take allegations of fraud very seriously and will take action against those who falsely claim benefits and prosecute them as necessary.”

“If you think someone is falsely claiming benefits you are asked to contact the authorities. You can report your suspicions anonymously and in confidence to the Fraud Hotline. You can call the 24 hour hotline on 01724 296666. Alternatively you can visit the council’s website at: www.northlincs.gov.uk/your-council/about-your-council/policy-and-budgets/fraud-hotline/ and complete an online referral form and again you not have to leave their name.

Remember to inform the DWP if there has been a change in your circumstances that could affect your benefits.”