Community Order for woman who falsely claimed benefit
Tuesday 23 October 2012
A Coventry woman has been given a 12 month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to falsely claiming housing benefit.
Victoria Wood, aged 32, of Faseman Avenue, Coventry, appeared before city magistrates on Thursday 18 October.
She appeared on a charge that contrary to the Social Security Administration Act 1992, she failed to declare a change in her circumstances - namely that the landlord of her then home in Alderminister Road was the father of her youngest child.
She was overpaid a total of £12,638.64 in housing benefit between September 2009 and November last year.
The court heard that she moved into the home in Alderminister Road in February 2008 and submitted a Housing Benefit form on which she declared that she was a single parent in receipt of income support.
She gave her landlord details and signed a form to say that there was no relationship with anyone in her household and that she would declare any changes in her circumstances. She was awarded £116 Housing Benefit a week and £15.05 Council Tax Benefit a week.
Coventry City Council's Benefit Investigation Team started an investigation after she notified the Council that she was moving to a new address and concerns were raised around details within the form submitted. Investigations showed that the youngest child's birth certificate showed a different surname to the one she had provided on the latest form and that it turned out that that this was the surname of her previous landlord.
When interviewed she said she had not known the landlord when she moved in and became pregnant after a brief relationship with him. She did not declare this fact as she was scared of losing her home.