Kesgrave woman overclaimed £7,600 from Department of Work and Pensions

Woman repays �7,600 in overpayment claim

Woman repays �7,600 in overpayment claim - Credit: PA

A Kesgrave woman has been fined after making a false statement to obtain £7,600 worth of benefits which she was not entitled to.

Julie Goldsmith, of St Crispins Close, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to dishonestly making a false statement to the Department of Work and Pensions.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court the 44-year-old claimed Employment Support Allowance for 98 weeks between February 20, 2014, and January 13, this year.

The total overpayment came to £7,612.35.

The court was told Goldsmith’s claim started off as being legitimate.

Originally she claimed incapacity benefit which then converted into Employment Support Allowance.

In February 2014 Goldsmith had made a claim on the basis of she was single and unable to work.

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However, a Department of Work and Pensions investigation found she got a lump sum following the sale of a house in Scotland, which she failed to declare on a form.

On January 19 Goldsmith was interviewed and told officers she had received an inheritance after a property in Edinburgh had been sold.

Goldsmith had informed Suffolk Coastal District Council about the money, but had not put it on the relevant forms for her Employment Support Allowance claim.

Magistrates heard she had repaid the overpayment in full.

Goldsmith, representing herself, said she did not deliberately defraud the DWP, saying it was an oversight and that she failed to fill in one box on one form.

The court was also told Goldsmith had been suffering from health issues at the time.

She was fined £350 and ordered to pay £85 costs, as well as £35 to the victims’ fund.