News release from 27/11/2018
A man from Bar Hill must pay more than £1,000 costs after admitting benefit fraud.
72-year-old Keith Wood, from Hillcrest in the village, didn’t tell South Cambridgeshire District Council that he was working, receiving a private pension and had savings above the limit allowed while also claiming Council Tax Support. This led to him claiming a total of £2,539 that he wasn’t entitled to.
Council finance bosses say it is a reminder to benefit claimants to ensure that they report every change in circumstance to them, because it can change the amount of support they are allowed to claim.
Appearing at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 22 November 2018, Mr Wood admitted failing to notify the Council’s benefits department of earned income, a private pension and holding excess capital over £16,000 while he was claiming Council Tax Support.
As well as already paying back the full amount owed to the Council, he was given a one-year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £1,160 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
An investigation started after a Benefits Assessment Officer reviewed Mr Wood’s benefit claim. The Officer compared it with information he had supplied to HM Revenue and Customs and found earnings and a private pension that had not been declared to the Council.
Cllr John Williams, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Our teams are happy to help residents understand exactly what they can claim, but we won’t tolerate anyone claiming financial assistance that they’re not entitled to. It’s vital any resident getting benefits tells us if their circumstances change. If you think your circumstances might have changed and could alter what you’re entitled to, talk to us. If you don’t you could end-up in court.”