A COUPLE claiming benefits have been penalised for failing to report an increase in work.
Shropshire Council’s public protection service is reminding housing benefit and council tax support claimants of their statutory duty to promptly notify the council of changes in their circumstances that might affect their entitlements.
The warning follows successful prosecutions against Barbara Trow and Julian Hollins, a couple in their late 40s from Oswestry, who wrongly claimed about £2,300.
They both pleaded guilty and were each ordered to pay a £75 fine, £100 towards the council’s costs and repay the amount they were overpaid.
Frances Darling, service manager for safer and stronger communities in public protection, said: “From these cases, while around £2,300 related to the specific offence period between March and September, there was in fact a total of over £4,000 that had been claimed when the claimants were not entitled to this money.
“It is simply not acceptable for anyone to do this.
“It is the responsibility of those claiming housing benefit and council tax support to declare any income or capital to the council, plus any other changes to their circumstances.
“Where people fail to do this, the council will investigate the matter and will require the money to be repaid.
“In addition, we will not hesitate to prosecute where this is appropriate.”