Welfare cheat illegally claimed £2,753 in benefits

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A welfare cheat has been given a community order with 80 hours of unpaid work after he illegally claimed over £2,000 in benefits.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on May 25 how Daniel Brown, 29, of Prospect Road, Old Whittington, Chesterfield, admitted claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance while he was working and employed.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “These charges relate to claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance between September 4 and September 25, 2011, in the sum of £167.99, and claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance between August 22 and October 9, 2012, for £179.10, and for Employment and Support Allowance between March 13 to August 25, 2015, for £2,406.26. This involved a total of £2,753.35.

“He claimed benefits on the basis he was living alone and was not in employment and he had no other source of income and he was aware he should have notified the Department for Work and Pensions.”

Brown pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances affecting Jobseeker’s Allowance and to one count of failing to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances affecting Employment and Support Allowance.

The court heard how the DWP learned Brown had been working for different periods with Linear Recruitment, Chesterfield Miners’ Welfare and Tapton Grove care home while claiming benefits.

Mrs Allsop said that Brown claimed that he thought benefits would be paid back and a friend had told him he could make a claim despite being in employment and he had assumed the DWP knew about his change of circumstances.

Brown also told the court that he had been in a spiral at the time because he had been struggling to get himself off legal highs and he had suffered a breakdown.

However, Brown said that his “head has been screwed on” since and he is coming to the end of his mental health difficulties.

Magistrates sentenced Brown to a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay an £85 victim surcharge.