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Crèche assistant from Lyneham in court over benefit cash
10:00am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
A 41-year-old crèche assistant from Lyneham has been ordered to pay back more than £8,500 of wrongly claimed benefits.
Janette Cooper, from Lancaster Square, began claiming housing benefit and council tax while she was working as a crèche assistant for Bumble Bees at Lyneham.
Mrs Cooper first filled in an application for the benefits in September 2007 and the information provided was verified with her wage slips.
She also signed a declaration to let the council know about any changes in her circumstances and was notified of her entitlement by letter.
But on February 19 she appeared at North Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court after failing to notify Wiltshire Council of an increase in her wages.
The court heard she had received letters each year to inform her of her continuing entitlement and reminding her of the need to notify the council of a change in circumstances.
On October 10, 2012, investigation officers for Wiltshire Council interviewed her under caution when she admitted she had not disclosed the increase in earnings.
Her benefits were recalculated to take into account her income and it was calculated she had received an overpayment of £6,585.09 housing benefit and £1,990.47 council tax benefit.
Underlying entitlement was applied which reduced these overpayments to £6,017.91 and £1,819.53. These must now be paid along with court costs of £200.