Video: Ingatestone benefit worker pocketed thousands
A woman from Brentwood falsely claimed more than �8,000 in disability benefit in less than three years while working as a member of the allowance appeals service – where her job was dealing with the same benefits.
Susan Elliott-Jones, of Market Place, Ingatestone, claimed the Disability Living Allowance between November 2007 and May 2010 – without notifying the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of changes to her circumstances.
She had been working as a carer panel member of the appeals tribunal panel, which examines disability claimaints’ circumstances to see if they need the cash.
The 63-year-old had said she was virtually unable to walk, but an anonymous tipster informed DWP investigators about her real condition.
Elliott-Jones was then filmed by the investigators out shopping on several days, including at Waitrose in Billericay, bending, lifting and carrying shopping, and walking around with no signs of trouble.
She was suspended from her job.
On Tuesday (May 10) at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court, Elliott-Jones pleaded guilty of failing to report a change in her circumstances after falsely claiming �8,399.85.
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She was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay �100 in costs.
Her criminal record now bars her from working in her old role.
Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform, said: “Benefit fraud takes money away from the most vulnerable.
“It is a crime and we are committed to stopping it by catching criminals at the front line and making sure reforms make the benefit system less open to abuse.”