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.
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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.”