Woman was overpaid almost £4,000 in income support

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A woman who claimed benefit while she was working was overpaid by almost £4,000, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Elisha McElligiott (23), Kernan Road, Gilford, admitted that between April 4, 2102, and October 8, 2014, she failed to declare a change in circumstances.

She also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to claim income support on April 3, 2012.

For each offence she was given a conditional discharge for 18 months.

The court heard that she had been claiming income support and the Social Security Agency became aware that she had been working 16 hours a week for £55.

The amount she was overpaid was £3,988.39 and this was being repaid at £7.50 per fortnight from her benefits.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

Mr Joe McDonald, representing the defendant, said the defendant had been doing part time work and was given advice by her mother but was misinformed.

Deputy District Judge Paul Conway said social security fraud was a serious matter and he would have considered community service but the defendant was assessed as not suitable.

Imposing the conditional discharge the judge added that he would regard this case as accidental rather than deliberate defrauding.