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 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
CA14 3YJ

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News release


Benefit fraud prosecution

2 July 2014

Allerdale Borough Council has prosecuted a woman from Workington for claiming £6796 in Housing & Council Tax Benefit to which she was not entitled.

On 12 June 2014, West Cumbria Magistrates heard how Susan Harris of Woodlands, Blindcrake, Cockermouth had claimed housing & council tax benefits since at least 2006.

In February 2013 a review was undertaken by the Benefit Investigation Unit into cases where no changes in earnings had been received in a period of over 13 months.  Proof of Mr and Mrs Harris’ income was obtained and the claim was duly re-assessed.

As a result of failing to declare their true income, Housing Benefit amounting to £1,885.60 and Council Tax Benefit of £806.56 was overpaid covering the period between April 2008 and April 2013.

Further investigations revealed that Mr and Mrs Harris received £40,000 in May 2011 and a further £38,000 in August 2013 which was also undeclared.  As a result of failing to declare the 2 capital payments,  a further overpayment of Housing Benefit amounting to £1827.80 over a period from May 2011 and October 2013 and Council Tax Benefit amounting to £1672.17over a period of May 2011 and April 2013. A Council Tax discount of £603.88 was also received for the period April 2013 and October 2013 which Mr and Mrs Harris were not entitled to.

At court, Mrs Harris pleaded guilty to all three offences of knowingly allowing Mr Harris to claim benefit to which she knew they were not entitled. Mrs Harris was sentenced to a community order of 80 hours unpaid work. She must also pay a victim surcharge of £60 and a contribution to the Council’s costs in the sum of £100.

Members of the public who suspect benefit fraud is being committed can call Allerdale Borough Council’s 24-hour Benefit Fraud Hotline in confidence on 0800 169 5119 or complete, anonymously, an online form at

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ