Porthleven woman repays £3,900 in overpaid benefits

Falmouth Packet: Porthleven woman repays £3,900 in overpaid benefits Porthleven woman repays £3,900 in overpaid benefits

A WOMAN who was left almost £30,000 when her father died received nearly £4,000 in benefits she was not entitled to because she failed to tell the authorities of her legacy.

Lynn Curnow, 52, of Wheal Rose, Porthleven, pleaded guilty at Truro’s magistrates’ court to three offences,after  failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting her entitlement to social security benefit between December 2012 and April 2013.

Kevin Hill, prosecuting, said the legacy took her over the prescribed limit in order to qualify for the benefit she sought and which she had been receiving for a number of years.

When interviewed she admitted she had received almost £30,000 in December last year but had not notified Cornwall Council or the Department of Work and Pensions. She had been overpaid £3,900 in housing benefit, council tax benefit and employment and support allowances.

Robert Warner, for Curnow, said she fully accepted she should have promptly notified the authorities of her change in circumstances but this had happened against a background of ill health and grieving for her father. She had since repaid the overpayment in full.

Curnow was fined £500 with costs of £1,035.20 and a £50 victim surcharge.

Comments (21)

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7:41am Wed 4 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

I used to claim council tax benefit after my husband died and then when I moved and downsized I made some capital on my house and notified the council to stop the benefit. However, I have always thought the capital limit is too low, benefits are based on low income and if one has to use the capital to supplement ones income then that capital runs out and most people previously claiming would then claim benefits again. This then leaves one with no or very little capital, so how can one save for ones retirement like the government promote and then eventually when claiming a pension assuming one lives that long, one may have to claim pension credit to make up the shortfall, so how does that save public money.
Additionally it also means one may have no or little capital with which to maintain ones property which is actually the situation I am in. I had to spend all my capital to maintain my property when I moved. I am still on a low income but choose not to reclaim for council tax benefit.
I think the capital limit for benefit claimants should be more realistic and in keeping with today's property maintenance prices.
I used to claim council tax benefit after my husband died and then when I moved and downsized I made some capital on my house and notified the council to stop the benefit. However, I have always thought the capital limit is too low, benefits are based on low income and if one has to use the capital to supplement ones income then that capital runs out and most people previously claiming would then claim benefits again. This then leaves one with no or very little capital, so how can one save for ones retirement like the government promote and then eventually when claiming a pension assuming one lives that long, one may have to claim pension credit to make up the shortfall, so how does that save public money. Additionally it also means one may have no or little capital with which to maintain ones property which is actually the situation I am in. I had to spend all my capital to maintain my property when I moved. I am still on a low income but choose not to reclaim for council tax benefit. I think the capital limit for benefit claimants should be more realistic and in keeping with today's property maintenance prices. Gillian Zella Martin 09

11:40am Wed 4 Dec 13

PR Helston says...

People on benefits should be indoors with the roof leaking and not have the money to mend it, they should have no capital and they should just find a job just like that, and if they haven't got enough pension then tough, they shouldn't get pension credit. People that own their homes shouldn't get any benefits, pensioners should get no free bus travel it is younger people that need the help not rich pensioners, and the person in this article that didn't report their windfall as it was obviously over the amount they can have and claim benefits shouldn't have been claiming employment support benefit anyway they should be pensioned off at 52 and let the young people have the jobs. The person in the article should have to do community service to earn their benefits. And I think they should pay back double what they had in benefits as interest because they failed to notify the authorities. They weren't honest in notifying the authorities.

Did you do any commuinty work to earn your council tax benefit when you used to claim it Gill?
People on benefits should be indoors with the roof leaking and not have the money to mend it, they should have no capital and they should just find a job just like that, and if they haven't got enough pension then tough, they shouldn't get pension credit. People that own their homes shouldn't get any benefits, pensioners should get no free bus travel it is younger people that need the help not rich pensioners, and the person in this article that didn't report their windfall as it was obviously over the amount they can have and claim benefits shouldn't have been claiming employment support benefit anyway they should be pensioned off at 52 and let the young people have the jobs. The person in the article should have to do community service to earn their benefits. And I think they should pay back double what they had in benefits as interest because they failed to notify the authorities. They weren't honest in notifying the authorities. Did you do any commuinty work to earn your council tax benefit when you used to claim it Gill? PR Helston

12:37pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

PR Helston wrote:
People on benefits should be indoors with the roof leaking and not have the money to mend it, they should have no capital and they should just find a job just like that, and if they haven't got enough pension then tough, they shouldn't get pension credit. People that own their homes shouldn't get any benefits, pensioners should get no free bus travel it is younger people that need the help not rich pensioners, and the person in this article that didn't report their windfall as it was obviously over the amount they can have and claim benefits shouldn't have been claiming employment support benefit anyway they should be pensioned off at 52 and let the young people have the jobs. The person in the article should have to do community service to earn their benefits. And I think they should pay back double what they had in benefits as interest because they failed to notify the authorities. They weren't honest in notifying the authorities.

Did you do any commuinty work to earn your council tax benefit when you used to claim it Gill?
Council tax benefit can be claimed by those working full or part time or unemployed, it is based on low income not on being unemployed. I did not and have not ever claimed any other benefits. I have always worked either full time or part time or voluntary and I only claimed council tax benefit for a very short period.
[quote][p][bold]PR Helston[/bold] wrote: People on benefits should be indoors with the roof leaking and not have the money to mend it, they should have no capital and they should just find a job just like that, and if they haven't got enough pension then tough, they shouldn't get pension credit. People that own their homes shouldn't get any benefits, pensioners should get no free bus travel it is younger people that need the help not rich pensioners, and the person in this article that didn't report their windfall as it was obviously over the amount they can have and claim benefits shouldn't have been claiming employment support benefit anyway they should be pensioned off at 52 and let the young people have the jobs. The person in the article should have to do community service to earn their benefits. And I think they should pay back double what they had in benefits as interest because they failed to notify the authorities. They weren't honest in notifying the authorities. Did you do any commuinty work to earn your council tax benefit when you used to claim it Gill?[/p][/quote]Council tax benefit can be claimed by those working full or part time or unemployed, it is based on low income not on being unemployed. I did not and have not ever claimed any other benefits. I have always worked either full time or part time or voluntary and I only claimed council tax benefit for a very short period. Gillian Zella Martin 09

4:25pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Ken Helston says...

Oh dear meerkats you have made a mistake and quoted Gills comment, I would be annoyed if I was Gill.

I think all benefit fraud is a great idea as long as it is not in this country.
Oh dear meerkats you have made a mistake and quoted Gills comment, I would be annoyed if I was Gill. I think all benefit fraud is a great idea as long as it is not in this country. Ken Helston

4:31pm Wed 4 Dec 13

meerkats says...

Sorry Gill, my comment should have been in reply to PR and not you . Was trying to multi task and failed !!
Sorry Gill, my comment should have been in reply to PR and not you . Was trying to multi task and failed !! meerkats

4:46pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

meerkats wrote:
Sorry Gill, my comment should have been in reply to PR and not you . Was trying to multi task and failed !!
No problem, it was obvious anyway by your comment.
[quote][p][bold]meerkats[/bold] wrote: Sorry Gill, my comment should have been in reply to PR and not you . Was trying to multi task and failed !![/p][/quote]No problem, it was obvious anyway by your comment. Gillian Zella Martin 09

4:53pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Ken Helston says...

I think they should make anyone that makes a false benefit claim have a reduction in future benefits.
I think they should make anyone that makes a false benefit claim have a reduction in future benefits. Ken Helston

4:58pm Wed 4 Dec 13

telstar1962 says...

The woman repaid £3900, after illegally claiming what was not hers to claim.

There are good reasons why these benefit limits are set as they are. Mainly to stop the government of the day acting as fairy-godmother to every person who happens to be at the unfortunate end of the scale.
The woman repaid £3900, after illegally claiming what was not hers to claim. There are good reasons why these benefit limits are set as they are. Mainly to stop the government of the day acting as fairy-godmother to every person who happens to be at the unfortunate end of the scale. telstar1962

5:15pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

telstar1962 wrote:
The woman repaid £3900, after illegally claiming what was not hers to claim.

There are good reasons why these benefit limits are set as they are. Mainly to stop the government of the day acting as fairy-godmother to every person who happens to be at the unfortunate end of the scale.
I agree you are right, just wondering how ones 'saves' for a pension as government promoted, when ones only income just covers household bills and food. I think many government ideas are mismanaged like giving free school meals to all children up to a certain age regardless of parental ability to pay, and giving out free bus passes without means testing. Just to clarify, I do not condone fraud, theft etc of any kind. I just think the whole system is flawed.
[quote][p][bold]telstar1962[/bold] wrote: The woman repaid £3900, after illegally claiming what was not hers to claim. There are good reasons why these benefit limits are set as they are. Mainly to stop the government of the day acting as fairy-godmother to every person who happens to be at the unfortunate end of the scale.[/p][/quote]I agree you are right, just wondering how ones 'saves' for a pension as government promoted, when ones only income just covers household bills and food. I think many government ideas are mismanaged like giving free school meals to all children up to a certain age regardless of parental ability to pay, and giving out free bus passes without means testing. Just to clarify, I do not condone fraud, theft etc of any kind. I just think the whole system is flawed. Gillian Zella Martin 09

5:27pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Ken Helston says...

I thought you wernt who you said you were Gill but the packet tells me you are definitely you., did you report my comments? would you fraudulently claim benefits if you thought you could get away with it?

would you telstar?
I thought you wernt who you said you were Gill but the packet tells me you are definitely you., did you report my comments? would you fraudulently claim benefits if you thought you could get away with it? would you telstar? Ken Helston

5:45pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

Ken Helston wrote:
I thought you wernt who you said you were Gill but the packet tells me you are definitely you., did you report my comments? would you fraudulently claim benefits if you thought you could get away with it?

would you telstar?
Yes I am definitely the person whose name I post under and no I did not report yours or anyone's comments.
No I would not fraudulently claim benefits or anything else whether or not I thought I could do so undetected.
[quote][p][bold]Ken Helston[/bold] wrote: I thought you wernt who you said you were Gill but the packet tells me you are definitely you., did you report my comments? would you fraudulently claim benefits if you thought you could get away with it? would you telstar?[/p][/quote]Yes I am definitely the person whose name I post under and no I did not report yours or anyone's comments. No I would not fraudulently claim benefits or anything else whether or not I thought I could do so undetected. Gillian Zella Martin 09

6:41pm Wed 4 Dec 13

telstar1962 says...

I agree with your comments, Gillian

But if you can find the time,you can pick holes with any benefit, system, tax ,etc etc
I agree with your comments, Gillian But if you can find the time,you can pick holes with any benefit, system, tax ,etc etc telstar1962

7:12pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Ken Helston says...

I have the time to pick fault in you telstar and Gill, that's good isn't it.
I have the time to pick fault in you telstar and Gill, that's good isn't it. Ken Helston

7:15pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

telstar1962 wrote:
I agree with your comments, Gillian

But if you can find the time,you can pick holes with any benefit, system, tax ,etc etc
Very true.
[quote][p][bold]telstar1962[/bold] wrote: I agree with your comments, Gillian But if you can find the time,you can pick holes with any benefit, system, tax ,etc etc[/p][/quote]Very true. Gillian Zella Martin 09

12:41pm Sun 8 Dec 13

titanium says...

Gillian Zella Martin 09 wrote:
I used to claim council tax benefit after my husband died and then when I moved and downsized I made some capital on my house and notified the council to stop the benefit. However, I have always thought the capital limit is too low, benefits are based on low income and if one has to use the capital to supplement ones income then that capital runs out and most people previously claiming would then claim benefits again. This then leaves one with no or very little capital, so how can one save for ones retirement like the government promote and then eventually when claiming a pension assuming one lives that long, one may have to claim pension credit to make up the shortfall, so how does that save public money.
Additionally it also means one may have no or little capital with which to maintain ones property which is actually the situation I am in. I had to spend all my capital to maintain my property when I moved. I am still on a low income but choose not to reclaim for council tax benefit.
I think the capital limit for benefit claimants should be more realistic and in keeping with today's property maintenance prices.
Once again, I agree with everything you say (it's got to stop !!). I expect everyone has heard that MP's have voted themselves an 11% wage rise from 2015.
All us pensioners, the low paid and people on benefits must celebrate the fact that we have such caring people leading us to prosperity !!. Or are they sticking two digits up at us ?.
[quote][p][bold]Gillian Zella Martin 09[/bold] wrote: I used to claim council tax benefit after my husband died and then when I moved and downsized I made some capital on my house and notified the council to stop the benefit. However, I have always thought the capital limit is too low, benefits are based on low income and if one has to use the capital to supplement ones income then that capital runs out and most people previously claiming would then claim benefits again. This then leaves one with no or very little capital, so how can one save for ones retirement like the government promote and then eventually when claiming a pension assuming one lives that long, one may have to claim pension credit to make up the shortfall, so how does that save public money. Additionally it also means one may have no or little capital with which to maintain ones property which is actually the situation I am in. I had to spend all my capital to maintain my property when I moved. I am still on a low income but choose not to reclaim for council tax benefit. I think the capital limit for benefit claimants should be more realistic and in keeping with today's property maintenance prices.[/p][/quote]Once again, I agree with everything you say (it's got to stop !!). I expect everyone has heard that MP's have voted themselves an 11% wage rise from 2015. All us pensioners, the low paid and people on benefits must celebrate the fact that we have such caring people leading us to prosperity !!. Or are they sticking two digits up at us ?. titanium

1:58pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

My late husband paid national insurance contributions continually for years, I however did not whilst I was bringing up my children, we assumed that come pension time he would claim a married persons pension. That will now not happen and I can only use half of my late husbands contributions which will now leave me with a state pension shortfall, so in essence the government have taken half of his national insurance payments that he paid all those years. Incidentally it was a past Conservative government that promoted "the family" and wanted people to stay at home and bring up their children to stop the 'latch key children problem' what they didn't tell you was that if your husband died, tough luck you would have no money and they would take half your pension. Now the conservatives promote the opposite, get everyone to work and pay someone else to bring up your children.
My late husband paid national insurance contributions continually for years, I however did not whilst I was bringing up my children, we assumed that come pension time he would claim a married persons pension. That will now not happen and I can only use half of my late husbands contributions which will now leave me with a state pension shortfall, so in essence the government have taken half of his national insurance payments that he paid all those years. Incidentally it was a past Conservative government that promoted "the family" and wanted people to stay at home and bring up their children to stop the 'latch key children problem' what they didn't tell you was that if your husband died, tough luck you would have no money and they would take half your pension. Now the conservatives promote the opposite, get everyone to work and pay someone else to bring up your children. Gillian Zella Martin 09

2:05pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

Incidentally I will be surprised if I live long enough to claim a state pension seeing as they have just altered the claiming dates yet again. How on earth there will be enough job openings for the young people if the older people do not retire I don't know. I wonder how many older people will eventually be off on sick leave when they are older or going into work with their walking frame or walking stick.
Incidentally I will be surprised if I live long enough to claim a state pension seeing as they have just altered the claiming dates yet again. How on earth there will be enough job openings for the young people if the older people do not retire I don't know. I wonder how many older people will eventually be off on sick leave when they are older or going into work with their walking frame or walking stick. Gillian Zella Martin 09

3:29pm Sun 8 Dec 13

titanium says...

Ideally, the government (any government) would like the working class to drop dead in their last year of employment. They always like a win win situation.
Ideally, the government (any government) would like the working class to drop dead in their last year of employment. They always like a win win situation. titanium

4:11pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

titanium wrote:
Ideally, the government (any government) would like the working class to drop dead in their last year of employment. They always like a win win situation.
Very true, I don't like any government, I do not adhere to any political party. They are all millionaires I think and do not have a clue about living in the real world.
On that note I must go and write out my I.O.U. to put in the collection for the United Carol service in the Chapel tonight.
[quote][p][bold]titanium[/bold] wrote: Ideally, the government (any government) would like the working class to drop dead in their last year of employment. They always like a win win situation.[/p][/quote]Very true, I don't like any government, I do not adhere to any political party. They are all millionaires I think and do not have a clue about living in the real world. On that note I must go and write out my I.O.U. to put in the collection for the United Carol service in the Chapel tonight. Gillian Zella Martin 09

7:51pm Sun 8 Dec 13

rwarwicker says...

I can understand how people get overpaid. I notified the council on the 31st May that my income increased, and to cease my housing benefit. They continued paying until August, so 3 months overpayments. I knew they were overpaying so put into a savings account incurring interest for myself knowing they would ask for the overpaid amounts. They wrote to me on the 31st August demanding the overpaid amounts repaid within 14 days, or they would take me to court. Fortunately I knew they'd messed up and saved the money away, and was able to repay straight away, however how many people would have spent that money, assuming still entitled and ended up in court due to the councils errors. It was also very complex notifying the council that my income was increasing, perhaps if they made a simple system it would help people. I can fully understand from my situation how people are overpaid
I can understand how people get overpaid. I notified the council on the 31st May that my income increased, and to cease my housing benefit. They continued paying until August, so 3 months overpayments. I knew they were overpaying so put into a savings account incurring interest for myself knowing they would ask for the overpaid amounts. They wrote to me on the 31st August demanding the overpaid amounts repaid within 14 days, or they would take me to court. Fortunately I knew they'd messed up and saved the money away, and was able to repay straight away, however how many people would have spent that money, assuming still entitled and ended up in court due to the councils errors. It was also very complex notifying the council that my income was increasing, perhaps if they made a simple system it would help people. I can fully understand from my situation how people are overpaid rwarwicker

8:44am Mon 9 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

rwarwicker wrote:
I can understand how people get overpaid. I notified the council on the 31st May that my income increased, and to cease my housing benefit. They continued paying until August, so 3 months overpayments. I knew they were overpaying so put into a savings account incurring interest for myself knowing they would ask for the overpaid amounts. They wrote to me on the 31st August demanding the overpaid amounts repaid within 14 days, or they would take me to court. Fortunately I knew they'd messed up and saved the money away, and was able to repay straight away, however how many people would have spent that money, assuming still entitled and ended up in court due to the councils errors. It was also very complex notifying the council that my income was increasing, perhaps if they made a simple system it would help people. I can fully understand from my situation how people are overpaid
I notified them by going into the 'one stop shop' as the Helston one deals with benefits two days a week, they gave me written clarification while I was there that I had notified them, however, when I received the new council tax bill because I had also just moved house, it was still wrong, so I rang Cornwall Council and they altered it for me as they claimed they had received no notification from the one stop shop! Because I pay direct debit they had not taken enough money for one month so I just paid by card over the phone. I was glad I had written clarification from the one stop shop that I had notified them because had there been a problem It could have been proven it was their mistake.
[quote][p][bold]rwarwicker[/bold] wrote: I can understand how people get overpaid. I notified the council on the 31st May that my income increased, and to cease my housing benefit. They continued paying until August, so 3 months overpayments. I knew they were overpaying so put into a savings account incurring interest for myself knowing they would ask for the overpaid amounts. They wrote to me on the 31st August demanding the overpaid amounts repaid within 14 days, or they would take me to court. Fortunately I knew they'd messed up and saved the money away, and was able to repay straight away, however how many people would have spent that money, assuming still entitled and ended up in court due to the councils errors. It was also very complex notifying the council that my income was increasing, perhaps if they made a simple system it would help people. I can fully understand from my situation how people are overpaid[/p][/quote]I notified them by going into the 'one stop shop' as the Helston one deals with benefits two days a week, they gave me written clarification while I was there that I had notified them, however, when I received the new council tax bill because I had also just moved house, it was still wrong, so I rang Cornwall Council and they altered it for me as they claimed they had received no notification from the one stop shop! Because I pay direct debit they had not taken enough money for one month so I just paid by card over the phone. I was glad I had written clarification from the one stop shop that I had notified them because had there been a problem It could have been proven it was their mistake. Gillian Zella Martin 09

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