King’s Lynn woman falsely claimed more than £2,500 of benefits

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A 47-year-old woman from Lynn who claimed benefits dishonestly after failing to notify a change in circumstance has landed a 12 month community order.

Mandy Cousins, of Highgate, in Lynn, pleaded guilty at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Monday, to failing to notify a change of circumstance on two occasions and making a dishonest statement in order to continue claiming benefits.

The court was told the defendant dishonestly failed to notify West Norfolk Council to her change of circumstance when she started work at Savers because she “knew it would affect her entitlement to Housing Benefit”.

Cousins also admitted to failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in regards to her Income Support and making a “false statement” to the DWP about her employment, saying she was not in work when she was “taking home money from her employment at Savers”.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said Cousins claimed an overpayment on Jobseekers Allowance of £950.30, Income Support of £960.75, and Housing Benefit of £682.33.

He said: “Cousins is to pay back an overpayment of around £2,500 to the Department of Work and Pensions.

“She failed to notify them about a change of circumstances when she started working at Savers. She made a call to the Department of Work and Pensions and led them to believe that she was doing work experience with them rather than paid work.

“She failed to declare she was working 25 to 30 hours and failed to declare her income. She tried to cover up the existence of the bank which the money was being paid into. She said she had hit rock bottom.”

Cousins was given a 12 month community order including 60 hours and was ordered to pay a £85 victim surcharge.