Couple are repaying thousands in benefits

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A couple were overpaid thousands of pounds in various benefits when they failed to notify the authorities about a part time job.

Mark Betts, of Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge, received more than £4,300 that he wasn’t entitled to have – and his wife, Michelle, almost £2,000.

Mark Betts (41) pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to notify a change of circumstances after his wife found part-time work – one involving South Holland District Council in respect of housing and council tax benefit and the second involving the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in respect of Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said Mark Betts was overpaid £4,365.95 in Jobseeker’s Allowance, £21.64 in housing benefit and £6.66 in council tax benefit.

Michelle Betts (42) pleaded guilty to three offences arising from the same set of circumstances – one of failing to notify the DWP of a change that would affect her entitlement to carers’ allowance and two of allowing her husband to fail to notify a change of circumstances, first to the district council and second to the DWP.

Miss Ritson said Michelle Betts was overpaid £1,989.90 in carer’s allowance.

The Betts are repaying the sums out of their existing benefits, the court heard.

The couple, who were not legally represented, said they didn’t think weekend working would affect their benefits.

Michelle Betts, who was working for Nathu Ltd, said: “It was purely an oversight, really.”

Magistrates on Thursday adjourned sentence to February 21 for a probation report.