Surfleet pensioner was overpaid Disability Living Allowance, court hears
A Surfleet pensioner failed to tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when her condition improved and was paid more than £20,000 above what she was entitled, to a court has been told.
Ann McIntee (70), of Seas End Road, admitted failing to notify the DWP of her change of circumstances when she appeared at Boston Magistrates' Court.
Prosecuting, Marie Stace said Ms McIntee had first claimed Disability Living Allowance in January 2009 because of her health issues, which meant she needed third party care and attention throughout the day as she could only walk about 50 yards and needed help at home
However, she said, Ms McIntee's capabilities had improved by March 2013 and she failed to tell the DWP about this.
Then, in April 2016, Ms McIntee went on a holiday to Australia, sharing pictures on social media, and she was placed under surveillance by the DWP between September 2016 and January 2017.
Ms Stace said she was seen to be able to walk briskly and confidently and without any assistance and to be able to do her shopping and load it into the boot of her car.
She said that when she was shown the footage, Ms McIntee said she had not realised how much she had improved and that it hadn't occurred to her to report this to the DWP, as a result of which she had been overpaid by £22,990.
Mitigating, Michael Alexander said the amount overpaid was in dispute and that in his opinion the correct amount should be in the region of £10,000 as the DWP had calculated the entire amount she had been paid since 2009, but she had only seen improvements in the past three years.
"Her improvements came in 2015 and she still has bad days and still falls over," he said, adding that she was due to have an operation to replace one of her ankles in October.
"This was not a false claim from the beginning," he said.
The magistrates adjourned the hearing for evidence to be heard to discover the true amount that has been overpaid and a 'Newton' hearing will be held on December 11.