A MAN has been fined £200 and ordered to pay court costs after admitting failing to declare pensions payments and savings despite claiming housing benefit.
Paul Shelton, 56, of Montgomery Road, Widnes, pleaded guilty at Runcorn Magistrates Court to two offences of making false statements for the purpose of obtaining housing benefit.
He failed to declare he was receiving an occupational pension of £305 per month or a bank account with a balance of more than £11,000.
Shelton was in receipt of Housing Benefit from September 1999.
Under housing benefit rules applicants are required to tell the Benefits Agency of any change in their circumstances and fill out annual review forms involving divulging personal and financial information.
Shelton had received housing benefit since 1999 and in August 2003 he completed a housing benefit application form declaring that he lived alone and that his only income was incapacity benefit. He also claimed he did not have any bank accounts.
In November 2005, the Benefit Investigations Unit was told that Shelton had failed to declare a bank account containing more than £3,000.
He was interviewed under caution in December 2005 when he admitted that he had an account with the Halifax Bank that he had failed to declare.
The court heard that £305.27 was being credited to the account each month and in a second interview in March this year he admitted that he had been receiving a pension in the six years since his retirement, which was also undeclared.
Norwich Union confirmed Shelton had two pension policies which had been paid since 2000 and had also received in that year a lump sum of £20,668.58,
He had received benefit over-payments of more than £3,000 between August 2000-April 2006.