Council to Recover Fraudulent Claims

Fraudulently obtained benefits should be paid back by 2050

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We reported last week that two women from Acton had been punished for making false benefit claims following investigations by Ealing Council.

Further questions asked by us have revealed that the fraudulently obtained benefits will eventually be paid back by the women - but not until 2050.

Mrs Souad Neya, 49, of Bollo Lane, was found guilty of five offences at Ealing Magistrates Court on 17 June after fraudulently receiving £21,000 in housing benefit.

And Mrs Karpal Saria, 49, of Steyne Housing Estate on Lexden Road, pleaded guilty to three offences at Ealing Magistrates Court on 2 September. Mrs Saria falsely received £7,956.85.

We asked Ealing Council for details about how the fraudulently obtained benefits claimed by the two women were being reclaimed.

A spokesman there told us: "In both cases the money is being recovered at source from ongoing benefit.  

"For S. Neya this is being recovered at a rate of £9.90 per week and for K. Saria it is being recovered at a rate of £13.20 per week.

"The amount of benefit that can be recovered from ongoing benefit is set by central government, and this varies on a case by case basis, depending on the rate of benefit paid. 

"Should they stop claiming benefits, then the Council will seek to make alternative arrangements for the repayment of the remaining debt."

Calculations show that this means that Mrs Neya will be 89 when she repays her debt in 2050. Mrs Saria should have repaid hers in 2021.


September 16, 2010