St Paul's mother was overpaid £3,800 benefit after failing to tell council she had new job
A MOTHER-of-one was overpaid more than £3,800 in housing benefit after failing to tell the city council she had a new job.
Cleaner Asha Walaal, 38, of Wilson Street, St Paul's, had been claiming benefits for most of the time since coming to Bristol as a Somalian refugee in 2003, magistrates heard yesterday.
Prosecuting for the council, Kate Burnham-Davies said Walal had legitimately been claiming until June 1, 2009, when she got a job with Solo Service Group.
By law, she should have told the council that her circumstances had changed and declared her earnings, but did not.
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She was also still claiming tax credits.
With the help of an interpreter, Walaal admitted failing to notify the council about a change in her circumstances.
She had been overpaid £3,809.84 from June 1, 2009, until May 13 last year.
When questioned about the benefits situation, she said she had informed the local authority but Mrs Burnham-Davies said there was no record of that information being received.
Mitigating, James Lander said his client was working long hours for two cleaning companies, but was still in debt.
"There's no suggestion that she is living any sort of life of luxury at all," he said.
"She is willing to pay back the amounts," he added.
The magistrates imposed a £200 fine, £15 victim surcharge and ordered that Walaal should contribute £150 towards the council's £1,389.50 costs.
The local authority will also pursue the overpaid benefit privately.