A MAN who received almost £10,000 in benefits after claiming to be disabled must pay the money back after investigators found he was working as a delivery driver.
Scott Mentiply, 32, hid the fact that he had a job which involved heavy lifting and long spells at the wheel of a lorry from officials at the Department for Work and Pensions [DWP].
Although he had been legally entitled to earlier benefits, Mentiply failed to inform officials when his health began to improve in March 2008.
Loading article content
He continued claiming for more than five years and had illicitly obtained £9,500 by the time his scam was discovered.
Mentiply, of Luncarty, Perthshire, yesterday admitted at Perth Sheriff Court to failing to notify the DWP that he had undergone a change in circumstances and was no longer entitled to claim Disability Living Allowance between March 2008 and June 2013. The court was told that he was able to carry out "physical and manual work" while he was employed as a driver for Batley's Cash and Carry.
Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson said: "He had been in receipt of benefits because he was suffering ill health in a variety of ways, but he recovered to a large extent.
"It was discovered he was working as a lorry driver for a cash and carry. He didn't inform the department but continued to receive benefits."
Solicitor Cliff Culley, defending, said Mentiply would be able to repay the £9,500 with the help of his parents.
He was ordered to repay the full sum and was also fined £400. It came as a new report revealed there has been £3.3 billion in fraud and error in benefit payments over the past year.
The figure, for 2013/14, equates to two per cent of the total forecast benefit expenditure of £163.9 billion.
Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General, announced he could not sign off the DWP's accounts because of the level of fraud and error.
A DWP spokesman said: "We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to reduce the level of fraud and error in the benefit system.
"We have announced tougher new measures against those who cheat the system."